The first local asparagus and berries are already in circulation, and traders are trying to influence consumers with new, innovative product packaging. Dutch company Solidus Solutions is considered a specialist in paper and cardboard packaging. It also has managed to bring some solutions to the market this year, says Oliver Wendt, Sales Manager DACH.
The packaging specialist has been at home for many years in the field of asparagus and berries. "We designed a strawberry crate with a wooden look to stimulate the 'natural look'. In addition to the promotional aspect, the cardboard crate is both multifunctional and suitable for packaging any berry fruit. This means one would only need one package for the entire berry assortment," Wendt explains.
The already established single asparagus box for smaller households is also being developed further. "Although the willingness to invest is definitely restrained in these times of the pandemic, we are witnessing a clear trend, moving towards paper and cardboard, particularly among the larger companies. Certainly for higher-quality fresh produce, there is no getting around these innovations anymore," says Wendt.
First samples of the new soft berry box from Solidus
Raw material prices soar
Meanwhile, Corona has obviously had an impact on the packaging industry. Wendt says: "The market for recycled paper is under massive pressure because much more paper and board is currently needed than usual. Due to the shortages, raw material prices for recycled paper have risen by 300 to 400 percent. Here we see ourselves forced to bring our customers on board as partners and to find joint solutions. We're still getting by with production, because supply and demand for fruit and vegetable packaging are roughly balanced out."
In addition to the berry and asparagus sector, Solidus Solutions also receives inquiries from other segments of the trade, such as the mushroom industry. "At the moment, we are testing two new packages for shiitake, in close cooperation with a mushroom marketer. First, it is a small container in which 2-3 shiitake mushrooms can be packed. Also, a larger outer packaging, again for shiitake, is being tested. We are assuming that this solution will become established next year," says Wendt.
"In addition to this, we are developing other types of small packaging for the fruit and vegetable market that will gradually replace classic plastic packaging and have a positive impact on consumer behavior in terms of environmental policy," Wendt adds.
Further development potential exists
All in all, Solidus Solutions is predominantly positive about the future. "Due to the current disappearance of the out-of-home market, regular households are cooking at home more and more. We are trying to meet this demand by means of sophisticated innovations, while we want to curb the throwaway mentality. The re-thinking of old ideas has already started at our company," Wendt concludes.