Welcome back to ThePackHub Innovation Zone – the packaging industry’s best resource for tracking all the latest innovative packaging solutions.
We monitor closely the global packaging market so that you can keep up to speed with all the latest packaging innovations. If you’re a supplier and have an innovative packaging example that you would like included, please let us know.
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Paper-based pet food pack reduces carbon footprint
Mondi’s has a commitment to create packaging that is sustainable by design by “using paper where possible, plastic where useful”. The leading packaging supplier has helped German dog food company Interquell introduce a new pack format for their Goood organic pet food brand. The business is using packaging and paper specialists Mondi’s paper-based FlexiBag solution. This reduced-plastic offering is made from renewable materials that helps to reduce CO2 footprint. Two new paper-based bags will be launched for the German pet food company and promises to deliver consumer convenience as well as sustainability benefits. The paper-based bags have a plastic barrier and reduce the overall amount of plastic used while still ensuring product protection. Mondi uses up to 50% renewable resources to produce the re-closable paper-based bags. The new packaging is now on the German retailers shelves. Interquell also supports a One Earth – One Ocean environmental scheme which sees the removal of 10kg of plastic from the oceans for every 10kg of dry food produced. See also Dog food packaging switches from plastic to paper-based solution.
According to Grand View Research, the global pet food packaging market size was estimated at $11.41 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% to 2025.
The FlexiBag is suitable for a large number of applications including dry food products, pet food, garden and building industries as well as powdery bulk goods.
Six-pack carrier made from 100% waste paper
Geislinger Kaiser Brewery is the first brewery in Germany to offer its beer in six-pack carriers made from 100% waste paper. The wraparound was developed by Memmingen-based corrugated board specialist HANS KOLB. The beverage industry has previously relied on cardboard packaging using fresh fibres to ensure the greatest possible load-bearing capacity, but that has an environmental impact. Outer packaging made from recycled material has previously not been as stable and is also more expensive to produce. Geislinger Kaiser carried out a larger-scale market test for their Helles brand in a six-pack made of waste paper. The material proved to be stable and packed well. The six-packs stand out on shelf due to their minimalist design of the recycled material.
Technavio’s analysts forecast the global beverage packaging market has the potential to grow by $35.42 billion by 2024.
This innovation has applications in the beverage sector products.
Meal kit brand uses 91% less packaging by weight than average
Fast-casual restaurant chain Just Salad has announced the introduction of a new meal kit offering. Many traditional meal kits have a reputation for using a lot of packaging. However, the Housemade meal kit from Just Salad reports a waste-free packaging offering. It is available via food ordering and delivery platform Grubhub. The Housemade meal kits arrive in curbside recyclable and compostable packaging. The pack labels are water-soluble. Meals are delivered within an hour of ordering, which negates the requirement for using dry ice or other cold storage materials. The Housemade kits start at $10.49 for a single serving. The Housemade kits reported deliver 91% less packaging by weight than a traditional meal kit. Just Salad’s strategy of using its own locations to fulfil orders and delivering those orders within an hour removes a lot of the challenges associated with excessive packaging. Just Salad has also introduced a reusable packaging solution: Reusable bowl programme saves 34 tonnes of plastic a year.
The global meal kit delivery service market is expected to reach $19.92 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 12.8%, according to a new report by Grand View Research. A Univeristy of Texas study of 50 meal kit services found meal kits reduce food waste by 27% on average versus grocery-bought meals and decrease food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 45%.
This innovation has applications for the fast-growing meal kit / fresh food delivery in the Food sector.
Fruit and vegetable range switches to compostable format
UK online organic retailer Riverford has worked with Normanton, Yorkshire-based flexible packaging specialists Parkside on the introduction of home compostable packs for its fruit and vegetable packaging. The leading recipe box company will use Parkside’s established compostable Park2Nature product, made from plant fibre. Park2Nature is a TUV accredited compostable range of flexible packaging laminates that have been developed over the last 10 years. The Innovation Zone has tracked several launches. The TUV accreditation confirms that it will breakdown in home composting conditions with no negative impact on the environment or creation of any eco-toxicity. Riverford claims that it currently uses 82% less plastic in its food packaging compared to mainstream UK supermarkets. The business made a strategic decision to ensure that all their fruit and vegetable produce will now be available in home compostable packaging.
Founded in 1872, TÜV Austria is an independent, international company with operations in more than 20 countries. Packaging featuring the OK compost Industrial label are guaranteed as biodegradable in an industrial composting plant and applies to all components, inks and additives. The reference point for the certification programme is the EN 13432: 2000 standard.
This is another effective compostable packaging development from Parkside’s established Park2Nature portfolio. It is probable that Riverford’s customer base is more motivated as well as capable of home composting their packaging than the average UK consumer
This has opportunities for Food sector products.
Shrink wrap removed from own brand fizzy drinks
Retailer Aldi is on track to have all their own-brand product packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of 2025. The UK’s fifth-largest supermarket has recently revealed plans to remove shrink wrap from multipacks for their own-brand cola, lemonade and tropical fruit fizzy drinks as well as across their beer and cider brands. The supermarket will use FSC-certified cardboard and estimates that the initial switch will save over 90 tonnes of plastic each year. It is claimed that Aldi is the first UK retailer to stop using plastic shrink-wrapping on its own-label multipack soft drink cans and is part of a wider movement that is seeing plastic removed from multipack secondary packaging and replaced with paper-based alternatives. In some cases, multipacks have been withdrawn from sale in preference to the selling of multiple combinations of single units. The change to 100% recyclable, FSC-certified cardboard will mean that nearly 11 million Aldi 330ml own-label packs will switch to packaging that’s widely recyclable throughout the UK. The complete roll-out to include all own-brand beer and cider products is estimated to save over 150 tonnes of plastic annually. The changes help to contribute to the retailer’s mission to halve its plastic packaging footprint by 2025.
Technavio’s analysts forecast the global beverage packaging market has the potential to grow by $35.42 billion by 2024.
The replacing of plastic to collate cans is something we will see across the beverage can industry over the next couple of years with brand owners and retailers implementing a variety of different non-plastic solutions.
This could be applied to a range of Beverage sector products.
Reusable cups enabled with RFID chips to enable easy management
The mass use of disposable cups continues to be a big problem that creates a lot of waste. Belgian company Goodless aims to change matters with the introduction of reusable cups that contain an RFID chip to give each cup a unique identity. This allows the cups made from PP to be linked to personal accounts for easy electronic payment. A Smart Cup is placed on a mat to activate the integrated chip, which then links the cup’s chip to the customer’s account. A smart bin serves as a deposit machine after the drink has been consumed when the customer is charged for their drink, along with a deposit for the Smart Cup. The customer can then place the empty cup in the smart bin. offers automatic stacking and a personal dishwashing service reducing the requirement for staff. The Smart Cup system is also said to reduce long queues. The software is able to track various consumer insights to provide information on the number and type of drinks consumed. Companies and events can rent unbranded cups or get branded cups for free. Goodless has so far worked with companies such as Unilever, Hello Bank, klj and StuBruand. See also RFID tags help track reusable drink containers.
According to Acumen Research and Consulting, the beverage packaging market size is poised to reach over $190 Bn by 2026 and growing at a CAGR of around 5.2% during the forecast period to 2026.
This has further opportunities for Beverage sector products.
Recyclable and biodegradable cooler alternative to Styrofoam
Leading provider of corrugated packaging, DS Smith is incorporating its Greencoat technology to deliver an alternative to Styrofoam for cooler boxes. It has helped Brrr Box deliver a first commercialisation of their cooler alternative. DS Smith worked with Vig Pak to develop the Brrr Box solution. The patented and 100% recyclable, biodegradable cooler uses DS Smith’s proprietary Greencoat corrugated moisture-resistant and FDA food contact-safe material as an alternative to Styrofoam. Greencoat is biodegradable and made of a renewable fibre that reduces waste to landfills and carbon emissions. Brrr Box is shipped as well as displayed flat, so that significantly more stock can be utilised in a much smaller overall space. It is reported that the Brrr Box opens and closes with one hand and assembles in just five seconds. It can incorporate 12 x 350ml drinks combined with 4.5kg of ice. It can keep contents cold for up to eight hours. Greencoat uses a patented process applied in-house to provide durability and long-lasting moisture protection as well as temperature resistance.
London headquartered DS Smith is a leading provider of corrugated packaging worldwide, supported by recycling and papermaking operations. DS Smith focuses on creating innovative sustainable packaging solutions in 34 countries employing around 30,000 people. Its history can be traced back to the box-making businesses started in the 1940s by the Smith family.
Insulation packaging has traditionally been challenging from a sustainability point of view so this solution that improves the format’s environmental credentials is welcomed. The Innovation Zone has also tracked a similar innovation. See 100% recyclable insulated pack has good sustainability credentials.
This innovation primarily has opportunities for applications in Food and Beverage sectors.
Temperature-sensitive label uses touch to determine juice expiration
A new temperature-sensitive label has made further developments in the pursuit of reducing food waste. The Mimica Touch solution is an indicator that aims to provide more accurate expiration guidance. The business estimates that the addition of just two days of shelf life could result in 50% less retail and 63% less home waste. Existing expiry dates are calculated based on a “worst-case scenario”. Mimica Touch comprises a bumpy plastic base with a film layer that encases the gel in the middle. The gel reacts at the same rate that food spoils and starts to liquefy to create bumps. A bumpy label means that the food is spoiled. The development team added a flat comparison area so that consumer could tell what the bumps should feel like. The first product that Mimica will be trialling will be used on juice bottles. The focus will be on the waste from bottles included in meal deals and bigger packs that a family might use over a few days. The label will be integrated with a consumer-activated cap in order to ascertain when the bottles have been opened. The vision is to be the global mark for freshness on all type of perishable products.
It has been estimated by the Food and Agricultural Organization that 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted globally each year. However, in markets like the UK, The First Mile estimate that around 60% of that wasted food is still safe to consume.
This innovation has potential use for the Food sector.
Make-up brand switches to refillable format
The beauty brand of British perfume brand Jo Malone, Jo Loves has adopted a refillable alternative for their Fragrance Paintbrush. Beauty consumers can now purchase refillable cartridges carrying the fragranced gel for their on-the-go scent applicator. The Jo Loves team have also redesigned the outer casing of its Fragrance Paintbrush with a slimmer design, which uses less packaging overall. Jo Loves first introduced its market-first paintbrush range in 2017 after a development process that took three years. The product was a gamechanger in the way consumers apply their scents. The refillable cartridges are available for all seven of the product’s scents and retail for £35 for four cartridges. See also Refillable inner case slots into place to reduce packaging waste.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the cosmetic packaging market was valued at $26.29 billion in 2019, and it is expected to reach $2.86 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 3.7% during the period to 2025.
There is a significant increase in refillable/reusable packaging usage with most brands and retailers testing the format. This is another good example with an integrated and purpose-built unit to incorporate refills.
This has additional applications for the Health & Beauty sector.
Recyclable fibre-based cup is also microwavable
Kraft Heinz’s aims to achieve responsible and sustainable practices includes a commitment to make all of their packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Their Kraft Mac & Cheese brand in the US market is testing its first recyclable fibre-based microwavable cup a first for the brand. A new Kraft Mac & Cheese Shapes variety will incorporate the new cup and design. The fibre-based cup is microwave safe. Direct print technology has been utilised to ensure the elimination of a plastic label, which not only reduces packaging material use but makes the solution easier to recycle. The objective of the design change is to reduce plastic use as well as being both recyclable and industrially compostable. Kraft is working with outside partners to certify and incorporate the correct recycling label to guide consumers on what to do with the packaging post-use. See also Dual-ovenable moulded fibre bowls made from sugarcane.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the sustainable packaging market was worth $224.92 billion in 2018 and is expected to be $297 billion in 2024 to register a CAGR of 5.7% over the forecast period to 2024.
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