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 four packaging innovation highlights that we think are deserving of mention and will pique your interest. Look for more of these in the coming weeks!
Sensory Packaging for Accessibility
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies has created a packaging campaign designed for children living with autism. The cereal company brand owner has partnered with Autism Speaks to create special touch-and-feel sensory ‘Love Notes’ stickers to help communicate love through touch rather than words. The initiative has been launched to coincide with the back-to-school period. There are four reusable love notes in a range featuring sensorially-rich textures such as fleece, faux fur, satin and velour. Parents and carers need to go online to order their special pack of stickers. Last year, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies partnered with the National Federation of the Blind to create Love Notes written in braille for parents to share with children who are blind. See Braille notes make snack brands more accessible.
PACKAGING INSULATION THAT GROWS!
Researchers from the University of Alaska Anchorage have developed lightweight panels made from mushroom tissue that could act as a packaging insulation material. The team is targeted the insulation for the shipment of frozen fish. Researchers plan to find a viable bio-based replacement for Styrofoam-lined boxes with a goal to compete with Styrofoam in terms of cost and effectiveness. Mushrooms grow quickly into resilient kitin networks that has properties that could be suitable for use as insulation. The panels, treated with a special mixture, take about eight days to grow and dry. Plans to ship a few test kits with frozen fish cradled by the boards, possibly with thermometers and instructions on how to tell them the condition. The panels are in theory edible although the taste is very bitter. A start up called Rhizoform has been launched to help commercialise the technology.
SHAPABLE PAPER TO REPLACE PLASTIC
Swedish paper manufacturer BillerudKorsnäs have made steady progress with their paper-based alternative to other packaging materials FibreForm. See Formable paper alternative to plastic packaging. The business is extending the reach of the solution with a collaboration with Hoffmaster Group owned The Paper Straw Co. The businesses are combining to introduce the first functional U-Bend paper straw made out of paper. The straw is made for use for individual drink cartons such as juice, milk and water. The FibreForm shapable paper material is perfect for this application. The U-Bend paper straw is durable and recyclable. The straw based on materials from sustainably sourced forests is also biodegradable. Aardvark Straws will expand their line of paper straw offerings with the introduction of the U-Bend paper straw for the US market.
ALL-IN-ONE ECOMMERCE PACKAGING
The e-commerce market continues to go from strength to strength with many new packaging developments being introduced to improve functionality, increase sustainability as well as to ensure that the unboxing experience supports brand values. DS Smith continues to dominate in this area and have introduced a new packaging format with the introduction of their all-in-one E@Box solution. It combines product and shipping packaging via a box-in-box system that creates a two stage unpacking experience for consumers. When the two halves are lifted apart, they gradually reveal the inner section. This solution for Foodnewsgermany includes a brightly designed inner box. The box-in-box system helps improve the packing process as the inner and outer pack are connected so can be erected, filled and sealed quickly and easily. It has been designed to ensure that the inner packaging and product inside is protected. An easy open tearing thread helps improve pack accessibility. See also One-piece corrugated box can be turned inside-out for returns or gifting.