1. Reduced packaging
Not only does this reduce waste, it also reduces production costs and improves the overall resource efficiency of the packaging. For example, RAP’s Modified Atmosphere Sandwich Wedge is constructed from lightweight board and laminate film, making it 20% lighter than standard equivalents. To achieve this, look for manufacturers that can do the design as well the production. In this manner everyone can collaborate from the beginning to ensure that packaging addresses specific challenges. Quite often, we’ll work with a client from the concept stage of a new product, providing insight into how shelf life can be increased, which materials will best complement the offering, and how costs can be reduced.
2. Improved freshness
This translates to a better experience for the consumer and a longer shelf life. An extended shelf life results in reduced food waste, as it allows for longer supply chains and display time on-shelf without the food going out of date. As a result, it reduces retailers waste.
Innovations in this regard include hermetically sealing the pack during filling, which ensures moisture is sealed in and air is sealed out. This in itself can improve the texture and taste of the product. For example, we can modify the atmosphere inside the pack to achieve less than 1% residual oxygen, further slowing product changes for a potential extended shelf life of up to 28 days depending on ingredients.
Look for packaging manufacturers that can do pack testing and trials in house. We use gas analysis to measure oxygen levels so as to determine shelf life.
3. Wide recyclability
The more recyclable the better. Newer cartonboard packaging can be more widely recycled, helping to ease any consumer environmental concerns. Of note, RAP uses all FSC certified boards.
4. Strong consumer appeal
Retailers can firmly differentiate themselves in the market by taking advantage of the excellent promotional opportunities that are available, e.g. ‘Fresher for longer’. In addition, this helps educate customers about the vital function packaging plays in reducing food waste. Both of these opportunities help to influence consumer choice and deliver emotional and functional benefits.
Prototypes are extremely useful in this regard, because you can test the product as if you were a consumer. Unusually for our industry, we’re then able to produce functioning mock-ups that demonstrate our solution in three dimensions. Prototypes are crafted from the same materials used in full-scale manufacturing, providing the complete experience. This process is often pivotal in getting a new product off the ground and reducing the risk involved in launching it.
Download our free guide on product innovation to learn more.
Packaging the future: A guide to helping you meet your Courtauld Commitment 3 targets
Posted by Tod Hunter, RAP Technical Process Manager, Friday 14 February