March – Five New Packaging Innovations

On the last day of the month our ‘traditional’ overview of packaging ideas and innovations. We do this time the northern countries of Europe, France and some simple but brilliant idea for craft beer from New York. Here we go.

From Denmark – Salad bowl with “bridge” for topping
With reference to my previous article “The Mini-World of Healthy Snacks” and the comment of one of my readers that the design of the packages were not spectacular and just the same old smoothie shakers, I start this monthly overview with a salad bowl with “bridge” for topping from Faerchplast in Denmark.
These trays, made from APET Clear, are especially suitable for fresh cut salads and have a insert ‘bridging’ both sides of the tray, in which the toppings can be stored.

Take a look at the neatly structured lid of the bowl, where a fork, as convenience to the consumer, sits inside the bowl at the underside of the lid.

From Norway – Adjustable mayonnaise cap
Norwegian food company O. Kavli AS in Bergen, introduced its mayonnaise on the Norwegian market in the past, but wasn’t successful. The company, however, thought that the time was ripe to challenge the market again and looked for a solution to stand out from the competition. Consumer surveys made it clear that the challenge lay in the choice of packaging.

The new transparent tube is made of a flexible material, which always returns to its original shape after the product has been squeezed. The cap has a dispenser, which can rotate over three openings pinched in the top, so the consumer can choose any amount he wants to dose.
The patented cap, awarded the Sial d’Or 2010, is the result of a collaboration between Strømme Throndsen Design and Edge Consultants, and is a novelty on the Norwegian market.

From Sweden – Natural toothpaste comes in biodegradable tube
What is said to be the first truly biodegradable toothpaste tube has been launched for Prabhupada brand toothpaste from Swedish toothpaste maker AllVeggie. AllVeggie produces a toothpaste product made from natural substances that is Fair Trade-certified. Consequently the company needed an overall environmentally friendly solution.

The tube is manufactured by Tectubes AB in Sweden, which injection-moulds, extrudes, and prints the various parts. According to the company, the tube itself stands out due to its excellent mechanical properties. All of the raw materials used for the package are biodegradable and are supplied by German company FKuR.
FKuR states that “This development shows the versatility of biopolymers and how far biopolymers have progressed with respect to processability and final characteristics”.

From France – The famous Choucroute as box meal
Our modern lifestyle, with people constantly on the move and expecting flexibility and practical solutions, has given rise to completely new consumer patterns. For many consumers, it is important that their meals can be prepared and consumed without unnecessary bother, and they expect food producers to make the entire process as straightforward as possible.
In 2010, the French market has seen the emergence of a brand new trend: Boxes with ready meals which are easy to prepare and which do not even require a plate for serving. However most ready meals contain pasta, and with the French being a culinary lot, consumers are anxious for a wider selection of everyday dishes.
Stoeffler located in Obernai in the French Alsace, home to many a culinary recipe, decided to launch its bestseller (Choucroute) in a box to create diversity in the market. The content of the ‘Choucroute’ box resembles the traditional sauerkraut with its cabbage, sausage, bacon and potatoes, but in small pieces so the consumer doesn’t need a knife to eat it.
The 300gr Choucroute packed in a plastic tray, supplied by the Danish company Faerchplast, is enclosed in a cardboard box. The pack includes a fork so the dish is ready to eat after 2 minutes in the microwave.
Even though the plastic tray is hot when removed from the microwave, the consumer won’t burn his fingers as the surrounding cardboard packaging remains cool.

From the USA – Beer in paper bag
Dos Blockos Pale Lager is born from the underground squatting fraternity that came about in New York in the 1990’s. The official press release of Doss Blockos states, that “tough living wasn’t tough when it was what people believed in. It was art and music and party and the beer that developed was bare of anything but the essential taste. The speciality pale malt and cascade hops were used because that’s what was available.

The Doss Blockos still comes in the brown paper bag that everyone knows beer had to be drunk from when people needed to be able to keep the law out of their face. Each one of these has been wrapped in brown paper bags by hand, then pushed into the distinctive hand-constructed six-pack basket.

Well whatever the situation is now, with the wild 90s behind us, it certainly is a craft beer in an exceptional packaging. Original and more eye-catching, than concealing.

Let’s wait and see what we have next month. It looks like a promising month for new packaging designs and innovations.

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2 responses to “March – Five New Packaging Innovations

  1. At first glance, the Danish salad container may appear efficient and convenient in certain situations, such as in connection with a salad bar where the consumer “assembles” a custom salad and can pour in a desired dressing. However, if the salads are sold pre-packaged, how does the “bridge” handle different dressings? Does the store have to provide and refrigerate many “bridges” (where the crouton container now takes up space)? Also, I assume that the bridge is covered with a plastic lid (I can’t tell from the picture), but it does not appear to be really sealed – what happens if the salad bowl falls or turns a bit during transport, will the dressing seep into the croutons or otherwise make a mess? Also, there appears to be a lot of plastic being used here for very little reward. I think I prefer the form-fill-seal methods used in the US. Longer shelf life, easy to handle and store, and less plastic used. Finally, providing a fork with the salad may be convenient, but is it going to be wasteful if I already have a fork from some other food item on my tray. McDonald’s sells wonderfully fresh salads in a simple plastic container. They store a selection of sealed dressings in a fridge and store sealed croutons in a dry location and offer a sealed fork. They all come together at the point of purchase. Not as sexy as the Danish container, but very practical and efficient for both McDonald’s and the consumer.

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