Innovation Zone ThePackHub -


Welcome to this week’s Innovation Zone snapshot from ThePackHub.

ThePackHub collates up to 20 new packaging innovations every week for our Innovation Zone database (book a one-to-one online demo here).

We have selected four new initiatives for you today.


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Packaging Networking Opportunities with ThePackHub and FuturePrint

Networking  – Thursday 1st December

We are co-hosting with our friends at FuturePrint a special virtual networking and insight event Packaging and Print ’21 on Tuesday 1st December at 3 pm UK / 4 pm CET.

The aim of this event is to look ahead to next year and to discuss how 2021 may pan out for packaging and printing. We have 100 available places. If you are interested, then register now here.

Thursday 10th December at 3 pm GMT

All new innovations.

FREE one hour webinar. Catch up on the latest sustainable packaging innovation trends with this whistle-stop tour of the latest initiatives. We will cover many recent in-market and developmental examples to inspire you and keep you up to speed.

Hosted by Paul Jenkins, Managing Director and Barrington Pamplin, Technical Director of ThePackHub.

Feel free to share with your colleagues.

Register for free:
Thursday 10th December at 3 pm GMT

Book your free place now.


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Everything you need to know the global packaging trends and more!

ThePackHub’s Global Packaging Trends Compendium 2021 will be packed with vital trend information, analysis and insight from a world perspective.

Find out which brands, retailers and suppliers are bringing packaging innovations to market.

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Please forward to your friends and colleagues to stay up to date with the latest packaging innovation news.  They can click here to subscribe.


#1 Taste-altering spoon is the invention you never knew you needed


A taste-altering spoon is poised to bring fun and intrigue to the dining table and might just make up for that new recipe experiment that doesn’t quite hit the spot. SpoonTEK is a New York-based initiative actively generating funds for a rollout that promises to change the eating experience for consumers for a range of foods such as yoghurt, ice cream and soup. A built-in galvanic sensor is said to excite taste buds that result in enhanced flavours and heightened taste and can even change a product’s aftertaste. The advanced electronics behind SpoonTEK uses two electrodes (one on the handle and one in the bowl of the spoon) and uses a mild electric current to excite the tongue’s taste buds. Consumers hold SpoonTEK like a normal spoon and need to have their finger contacting the electrode on the handle. An LED light on the spoon handle will glow, which means the spoon system is working.  SpoonTEK works well on healthy foods with less sugar and salt but will operate on just about anything that can be eaten using a spoon. See also Glass tricks user into thinking they are drinking something else and Microencapsulation delivers flavour to water drinks.

#2 Anti-bacterial reusable cup lids reduces single-usage waste

According to The Paper Cup Alliance, 2.5 billion cups are sold in UK high streets each year. The figure is estimated to be nearer 50 billion cups used annually in the US. The cups almost entirely come with single-use lids. Costa Coffee is looking to make a very small dent in those figures with the introduction of an anti-bacterial reusable cup lid as part of a trial across 500 participating stores.  More than 1,200 were sold in the first week of sale as consumers look for an alternative to throwaway single-use lids as well as some added hygiene reassurance. The lid is made from PP and has an anti-bacterial coating. It is suitable for small, medium and large takeaway cups across Costa Coffee stores and Costa Express machines.  They come with an on-the-go nylon drawstring pouch to ensure the lid is kept clean when not in use. The reusable lid also provides added peace of mind for hygiene-conscious customers who are looking to minimise contact particularly during current pandemic conditions. The reusable lids are available in red and white and are dishwasher-safe. Costa Coffee’s Reusable Lid is available at participating stores for £1. The scheme is set to expand across the UK following the successful implementation of the trial. See also Paper folding design removes need for coffee cup lids.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Light-up label illuminates Christmas liqueur range


Nottingham-based family-run packaging manufacturer Wilkins Group has helped bring an impactful and attention-grabbing new bottle for the festive season to life. The business has worked with UK retailer Marks & Spencer to create a light-up label to transform a range of gold leaf-infused Christmas Liqueurs into head-turning snow-globes. The project took six months to develop and can be seen on UK television screens as part of an advertising campaign to promote the distinctive new bottle. Wilkins group built the labels for the special ‘Light Snow Globe’ Gin Liqueurs. A gift-tag swing label connects around the bottle neck. A section on the base of the bottle contains both the integrated LED lights and a battery. Consumers just need to push the button on the base panel for four LEDs to emit light through the glass. The liqueur is available in rhubarb or clementine flavours and has sparkling flecks of edible gold leaf to create an illuminated ‘snow globe’ experience. Wilkins Group had initially explored the idea of a label for the illumination of Prosecco bottles, which never got beyond the early development stages.


More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Chocolate box transforms into a mini table for easy sharing

UK retailer Marks and Spencer has a reputation for distinctive seasonal introductions at this time of year. The retailer might just have outdone themselves with the introduction of a box of chocolates with a difference. The box containing the After Dinner Mint Chocolate Collection effectively doubles up as a mini table. It has apparently been designed to make sharing easier and no more leaning down to choose your next chocolate. Is might just be me but this would also be perfect for eating them in bed! Is this the standard for all chocolate boxes for the future? Time will tell. M&S After Dinner Mint Chocolate Collection is available in M&S stores as well as online via Ocado for £12. See also Roulette wheel chocolate box design is no gamble.

Watch our latest ThePackhub Expert Interview



CEO Neil Cashman discusses Snapsil’s range of easy to use packaging innovations for the pharmaceutical and medical markets. You can watch here. 

Packaging question of the week

With vaccines on the horizon, when do you anticipate that you will be attending face-to-face events, conferences and exhibitions again?  Vote and comment now. 

Last time: 55% are recycling more at home in 2020.

Please visit ThePackHub or call us on +44(0)118 963 9990 to find out more about the range of packaging innovation services we offer. We’ve delivered projects for a number of brand owner, retailer and packaging suppliers.

Until next time. Happy innovating.

ThePackHub Ltd 3 Redlands Court, Chapel Lane, Shotteswell, Banbury, OX17 1JB . Tel: 0118 963 9990 . Email us >