MARKET TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS
IN PACKAGING, EMAP, BRUSSELS 2001
Françoise Pardos, Pardos Marketing, February 2006
- More or less new
- More or less useful
- More or less smart
There are innumerable clever innovations of all types, but all
are well beyond the basic needs that have been fully covered for
the last two or three decades.
Major new developments are based on the requirements by new
food keeping processes, aseptic, UHT, MAP/CAP, that have
evolved essentially to respond to the pressure of the distributors'
For fresh, unprocessed products such as meat, poultry, fish, new
films with oxygen barrier permit distributors' supermarkets to shift
from back store packing to central pre-packaging at a few centers.
The gain of two-three days of shelf life, or more, gives a margin
of safety and helps the supermarkets' management. It also saves
costs, not passed on to the customers.
In general, all surveys indicate that consumers shop at least once
a week and do not leave foods more than one week in the refrigerator.
Hence all longer keeping "fresh" products have been introduced
to suit distribution' economics, not consumers' preference.
Among the many functions of packaging, major emphasis is now put
on lengthening the life of food products for supermarket
Besides the new widespread MAP/CAP packaging and UHT, other food
longer keeping processes are under study, but have not yet made
commercial breakthroughs. It is unlikely that the revolutionary
system of high pressure sterilization pioneered in Japan will have
a significant impact in the next six to ten years, because of severe
According to PIRA, in the UK, the development with the greatest
likelihood of major expansion is the ohmic electrical resistance
heating system, extensively tested in Europe and Japan. This food
processing and/or heat sterilization technique is particularly appropriate
for linking to aseptic systems, especially associated with FFS.
This is pioneered by APV and Tetra Pak.
New barrier trays of XPS with coating of EVOH coex barrier film,
on bottom and top, can double the fresh meat or fish shelf life
with MAP process, from 2-3 days, up to 10 days.
Peelable and reclosable aluminium lids on cans for dry groceries
(Alcan Seam-Seal, Hoffmann Emballages from Switzerland, Continental
Can Europe for coffee cans).
Growing interest for stackable steel cans and containers.
Easier opening for all, on bottles and jars.
Child resistant closures for dangerous products.
Pumps for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals getting smaller and smaller,
airless systems, finer spraying.
Tamper-evidence, on bottles, jars, all packages, (International
Paper Spoutpack, an aseptic carton with a tamper-evident reclosable
Easy peeling and reclosing on trays.
Zippers on plastic bags for frozen foods, grated cheese, dried food,
dry pet food, snack food.
Resealable bags for all types of food products to be used more than
Miscellaneous and farfetched innovations:
Coffee cups that warm, Nestlé with Thermotic Developments
launched a self-heating can for coffee, in 2001, the can is supplied
by Crown Cork. There are similar products on the market, like Baritalia,
in Italy, heating-shaking individual expresso cups with salt crystals,
Zestho Therm in US and Canada, Ontro in the US that reportedly has
projects for Europe with RPC Containers.
Soft drink containers that cool, like Fraich'Up, developed by Sofrigam
and the French CNRS, to keep cool, or several other routes developed
in the US (Siegel, etc.)
Talking packages, like the development of International Paper and
PowerPaper, from Israel, for e-packages, batteries incorporated
into the package, for high added value durables like video cassettes,
to develop later for cosmetics and upscale food products. PowerPaper
aims at a potential of 500 million e-packages within three years.
Cat food cans that purr on opening (an experience of the former
CarnaudMetalbox, for promotion sales only).
Pressure "draught" beer in cans, with additional gas
put into the closure with a "widget". The system has been
developed in the UK for glass bottles.
Scent release devices. Avery Dennison Fasson Roll Europe is launching
encapsulated fragrances in the adhesive labels. This is developed
with the Swedish Printcom Etikett AB, a construction called Peel
and Sniff, with 30 fragrances, from orange to sea breeze, even garlic.
Compacting products for smaller packages (tissues, diapers, textiles),
using less shelf space. Collapsible PET bottles for easier disposal
Soluble films, PVOH, well developed, in 0.2 to 2 kg pouches, for
non food products, for agriculture, cement additives, dyes, for
easy dispersing in water.
Edible films, such as Enak in UK on carraghenane jellifier, Ensbana
in France, with polysaccharide films on fresh apples, Chris Craft
in the US with cold soluble films of edible cellulose polymers.
There are many potential uses in prepared foods, for instance to,
keep the fruit and dough separate in a pie, to keep it crisp.
Drink cups, Vittel water in Jagenberg FFS 25 and 33 cl, of PET
Smart packaging, with tell-tale coloring about limit dates, changes
of temperature, shocks received, tamper evidence, self-scanning,
magnetic ink recognition, laser marking, radio-frequency identification, RFI,
to replace date coding, anti-theft devices, such as dye ampoule,
electronic watch on the article, so-called intelligent tags, special
devices to insure the traceability of the product and reassure customers.
This was prompted by the mad cow scare, not ended with its devastating
effect on plain meat consumption. This is developed by CEST (Center
for the Exploitation of Science and Technology) in the UK, in the
IPI (Integrated Product Intelligence), project, stating that a system
of integrated product intelligence for the whole supply chain will
be a powerful force in the next ten years.
Aluminium cans featuring thermochromic inks that change color from
white to blue and reveal the words ready to serve (British Steel
Tinplate Smart Can).
A PP tube with fat edges, inserted on the beverage can top to make
the can into a glass from which to drink directly, Borden.
The package becomes the product, like the Squeez’n Shave
travel Razor, of Hoke2, featuring three tubes of shaving gel from
Libby Labs, three disposable razors, and a sleeve.
Development of oxygen adsorbers, already widespread in Japan, in
over 1 billion packaging units, little elsewhere.
and many more innovations...
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