As 2019 draws to a close, we explore some of the more innovative packaging developments from the food and beverage industry in the past 12 months.
Compostable chocolate box
Finnish companies Fazer and Sulapac collaborated to create a compostable, microplastics-free box for Fazer’s handmade pralines.
The packaging, which took nearly 18 months to develop, makes use of Sulapac’s material innovation that is created from wood chips and biodegradable binding agents.
The various phases of the product development included tests on the material’s sensory suitability and the product’s shelf life as well as the design and printing of the final concept.
‘Paper’ beer bottles
In October, Carlsberg unveiled two prototype beer bottles made from wood fibres and lined with polymer barriers.
The brewer said the research prototypes of its Green Fibre Bottle are the first “paper bottles” to contain beer.
One bottle uses a thin recycled PET polymer film barrier and the other a 100% bio-based PEF polymer film barrier.
The prototypes will be used to test the barrier technology as Carlsberg seeks a solution to achieve its ambition of a 100% bio-based bottle without polymers.
Recyclable board-based packaging
Smurfit Kappa joined forces with Mitsubishi HiTec Paper to create a new type of board-based food packaging that is fully recyclable.
The outer board is made from Smurfit Kappa’s MB12 solution that features built-in adsorption technology to protect against aromas and possible migration of substances.
Meanwhile, the inner packaging, which contains Mitsubishi HiTec Paper’s Barricote barrier paper, is said to offer protection against moisture and grease.
The companies said the solution demonstrates the possibility to create functional board-based packaging that is fully recyclable “thanks to the optimised use of renewable raw materials in the barrier”.
KeelClip can packaging
Graphic Packaging International (GPI) developed a new can packaging solution that it says offers sustainability and merchandising benefits.
Called KeelClip, the paperboard packaging works on a range of can styles and sizes, and in multiple product configurations.
The packaging, which completely covers can tops to keep them clean, features finger holes to allow for easy carrying.
“KeelClip is preferred to other can packaging options due to sustainability, brand positioning and high-speed application advantages. That’s a game-changer,” said GPI executive vice president and Americas president, Joe Yost.
PureDraught keg system
AB InBev introduced a polymer keg system that keeps beer fresher “up to four times longer than a traditional steel keg”.
Using a custom-moulded, bottle-in-bottle polymer keg, the PureDraught system allows air or gas to be fed into the outer bottle, which keeps its shape and pushes the beer out of the inner bottle. This innovation prevents any air from touching the beer, allowing it to remain fresh for 30 days after being tapped instead of just a week, AB InBev said.
PureDraught kegs come in 6-litre, 12-litre and 18-litre sizes and can be stored and dispensed upright or on their side. The system won the best manufacturing/processing innovation category at this year’s World Beverage Innovation Awards.
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