Nevada-based onion producer Peri & Sons Farms is rolling out its paper and bamboo Earthpack bag to grocery shelves across the United States. Earthpack is certified home and industrially compostable, and biodegradable, meeting the ultimate aerobic biodegradability in compost. The bag is a combination of paper and bamboo mesh, giving the customer a large window that offers ample product visibility. Peri & Sons is using the Earthpack to pack all varieties of its USDA Certified onions, introducing it to major retailers around the nation. The bag displays well in store, and its functional, light-weight design enhances freshness, shelf-life, and safety, all while reducing the impact on the planet. The company goes on to say that this pack runs well on automatic equipment at speeds comparable to other packages, and other packers are testing this solution for different commodities.
This is one of many new bio-material developments coming to our attention particularly prevalent in the fruit and vegetable sector.
This has applications for Food sector products.
Tito’s, an American vodka brand, has launched ‘Tito’s in a Can’, a limited edition empty refillable can to allow consumers to make their own canned cocktails and flavoured hard seltzers (soda waters). The 16oz (473ml), double-steel-walled, insulated, refillable can comes with a spill-proof, screw-on lid. A selection of recipes for consumers to try is printed on the reverse of the can. Tito’s says that they developed Tito’s in a Can so that consumers can make their own, better-quality seltzers, fresh ones, that are as strong or carbonated or citrusy as they want. A 30-second campaign video has been released to accompany the launch. Tito’s in a Can can be purchased online at www.titosinacan.com or at their retail store in Austin, Texas. Each can retails for US$20 (£16.55) with all net proceeds going to the customer’s choice of a non-profit that the brand has teamed up with.
$20 is a lot of money for what is an empty can despite it being reusable.
The format also has applications for Beverage sector products.
Lactalis Nestlé has collaborated with Spanish petrochemical company Repsol to introduce recycled PE (polyethylene) to its chilled dairy bottles. The Repsol Reciclex range uses cutting-edge technologies to recycle plastic waste that cannot be mechanically recycled for use in food containers. Repsol’s circular materials have the ISCC PLUS certification that ensures their traceability. The contents are certified according to the ISCC Plus mass balance approach. Since June, Lactalis Nestlé, the yoghurt and dairy dessert division of the Lactalis Group, has been using recycled plastic in their PE bottles. The Nestlé Kefir range’s bottles for Spain and Portugal and the Yoggi brand’s drinking yoghurt bottles – marketed in Portugal and produced in Guadalajara, Spain – contain 30% and 10% recycled material, respectively. Lactalis Nestlé says that being able to use recycled plastic to manufacture their bottles represents an important step on the way to achieving circularity.
This use of recycled content for food applications continues to increase in prevalence.
This has applications in the Food sector.
A Spanish producer of packaged vegetables has moved to a two-piece cap for its products in glass jars. Cidacos have worked with Crown Food Europe to move to their Crown Orbit closure, which is said to make jars twice as easy to open as conventional caps. With traditional caps, the filling of jars creates a vacuum that can make opening difficult due to the pressures required to release the lid. This makes it difficult for some older people, many of whom have less dexterity. In Europe, it has been reported that consumers over 60 years of age are expected to reach 34.1% of the population by 2060. The Orbit closure has a floating central panel vacuum-sealed to the bottle and an outer ring that provides greater protection to the product and acts as an opening and closing device. A simple twist loosens the ring and breaks the seal of the lining compound without resistance.
The Orbit innovation from Crown has arguably never reached its full potential with take up not the new standard in the industry so this initiative is welcomed.
This has applications mainly in the Food sector products.
The world’s largest dedicated online supermarket, Ocado, has announced that it has revamped its packaging for its sandwich platters. The move is designed to limit waste and prevent damage. Ocado says that the new, fully recyclable design improves efficiency, enhances product protection and helps maintain their market-leading level of food waste at just 0.6%. The format consists of a tray and lid in 100% post-consumer recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and an FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) approved board sleeve. Ocado says that all components are recyclable. Following extensive trials, the number of lids and trays has been rationalised to minimise cost and maximum flexibility and efficiency. The range uses two bases and two lids to accommodate all seven products in the range from classic to finger sandwiches and wraps. The tight fit of the base and lid eliminates the need for tamper evident labels, while also reducing the chances of the product drying out.
This change is very much aligned to Ocado’s drive to reduce food waste as well as deliver recyclable and recycled content packaging.
This has opportunities for Food sector products.
Global packaging manufacturer Mondi has collaborated with Italian converter and packaging producer Fiorini to develop a new paper packaging solution for Antico Pastificio Umbro, an Italian manufacturer of premium pasta products. The new paper-based packaging is 100% recyclable and features a large biodegradable cellulose window that allows the customer to see the contents. Once the new packaging has been rolled out across the full range of pasta products, it has been estimated that it will remove 20 tonnes of plastic annually. The paper chosen by Mondi and Fiorini International for the new bag is fully recyclable, while still offering the same protective properties as the previous plastic packaging. The pasta has the same shelf life and no issues have been identified through the supply chain. A new closure system sealed with a special food contact hot-melt glue, together with a reinforced patch on the bottom, improves hygiene and ensures easy opening. See also Rice brand switches to paper packaging.
This is one of many paper-based packaging solutions for dry food products like pasta and rice to come to our attention at The Innovation Zone.
This pack’s main application is for Food sector products.
Netherlands-based Just Eat, the online food order and delivery service, has partnered with European football association UEFA to provide biodegradable food packaging at the recent Euro 2022 final. The introduction of biodegradable food packaging is claimed to be a first at a major football match. Just Eat said that the seaweed-coated packs are both recyclable and home-compostable and that they will biodegrade within four to six weeks. Just Eat is working with waste experts Veolia on the trial and aims to ensure that the biodegradable packaging will be separated from other waste and recycling. The biodegradable packs will be sent to an anaerobic digestion plant. UEFA said that they are developing a practical guide to help them achieve zero plastic waste and food waste – within UEFA, across UEFA events and collaboratively across European football.
Biodegradable packaging can work well in a closed environment like a sporting event where the packaging materials can be collected and dealt with appropriately.
This has applications for food service products in the Food sector.
Two Finnish companies have collaborated to produce a striking board-based pack as part of a launch of a new alcohol-free sparkling drink. The packaging was produced by Orapac, and the board was supplied by Metsä Board. Its microflute structure has MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright folding boxboard on its surface. The reverse liner and fluting are MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright white kraftliner. After use, the packaging is easy to recycle in the paper and board recycling bins. The beverage is called Ruusumen, and the artwork for both the bottle and carton are based on a painting by six-time world boxing champion and artist Eva Wahlström. For every product sold, 50 cents (£0.42) will be donated to the Finnish Cancer Foundation. The packaging is open on both the front and the back, forming a frame around the bottle. This also minimises the amount of material needed for the packaging. See also Distinctive board pack for vodka brand aims to get noticed.
This pack will stand out on supermarket shelves in the fight for shoppers’ attention.
Disruptive secondary packaging design innovations like this have a place across Food, Beverage, and sectors.
The Cinedom cinema, based in Cologne, Germany, has announced that they have introduced a compostable nacho bowl, replacing the previous plastic tray. The tray, made from renewable raw materials, was developed together with its partner Papacks, who are also based in the city. By moving to a compostable tray, Cinedom expects to reduce its consumption of plastic by over 1.25 tons a year. The nacho bowl, which is optimally developed for cinema operations, was created with the expertise for the somewhat unique cosmos in cinema operations. The nacho bowl was specially designed so that the ratio of nachos and sauce is optimally balanced, helping to prevent food wastage and ensuring a better balance between the individual components of the cinema snack. Although the patented tray was a joint development, it is available to other potential customers, and can also be supplied with advertising or branding labels.
Compostable packaging like this can work well in a closed environment such as a cinema where the packaging materials can be collected and dealt with appropriately.
This could have applications for products in the Foodservice sector.
A start-up in Israel called WeFill is helping customers to reduce the amount of plastic waste they generate. Subscribers to WeFill can receive, on a scheduled basis, a selection of products such as grains, pasta, tehina (tahini), candy, dried fruit, among others. They are supplied in either glass jars or cloth bags, which are collected on the next delivery, cleaned and sterilised to be used for further shipments. This reusable container-based model can offer two main benefits: somewhat lower prices for the end consumer and a huge amount of reduced waste due to the elimination of single-use packaging for frequently-used grocery staples. WeFill supplies zero-waste goods to customers in the centre of Israel within four days of delivery and to customers in Jerusalem and the northern region every month.
Prefilled refill packs removes a big hurdle regarding consumer convenience. This model where the retailer fills the items themselves in this way is new to the Innovation Zone.
This has applications for products in the Food sector.