Balancing costs and innovations
While some Frozen Food manufacturers have successfully repositioned their brand towards newer sustainable demands, many continue to find it difficult. Considering more environmentally friendly Packaging alternatives should be a real area of priority. Luckily there are many ways to go about this, and some of these can even save you money!
Packaging Concept Improvements: don’t use a steak knife to cut bread
One of the first areas to look at is your Packaging Concept. This concept (the structure/ layout) is at the core of your packaging sustainability. No matter how much you downgauge the material or simplify your design of a PET/PE laminate, it’s never going to be the most recycle-friendly concept. On the other hand, packaging concepts that use one layer or multiple layers of the same family (as pictured below) are much more recycle friendly.
A second factor is over-engineering. Protecting your product with a packaging concept that features great protection is not always the smart move. Especially within Frozen Food shelf-life is a relatively low issue, as the temperatures do a great job at keeping the product fresh regardless. So whether you’re launching a new project or improving existing packaging we’d ask you to have a critical look at your current concept. Be willing to ask critical questions like: Why do we use this multi-layered concept? Do we even need this or is it simply used for marketing?
Packaging Design Improvements: keep it Short and Simple
After having analyzed the Packaging Concept, the next step is Packaging Design. From a Marketing perspective it can be very tempting to go all out with your design. Yet from both a cost and sustainability perspective we’d advise you to rethink this. Not only will your packaging be cheaper if you use less colors or facing (material cost, handling costs, etc.): it will also be better suited for recycling streams.
Lastly: black is a notoriously difficult color for recyclers, so try to go easy on the use of black. These considerations can lead to great results if done well. Some of our favorite designs at Flexoplast make smart use of fewer colors (by implementing CYMK),
and PE’s transparentness to showcase the product itself!
Packaging Material Improvements: separating followers and innovators
Last stop in the journey towards sustainable Packaging is improvements within the material itself. One area that continues to see advancement is the downgauging of packaging layer thickness. And while the thinnest layers require a steep premium, the trickle-down effect does mean the average thickness of Packaging Concepts is steadily going down.
Balancing Costs and Innovations: completely realistic when done right
Creating new innovative and sustainable packaging for your Frozen (Food) product doesn’t require gigantic investments. Critically sifting through your packaging with a holistic perspective can already do wonders.
In our whitepaper you’ll find our most memorable frozen developments, the trends we expect to follow, and our Frozen Packaging checklist: a handy packaging creation & design checklist for all your future packaging projects. Get it now!