One of the most important topics of today's fresh food industry is the comprehensive search for a sensible and sustainable packaging concept. The solution of the future should be sustainable, recyclable and as affordable as possible for everyone involved. At this year's DOGK, they addressed the question "What solution has the long-term potential to ultimately prevail on the market?
Stephan Schneider shows some everyday packaging concepts.
In the first breakout session, two long-standing packaging industry experts were invited to the stage. Stephan Schneider - founder of Dutch company Cre8tives - is a consultant to companies in various areas of the food industry and has dealt in his previous job at the international trading company Hillfresh BV, particularly with packaging for fruit and vegetables. He commented on some novel packaging solutions and their long-term potential in the market.
According to Schneider, a packaging concept with promising potential is the Recycled R-Pet film. "This is made entirely from 100% recycled materials, but the more interesting aspect of it is that the solution retains its quality and robustness." It is this unique feature that makes it particularly interesting for retailers, especially as the majority of previous sustainable packaging alternatives are not robust enough.
Due to his extensive experience in the fresh produce industry, Schneider also asked himself how to ultimately choose the right packaging strategy. To this end, he presented the so-called Circular Packaging Model, a guideline for sustainable packaging management. He also addressed the audience: "Do we have to package sturdy fresh products such as oranges at all?" Here, however, retailers still have information work available: "Dispensing with plastic is easier to explain to the consumer than the gradual reduction of a carbon footprint."
Big challenges for the food retailing
After this theoretical discussion of packaging management, Achim Krich - Sales Manager at Rewe Richrath - reported on the practical experience. In conversation with moderator Kaasten Reh, he highlighted the side of food retail: "There is currently a lot of movement in the packaging sector: In the meantime, people have become more open about new solutions." Rewe Richrath has discussed social issues around packaging in its early stages recognized and it was about three years ago decided to restructure the packaging strategy, Krich says.
Achim Krich is sales manager at Rewe Richrath and deals with the topic of packaging management every day.
He also believes that packaging developers need to become more flexible so that social restructuring will not be too expensive, especially for smaller companies. In addition, there would be no single strategy for everyone, but geographical location would be a deciding factor. Because a supermarket in the Ruhr area is incomparable with a branch in a rural area. His conclusion was therefore: "Everyone must make a decision for their own branch and choose a strategy. All in all, however, I believe that in a few years' time we will mainly offer loose goods at PoS."