There are so many different types of packaging designs, but what is a packaging innovation?
Over the years there have been significant updates and breakthroughs in the packaging world to make package designs more desirable for customers and more environmentally friendly.
The updates aren’t stopping now, are there are plenty of new packaging design ideas that have either just hit the market or are planning a market release in the future.
Either way, these packaging innovations could change how we shop and consumer products, all while making the world a cleaner place by using less scarce resources and lowering the amount of trash we all use.
1. Zero Waste Packaging
To cut down on packaging waste, one company decided to use their natural plant life as a source of packaging. Universal Biopack uses bamboo and cassava to combat the massive amount of trash produced by the world.
After five years of developing and perfecting a formula, they have finally created zero waste packaging from leftover scraps after the chopstick manufacturing process in Thailand.
The company hopes to eventually replace styrofoam boxes, plastic bags, or anything that will result in trash that can’t be decomposed or recycled.
Universal Biopack is currently selling to restaurants and manufacturers, but they are having trouble finding new clients due to higher packaging costs, even if it is more environmentally friendly. This doesn’t mean they are giving up but instead trying to grow environmental awareness in the hopes to increase their demand.
2. Skin Pack
Food and food packaging waste is a big concern in the industry. To tackle this problem Advanta, a global packaging supplier, has created a skin pack aluminum poultry tray and film combination that is the first of it’s kind.
The food is vacuum packed, and the tin is shaped around the food, therefore protecting poultry from oxygen to increase the shelf-life by a maximum of 300%. The packaging design also has a temperature range of -40 degrees Celsius to 400 degrees Celsius. The aluminum tray is 100% recyclable making it more environmentally friendly than other packaging design options.
The Skin Pack is easy to unpack. The consumer has to peel off the plastic skin off of the poultry, which will then be ready to be placed directly into the oven and onto the table.
This packaging design could force competitors to do the same thing or something better to reach the shelf life capacity that Advanta reached with their packaging. Not only will it sound appealing to grocery stores, but consumers will also be interested in the increase shelf life.
3. Self Chilling Cans
Nothing is worse than a lukewarm drink. Chill-Can from The Joseph Company aims to change that with their new self-chilling cans that will be distributed by 7/11.
The cans are simple to use: turn the can upside down, twist the base off to release liquefied CO2 that acts as the active coolant, and wait only 75 to 90 seconds for a nice and refreshing drink. The drink, which is stored in a 100% recyclable can, is lowered to about thirty degrees.
Part of the reason that these cans are gaining traction is that people don’t like to wait. Self-chilling cans eliminate the need to wait for your drink to get cold, whether it is via refrigerator, freezer, or ice cubes. This means that you no longer will need ice cubes watering down your beverage.
The demand for self-chilling cans are on the rise, and The Joseph Company is opening a new production and distribution plant in Youngstown, Ohio, along with their current plant in Irvine, California.
The self-chilling cans can have a significant impact on the beverage industry and could push competitors to start manufacturing their own self-chilling cans, whether it be for soda, sports drinks, alcohol, or more.
4. Insignia Technologies
This technology uses patented intelligent pigments and inks that will change colors depending on the temperatures of CO2 levels in the product.
What does this mean? This technology will be able to detect how fresh food is when the package is first opened.
This can help calm the minds of the consumer and will reassure them that their product stayed fresh during cold chain delivery and that the package wasn’t damaged in any way. If the label is blue, it means that the package is leaking and shouldn’t be consumed.
Once the package is opened, the label can remind consumers how long the food has been in the fridge. The center dot on the label will change color from yellow to purple. Yellow indicates that the product is fresh hile purple indicated that product is past best.
reCup is the first fully recyclable paper cup and began production in October 2017. It is made from EarthCoating, and they have had a rise in demand. They are currently expanding with ten million euros at their expense due to the high demand.
The reCup is made using mineralized resin coating which can break down the cup, unlike standard paper cups. The cup works just like any other paper cup and is currently taking Europe by storm.
This environmentally friendly cup is a great way to reduce waste, and this could cause other companies to start making their cups just as environmentally friendly as their competition.
6. Self-heating Food Packaging
Chengdu Weilan Enterprise Marketing takes convenience to the next level with a self-heating food packaging design. The instant mini-hotpot will make it easier to bring fresh food on the go. Customers can fill the easy to use hotpot with any instant food that requires water. This includes soup, pasta, rice, and more!
To start the water-activated heating pack, all you have to do is add cold water. 15 minutes later your food will be hot and ready to eat. This new packaging design innovation is perfect for meals on the go when you want a fresh and hot meal but don’t have a microwave to heat up your food. It can also be used for camping, long travels, or when you don’t want to dishes after your meal.
This new type of packaging design could open the doors to more on-the-go meals that make it easier for consumers to buy meals without the need for a source of heat. If this product becomes popular, the demand could push other companies to improve their packaging to allow the heating of their product with water.
Ba Shu Lan Ren’s mini-hotpot is currently only available online in the Eastern regions, but there is still a possibility for expansion into the west in the future.
7. Compostable Coffee Capsule
Flo, a European food packager, has teamed up with NatureWorks to introduce a compostable coffee capsule called Gea.
Gea was designed to address environmental issues and to reduce waste associated with coffee. It has been approved for food contact and is currently undergoing testing by TTÜV Austria and the Italian Composting and Biogas Association (CIC) for compostability certification.
The capsule will allow for a simple solution to delivering coffee grounds and will be the first commercialized compostable coffee capsule made from 100% Ingeo. It is also very shelf-stable and will not show signs of aging for years after production. The capsules also protect the coffee from oxygen, preserving the taste and aroma of the coffee to provide better tasting coffee for customers.
Gea will hit the European marking in October 2018 and will hopefully push other food packaging companies to start researching how they can produce environmentally-friendly packaging designs.
8. Atmosphere Packaging
Baked goods can be hard to keep fresh, but Cryovac has created a modified atmosphere package that will allow consumers to keep their baked good fresh for over 40 days.
A longer product life could have a significant impact on distribution and inventory control for businesses and could also be appealing to consumers at home.
The packaging design can prevent cross-contamination, preserve various types of baked goods, and can protect the product during shipment. It can withstand freezer temperatures and has a low oxygen intake to preserve the product and protect it from molding.
9. Bees Wrap
One of the primary sources of waste in a household comes from the kitchen, whether it be plastic wrapping, tinfoil, various types of bags, or more.
In 2012, Sarah Kaeck started the process of reducing trash in the kitchen with Bees Wrap, a saran wrap or plastic bag alternative. Bees Wrap is made with organic cotton and beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. It is reusable and washable, which will eliminate a lot of waste.
Bees Wrap is very simple to use, just wrap the product and it will seal with the natural warmth of your body. The wrap will always stay on the product if it is placed in the refrigerator. After one use, wash the wrap with soap and water, and it can be used the same way again for about one year.
Bees Wrap is slightly more expensive, but the reusable aspect will make it worth the investment, especially considering that it can be reusable over and over again for a year. Bees Wrap could pressure Ziplock or other kitchen packaging companies to look for reusable or environmentally friendly options in the future.
10. Direct Thermal Film Label
Leuco dye is a critical part of direct thermal labels, but the main manufacturers in China have shut down. These shutdowns have resulted in a leuco dye crisis as the prices for leuco skyrocketed to five times their average price.
Luckily, there has been a solution. Inspired by Jindal Film, Smith Corona has started to manufacture direct thermal labels without leuco dye. These labels use heated carbon black on film.
Carbon black is fifty cents a pound. For a slightly higher price, you’re getting the same print quality, and your media is more durable. The labels are waterproof, UV resistant, recyclable, and ages well.
You can print on the labels, and they can be used in any environment – warm or cold.
These labels could be a solution to the leuco dye shortage if the crisis isn’t resolved soon.