China Food

Universal sleeve, low carbon carton, visual recycling wine bottle… Sustainability and interactivity blow a new wind in packaging design | packaging outpost

good looking, easy to use, sustainable… The secret of packaging innovation is actually very simple!

Text: Kelly Wang   

Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

In the past few months, the speed of launching new products in China has been dizzying. In addition to focusing on subdivided groups and scenes, focusing on various natural and healthy ingredients and functional demands, the most attractive is all kinds of packaging full of national fashion, secondary elements and fashion trend elements. Many brands have launched new flavors and new packaging through joint names, such as Jue Wei duck neck and redesign Little Red duck DIY shake cup; time extract × The joint brand gift box “fun tune box” on the shelf in tea; the daily black Qiao joint brand well-known game IP Pac Man launched a fun limited DIY joint brand blind box.
In addition, promoting the concept of sustainability and highlighting the characteristics of environmental protection is also an important feature of new product packaging. Nestle and Starbucks launched super high-quality instant coffee with star cup, which is packaged with 100% recyclable materials to encourage every consumer to implement the concept of green environmental protection into concrete action. At the same time, flying snow mineral water produced by Swire Cola Hong Kong in Hong Kong, China (Bonagua) also launched label free packaging (i.e. no plastic film or paper printing of brand logo and related product information), which is completely made of 100% recyclable RPET plastic, in order to achieve higher recycling efficiency and achieve the goal of sustainable development.
Source: Bonagua official website
Trendy play has become the main theme of current packaging design. Brands seem to follow a particularly consistent pace: expand the fun of products and improve the interaction with consumers with independent DIY. At first glance, such momentum can indeed obtain certain traffic attention in the short term. However, from the perspective of long-term development, brands should pay more attention to humanistic culture, such as highlighting the sense of experience given by products And comfort, adopt sustainable packaging, set emission reduction targets for enterprises, and take them as product design criteria.
Driven by consumption upgrading, more and more brands are beginning to realize this consumption demand and innovation trend. Therefore, foodaily sees that the enthusiasm of brands to participate in various packaging design and sustainable innovation awards is increasing, and excellent products with good appearance and performance are also everywhere.
Recently, the British Packaging Awards with good reputation and high industry recognition were announced. Among the 28 awards, 15 awards are packaging products. They not only have excellent appearance and ease of use, but also pay great attention to the application of innovative technologies to ensure the recyclability and carbon reduction performance of materials. According to different materials and interactive experience with consumers, foodaily will The 11 types of food and beverage packaging in China are divided into three concept groups. From them, let’s see how packaging designers and R & D engineers make “performance and appearance fly together” in Europe, where the concept of sustainability has long been deeply rooted in the hearts of the people?
Circular economy is booming,
Cardboard innovation has gradually become a pastry
Smithers Pira, an authority on the supply chain of the global packaging, paper and printing industry, in the future of packaging: long term strategic forecast to 2028 The article points out that due to people’s increasing preference for fiber packaging and the attention to the circular economy model, the sales of paperboard, corrugated board, folding carton and liquid packaging board are expected to grow at the fastest rate in the next five years. Among this year’s British Packaging Awards, all three awards have been awarded to paperboard food innovative packaging, and its prospect and trend can be seen.
The best new concept award was won by rezorce, an innovative product of zotefoams, a leader in the production of molecular materials technology. This is a recyclable packaging made of a single material with barrier performance. It is worthy of being the first feasible alternative to the current composite paper packaging from the perspective of function and aesthetics. Of course, the biggest highlight is that compared with the current traditional packaging For liquid packaging carton (LPB), the energy required for its production, filling and transportation has been reduced by 5 times, and the water resources required have been reduced by 11 times; coupled with its recycling, if it is put into practical use, the possibility of global warming will be reduced by 50% on the whole.
In fact, the award recognizes zotefoams’ innovation in recyclable beverage carton materials. At present, about 300 billion beverage cartons are used worldwide every year. Due to the high cost and complexity of the recycling process, these composites can only be recycled “down” – eventually burned or sent to landfill.
It is reported that zotefoams is currently planning to commercialize the product. If nothing unexpected, the market is expected to usher in the first batch of finished products of rezorce beverage cartons at the beginning of next year.

Source: zotefoams official website
In addition to professional technology companies practicing the concept of sustainability, kafheinz, as an industry giant, has also been paying close attention to “carbon neutralization”.
As early as 2016, kraft Heinz launched the anytime! Anywhere! Series vertical packaging salad dressing of “making salad close to life”. The soft bag packaging not only has a good grip, but also the patented four layer foil base material provides close protection and is seamlessly compatible with the filling equipment.
This year, Heinz also adheres to the concept of environmental protection and extends its vision to the cardboard sleeve universal box. According to Heinz’s official website, the PEFC certified paper used in the new environmental protection sleeve comes from renewable and sustainably managed forests. After optimization, it will use 50% less materials than the fully closed packaging box and 10% less design than the traditional paperboard sleeve.
Different from the general sleeve, Heinz innovatively uses the natural folding of paperboard to make the sleeve rebound and “lock” to the edge of the can. This design can remove the use of glue, adhesive or any additional paperboard materials. It does not need machine heating to shrink the plastic film around the can, but directly transport it through the pallet to improve the efficiency of the supply chain. This highly efficient recycling performance also directly won this year’s annual cardboard packaging award.
The sleeve was launched this autumn, but it is limited to all canned products and major retailers of Heinz in the UK. Presumably in the near future, such a convenient, lightweight and environmentally friendly product will welcome its presence in China after market inspection.
Source: Heinz official website
Also working on “cardboard”, there is the mergulo plant-based butter plastic box, the winner of the British Packaging Award “best packaging of a new product”.
The packaging of this new product is a fiber-based packaging jointly developed by the start-up company merculo and graphic packaging. It is made of oil-proof plate without polyethylene. At the same time, it has a unique hinge cover, which is convenient for customers to open and access directly, from the refrigerator to the dining table, without the intermediate step of filling.
Because of the particularity of the product, butter packaging is mainly to protect its aroma, organization, appearance, moisture and color. It has air tightness and can reduce butter oxidation and oil resistance. Therefore, oil proof paper, aluminized paper or PP material are usually used. However, due to the different characteristics of various materials, the problems of compatibility and synergy are also prominent, and the aspect of sustainable development needs to be improved. This plant-based packaging balances protection while reducing plastic content without metal foil. According to the guidelines of packaging recycling label (oprl), it can realize normal and extensive recycling in the paper stream in the UK, so as to realize green recycling.
Source: merculo official website
Mergulo is a company specializing in plant-based butter. Its founder Mairi Hillary is a chef from ballymaloe, a famous food cooking school. Her working experience in the restaurant makes her constantly hear and find the voice of customers: for the purpose of health or environmental protection, more and more customers begin to be dissatisfied with the prevailing animal butter in the market. Therefore, Hillary noticed the gap in the market and made this plant-based butter with rich and unique cream flavor by mixing ground cashew nuts and silky coconut oil, so as to break the myth that plant substitutes lack flavor and are extremely unhealthy.
At present, almost all vegetable butter on the market is made by partially hydrogenating vegetable oil and adding artificial spices to imitate the taste of natural animal butter. Such artificial substitutes not only occupy the price advantage, but also are resistant to storage and transportation. They are frequently used in cakes, ice cream, bread and other foods. But in fact, compared with natural animal butter, margarine has a stiff taste. After hydrogenation, it will produce trans fatty acids that are strongly harmful to human health. It is facing great challenges in taste and health.
With the gradual enhancement of consumers’ health awareness and the appeal of many countries to reduce the use of vegetable butter, mergulo vegetable butter, which has no high fat of animal butter but follows its good taste, is expected to be warmly sought after by the people.
Source: pixabay
All roads lead to Rome,
Other ways can also be “sustainable”
As we all know, in addition to cardboard, metal and plastic are the most used materials in food packaging. There is no doubt about the renewable nature of paperboard and metal, and the research on plastic recycling has gradually deepened in recent years, which has let people see the dawn of complete regeneration. For the past 20 years, Berrington spring has been using PET and glass bottles to contain mineral water. Seeing that the market is turning “green” rapidly and other companies are gradually using metal cans or cartons to pack drinking water, Berrington spring decided to develop a packaging bottle re: water integrating “environmental protection + attracting consumers + commercial feasibility”.
This product, which won the annual metal packaging award, has undergone three years of research and development. On the basis of retaining the most popular 28mm neck bottle in the UK, it imitates the design of tecnocap cosmetic bottle body to make it suitable for bottled water; At the same time, adjust the formed parts to facilitate the addition of rolling top and food grade BPA Ni liner. Compared with ordinary aluminum cans, re: water realizes 100% recycling, which is also the first product in the world to completely recycle aluminum bottles, and the energy required to manufacture this bottle is 95% less than that of raw aluminum.
Source: Re: water official website
Also enthusiastic about sustainable development are small giants, a snack brand that won this year’s annual brand project award.
Fried bamboo shoot insects, roasted crickets, fried bees… These are delicious high protein foods that are no wonder for Chinese people who eat brain flowers and eat rabbit heads, but they are very challenging foods for westerners. The brand deliberately takes strangeness as its selling point, and takes great pains to turn “disgusting” into “delicious” through subversive bright colors and packaging filled with super strange but lovely crickets, so as to encourage the west to participate in the consumption of “sustainable snacks”.
However, western people are still skeptical and eager to try this special product. After all, such a “delicious biscuit” made of cricket powder is definitely a new thing in the local area. However, small giants is very calm about this. They list the five benefits of eating insects one by one on their official website, and are determined to trigger an exciting food revolution, bring consumers a new experience and contribute to the repair of the earth.
Source: small giants official website
At last year’s British packaging award, the jury who liked the “refreshing two-piece set” also focused on the containers containing caffeine and alcohol.
Absolut vodka and Ardagh group have jointly launched a limited edition “absolut recycled” vodka bottle, which is a completely original “visual recycled” bottle – made of countless “collages” of recyclable broken glass. To complete such a design, the pan European design team needs to adopt reverse engineering on Packaging: first digitally scan the sculpture into the modeling system, and then reconstruct the design so that it can work smoothly in production. After such digital scanning and virtual engraving technology operation, the final 3D shape is created. For practical reasons, Absolut randomly selects recyclable bottles when selecting “broken glass” raw materials. In fact, this is also a direct epitome of circular economy, emphasizing the necessity of recycling and reusing existing resources. Because of its unique design concept and appearance, it also won the annual glass award of last year’s packaging award, which is well deserved.
Image source:
As a long-term brand partner of CAF é direct, family and friends are also required to conceive and design a wild card sleeve serving “sustainable + younger + high-end” coffee, from which cafedirect London fields restaurant, the winner of the 2020 brand project of year award, was born. Because the brand sets its target consumption scene near London’s historic Broadway market – a paradise for coffee lovers and young businessmen. Therefore, inspired by this, this card sleeve also adopts modern pastel to vividly show the dynamic and fashionable scenes such as local handmade breweries, bakeries and cafes, and named the series “London field baking workshop”.
Source: caf é direct official website
In this regard, three and a half meals of domestic coffee have already taken the lead. In today’s highly competitive coffee track, we can see it step by step to break the siege and successfully break the game: three and a half meals focused on young coffee lovers, played the slogan of “drinking coffee at home / in the office / on business / travel” and launched “refined instant coffee”; At the same time, the “return plan” is also held in the second quarter of the year to recycle three and a half special small cups and exchange them around, so as to lead consumers to explore more lifestyles.
Source: three and a half official account
There are three and a half proofs before, and then caf é direct trial method. Domestic enterprises may also follow the three in one scheme of “product + brand + concept” to explore more possibilities and harvest the hearts of a large number of consumers while exporting their own brand culture.
Environmental protection should be advocated,
Paying attention to consumers remains a top priority
At present, environmental protection is a topic that needs continuous attention in the world, but solving the pain points of consumers still occupies the primary appeal of the brand – the brand that pays attention to the needs of consumers is a good brand.
Proampac rap, a Chicago City pizza packaging supplier, focused on the real sense of use of customers in the contemporary fast-paced consumption scene and applied the existing technology to the packaging of ready to eat food. Therefore, Chicago City pizza ¼ Slice handrap adapts. The design of this package developed in cooperation with industry leaders Dr oetker and nuttalls is not only ergonomic, but also can preserve the pizza taste at the best temperature for up to 3 hours without affecting the product quality, which greatly solves the consumer demand of “take it as you go”, which also makes it successfully win this year’s annual customer convenience award.
Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is coming. Winter festival has always been an element of European and American brands in packaging design. Countdown Calendar packaging with the theme of greeting Christmas and new year is common in foodaily’s reports.
The “Brilliantly British” Countdown Calendar developed by Penhaligon’s, the British perfume company, is the leader in this design, and is also the winner of the British Packaging Awards Limited Edition this year. The package adopts the customized colors of penhaligon brand, combined with four kinds of color printing, hot stamping and embossing, showing the festive scene of a van with penhaligon logo transporting fragrant gifts on the city streets under the escort of Coldstream guards. More carefully, there are different aromatic delicacies hidden behind 24 doors on the car, coupled with a detachable British flag bow, which is enough to make this limited edition “flavor food car” an “absolute necessity” for fans of the brand. Fully mobilize customers’ multiple senses such as vision, hearing and smell, which is not only the most key factor for the packaging to impress the judges, but also the supreme concept of packaging design.
Source: penhaligon official website
Also amazing to customers is the limited edition mixed beer gift box for eighth birthday delivered by boxmart for brewer tiny rebel, the winner of corrugated: online retail and consumer goods award last year. There are four compartments in the box, which are respectively placed with eight kinds of beer of different specifications and tastes. Coupled with the personalized painting style, it shows the unique selling points of the brand.
Due to its unusual design, this limited edition gift box was a great success: 5000 copies were pre sold before the official release of the product, and the client inventory was sold out in just a few weeks. The customer of this design project, brewer tiny rebel, was also surprised by such data and commented: “so far, this is our most successful birthday packaging. We saw a large number of fans and new fans. They were stunned at every stage of packaging and opening experience.”
  Image source:
In 2020, the mental promotional, decorative & general line award was awarded to Fisher gin, a high-end gin. This is a decorative product created on metal tin, and it is also the result of multi enterprise cooperation – Fisher and crown aerosols & promotional packaging Europe jointly launched this “sea distilled gin”, and directly presented the seaside origin and brand logo on the package, showing the truth and image at a glance. In fact, in the initial design, Fisher and crown reached a consensus: starting from the concept of white tin and the appearance of fishing net; Finally, after testing different concepts and combinations, a fine embossing technology was selected. The “fishing net” was directly embedded on the whole tin shell, and then the seal was printed on the top and bottom, so as to creatively complete the amazing metal printing, revealing the temperament of this high-end pine wine from a seaside town.
Source: Fisher gin official website
The British packaging award is a golden award in the British packaging industry. At the end of each year, experts from major brands, retailers, trade institutions and non-governmental organizations (including Tesco, M & S, Nestl é, Mars, bcmpa and WWF) gather in London, UK, to focus on reviewing all kinds of entries from many categories of manufacturers, developers, designers, brands and retailers. The award selected by such a strong lineup is undoubtedly the “extraordinary support” for the participating products.
Throughout the award-winning works of the British Packaging Award in the past two years, plant-based and recyclability are the biggest trend, and improving convenience and interactivity is also a highlight. On the premise of meeting the general trend of sustainable and low-carbon society, how to integrate product design with brand concept and consumption experience has made the best interpretation of the award-winning products.
Packaging innovation has unlimited vitality. The improvement of packaging material performance and packaging technology is the source of vitality. The subtle insight into consumer demands and the macro grasp of social culture are the yardstick to reflect the height of design. Every time the packaging outpost writes an article, foodaily hopes that through excellent design cases, it can provide reference and learning materials for the domestic food industry, and fundamentally improve the industry’s understanding of packaging design and product innovation.
We look forward to more packaging works with international standards to add more moving colors to the tide of new consumer brands!
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