In my previous article we have seen the technological developments in cheese packaging, which don’t enlighten the dull panorama in the supermarket aisles, but without doubt improve the quality and shelf-life of the product.
But I never have understood why quality improvement in packaging material and creativity in structural design (I’m not talking about some colour imprint) can’t go hand in hand. So it’s time to bring some creativity in the cheese packaging to the forefront. Packaging out of the ordinary.
We start with a New Zealand/Russia creation for the Captain John cheese brand. Then we will see a dual-purpose packaging for Galician cheese, the cheese Pencils of the Deli Garage, Bask Etxegarai cheese in metal tins, and from Germany a “Paneer and Mozzarella” packaging.
Captain John Cheese
Galima Akhmetzyanova, a designer from Auckland, New Zealand and Pavla Chuykina, a designer from Moscow, Russia created for the Captain John Cheese brand a packaging for hard cheese (Gouda) with a built-in cheese slicer.
The packaging itself has a wooden base and a domed glass top.
Amelia Roblin comments at trendhunter.com correctly that “it isn’t often that the consumer is afforded the necessary tools to serving a particular food in its own packaging and when implements are provided, they’re often quite poor in quality”.
That doesn’t seem to be the case with the Captain John packaging. The base is made from wood, the dome is from glass and beneath the transparent hood, as protection of the cheese, a threaded bolt with its cutting fans is placed in the centre of the round-shaped product, like an original wheel of cheese.
A turn of the propeller style fans cuts the cheese in the desired slices, ensuring consistent thickness for slices.
The high-quality materials used give the packaging the image that it can be re-used once the original product itself is consumed. This gives the Captain John brand a perfect position to introduce re-fill packages.
Cheese Packaging Doubles as a Cutting Board
Juan Regueiro created a functional packaging for a typical piece of traditional Spanish Galician cheese. The ingenious design isn’t only a nod to the origins of the cheese by printing the paperboard material in serene graphics of grass from the Galician meadows where the majority of this cheese is crafted, but it’s also functional.
The folded paperboard keeps the typically shaped piece of cheese in place and doubles as a cutting board.
The extra-ordinary shaping of the packaging transmits the quality of the product and validates the cheese as the real deal.
The Deli Garage is a German food label of hand-made delicatessen and famous for its strikingly unconventional and sometimes even absurd packaging designs. This time they introduced the pencil cheese product. Although unique and a bit quirky in design, the idea behind it is brilliant.
Cheese Pencils are shaped like oversized pencils, where the “leads” contain three different flavours: truffles, pesto and chilli. With the built-in grating function the consumer can sprinkle flakes of parmesan cheese on his meal.
A scale lists how many calories the portion contains.
The Cheese Pencils are designed by German-based ad agency Kolle Rebbe.
Quite a difference when you decorate your salad or meal with cheese flakes, instead of the grated or milled industrial product.
Cheese in metal tins
France with its abundance of different cheeses, hard as well as soft, is a paradise for the packaging engineer. Here, certainly, the supermarket aisles don’t show any dull panorama of cheese packages.
I selected the metal packaging of Etxegarai from Basque Country. Etxegarai is the crossroads and meeting point of several mountain ranges (Aralar, Aitzgorri, Urbasa, Entzia) and has always been famous for the reputation of its cheeses. Made with raw sheep’s milk the cheese carrying the name of the region, is now packaged in metal preventing air from entering and adapting in each case to the shape of the product, thus protecting it from any aromatic contamination or dryness. Although to fully appreciate its taste, it should be consumed at room temperature, the cheese must always be kept refrigerated, so that only the outside of the packaging condenses the humidity, thus preserving the content of mould and other pollutants.
My last choice comes from Germany.
Paneer and Mozzarella
Mozzarella or high-quality Paneer are offered today in pouches. The brine, in which the cheese “swims”, is discarded at the first opening, so that when only partially consumed storing in the refrigerator by the consumer is without the brine, which has a negative influence on the quality and taste of the cheese.
A group of students from the Fachhochschule Hannover designed a plastic packaging, which is divided into two chambers. When the consumer buys the product, the cheese is stored in brine. To remove the cheese the packaging is rotated 180° and the fluid flows into the second chamber. The cheese can then be removed from the packaging without having to drain it. When only partly used, the cheese can be placed back into its packaging, sealed and after rotating the packaging again the brine will re-immerse the cheese.
The protective brine keeps the cheese fresh longer.
Designers: Florian Constabel, Anna-Lena Töppe, Palak Gupta, Pinakesh De
So that was my collection of interesting cheese packaging. Let’s see that some ideas are able to activate the creativity of the cheese market.