Welcome to the PAC Global Leadership Awards Innovation Trends update brought to you in partnership with UK packaging innovation consultancy, ThePackHub. We have hand selected five packaging innovation highlights that we think are deserving of mention and will pique your interest. Look for more of these in the coming weeks!
Single-use plastic packaging has taken a media of hammering of late but consumers’ demand for packaging water on-the-go shows no signs of declining. UK consumption of water drinks rose 7% in 2017 to nearly 4,000 million litres. There have been other packaging material alternatives to PET plastic bottles coming to market. You may have seen Will Smith help launch paper based Just Water in the UK as a high profile example recently. Another potential solution has emerged from non-profit Choose Water, which has created a biodegradable bottle made from recycled paper. The bottle consists of a vacuum-formed paper shell. Water barrier is achieved via a plastic-free waterproof lining. It will degrade in less than six months. The bottle’s lid is made from steel, a material with better recycling rates than plastic that will also biodegrade into iron oxide.
Edible packaging has been on the edges of the sustainable packaging spectrum for some time now. It has garnered increased interest of late with several introductions coming to our attention. Ooho was first on our radar in 2015 and got increased traction when it was awarded one of 11 sustainable initiatives given development funding as part of The New Plastics Economy programme led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The initiative has made further progress with a Lucozade Sport trial that will see edible drinks sachets being used to reduce single-use plastic at sports events. Lucozade Ribena Suntory is undergoing the trial of the seaweed based ‘blobs’ at two running events to gauge the consumer feedback for plastic-free edible alternatives to single-use bottles and pouches. The Skipping Rocks Lab Ooho sachets can be eaten, composted or thrown away in normal household bins. Once discarded, they take up to six weeks to decompose. Lucozade Ribena Suntory has a 2025 target of making 100% of its packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable as part of its participation in the UK Plastic Pact.
Personalisation has been one of the main beneficiaries of the digital print for packaging revolution with several executions that exploit the technology to deliver unique and meaningful pack executions. Coca Cola got the ball rolling with their multinational Share A Coke campaign that showed what could be done with a well-managed campaign. Unilever have also been part of the party with personalised campaigns for Marmite as well as Vaseline. The multinational consumer goods company has again worked with UK leading personalised gifting and fulfilment company Intervino with an introduction of a bath time gift set personalised with a baby’s name for their Baby Dove brand. Shoppers can go online and choose a name to go on 400ml bottles of lotion that also includes a gift box and gift card.
Packaging solutions that genuinely solve a problem and make life easier for consumers will always be well received. This solution from Italy based Smilesys does just that with a new pack that helps to separate mozzarella from the product’s preserving liquid. Usually it can be a tricky task to get the contents out without spilling fluid everywhere. Smilesys’ new ‘Drop ‘n’ Taste’ pack replaces the plastic lid and replaces it with a special laminated PET and PP top film that guarantees easy opening and pouring of the product’s liquid. The pack also has resealing capability to help keep the residual product fresh and hygienic without the need for plastic over-wrapping or decanting to another container. The top film has been specially punched and labelled to create a practical dripping system that allows the user to eliminate excess liquid without splashes or spills. It then allows easy access to the product. The Drop ‘n’ Taste pack also sees a reduction in the amount of plastic used with a reduction in the final volume of the pack.
It’s fair to say that the vast majority of packaging does not take into account whether the user is right or left handed. If anything, a right-handed disposition is the norm with pack openings positioned for easy right handed application. Mondelez’s Oreo brand aims to change that and also get some PR mileage in the process with an initiative that embraces #LeftHandersDay. Their Handed Cookie Pack aims to delight the 10% of the population that struggle through life in a right-handed world. Creative marketing agency 360i helped to bring to market the specially-designed pack that opens from right to left, rather than left to right the convention of regular packs. Beyond #LeftHandersDay, consumers can visit www.lefthandedoreo.com to get the limited-edition packs.