An overview of recently launched packaging concepts in the NetherlandsPublished: 03-02-2014
In the Netherlands, packaging innovation is not being delivered only by major brands. At World Packaging Online (WPO) – the packaging database from Innova Market Insights – we’ve noticed that private labels are also actively participating in packaging innovation. What follows is a look at some fascinating examples of recently launched packaging innovations designed to meet different market demands.
Cheese in an envelope
The Dutch cheese manufacturer Maaslander has introduced a new kind of packaging for its cheese: the envelope. It is a new closure system quite different from the currently popular ziplock packaging. It consists of a reclosable envelope that opens on one side, and contains 65% less plastic. This double-sealed envelope is made from a thin foil that prevents the packaging from leaking and tearing apart. The envelope can be reclosed with a closure seal over and over again. This packaging line, which took approximately two years to complete, was developed specifically for Maaslander and was launched in August of 2011.
Coconut egg: a different kind of egg tray
Rondeel has packed its free-range eggs in a whole different kind of egg tray: a round tray made of environmentally friendly coconut fiber. In the Netherlands, these products are sold at retailer Albert Heijn, and have also recently been made available at the German retailer Kaiser’s Tengelmann. The German packaging has the same shape but is made of PaperFoam, a 100% bio-based material with a low carbon footprint and low weight. After use, this Rondeel egg box can be recycled with paper or composted.
This packaging is designed to enhance the total concept of the Rondeel eggs. The round shape of the packaging simulates the shape of the “layer house” of the Rondeel chickens – where the birds enjoy more free space, with night and day rooms. This setup is a clear indication that animal welfare and environmental responsibility are given high priority. Rondeel is a commercial spinoff that came out of a study on animal welfare and sustainability in “hen keeping,” which was conducted under the auspices of Wageningen University.
The Dutch firm PaperFoam, working in close cooperation with Rondeel, created the Rondeel egg packaging. PaperFoam is a young and fast-growing company that was established in 1998 in Barneveld, the Netherlands. The Rondeel egg packaging is its first venture into food packaging.
Self-heating meal at any time
The Dutch company Foodcase has developed an interesting solution for tasty and healthy meals “on the go.” Under the brand Foodiezz, it has introduced a selection of world-famous foods to the market. The meals are heated through a convenient system and can be stored without refrigeration and heated without the use of an external heat source. It uses heat from the exothermic reaction between calcium and water. The actual heat source is at the bottom of the pack, separate from the meal. After heating, the package stays warm for more than 15 minutes to keep the meal at the correct temperature. According to Foodcase, the packaging components are made from recycled material and are energy-neutral.
A novel beer tap system
The Heineken and Amstel brands have launched a new type of four-liter PET keg with an integral tap called the “Tapje” keg. It is a small draft-beer system intended for consumers who like to drink a fresh glass of beer at home. It is a fresh take on the traditional crate of beer and a very economical and highly flexible option for consumers. The Tapje keg features APPE’s brand-new proprietary monoBLOX barrier technology with oxygen scavengers, resulting in a robust container with superior barrier performance that protects the integrity of beer by keeping out the oxygen while maintaining carbonation.
Sugar from a “milk pack”
Suiker Unie has launched a new packaging for its van Gilse sugar brand: the easy pack. This packaging is easy to reclose due to its twist cap, which also makes it easy to pour and dose. Spoilage is no longer a threat and there’s no need to pour the sugar into a different pot. Compared to the traditional “sugar pack,” this packaging format absolutely meets convenience demands.
This packaging concept from retailer Albert Heijn enhances the consumer’s experience with fresh and homemade fruit products. The purity and freshness of the product is highlighted through a clear window in the packaging. An easily disposable cardboard label reflects the “pure and honest” mantra of the product, while promoting its environmental friendliness. Albert Heijn also uses this packaging concept – a glass jar with cardboard label – for its fresh fruit juices.
To can or not to can?
The Unox soup pouch, introduced in 2004, is far from new in the Netherlands. However, it’s still one of the biggest “packaging revolutions” on the shelves in the Dutch supermarket. It heralded the beginning of a rising star: the pouch. More and more, cans or glass packages are replaced by pouches.
Recently, Unox updated some of its canned products by affixing an extra plastic cap to its cans of spreadable meat. In this way, the can becomes much more user-friendly (easy to reclose) and has regained popularity. Unox (Unilever) keeps innovating its packaging with both small and big changes that have managed to keep relatively old products “hot.”
Gum to squeeze
Candy manufacturer Leaf Holland introduced Sportlife Vibes, a new chewing gum in a new squeeze pack. The traditional blister package was replaced by a squeezable pack of recyclable LDPE with all flexo print in a pocket format. This new packaging was designed by Lahtinen & Mantere Saatchi & Saatchi. The package fits easily in your jeans pocket; is easy to open with one hand, reclosable, and water-resistant; and looks stylish. Because chewing gum is a lifestyle product, the look and convenience of the packaging is crucial – it’s the first thing you see. “We think innovation power comes not only from product innovation, but also from package innovation. Product and packaging are seen as a duality. This benefits the innovation power of the total concept,” according to the manufacturer.
Pick your fruit
The goal of the new company “de Snoepmakers” (candy makers) is responsible candy making. Their “Plukfruit” (pick fruit) is made from only natural ingredients and is manufactured in an environmentally focused and responsible way.The company has developed a new way of candy making that is 20 times more efficient than the traditional method.
From the beginning, it was clear that this exceptional candy required a special packaging. Just as fruit is picked from a tree, the candy can be picked separately from the cardboard tray, which has a sleeve made of biodegradable plastic. Or, if the consumer is on the go, he or she can simply tear off a strip and leave the rest at home – preventing total consumption in one fell swoop.
At left are some close-up pictures. If you zoom in on the back of the product, you will see that it is not a normal blister pack (with aluminum foil on the back). This is a blister pack of paper (back) and biodegradable plastic (front). You can get to the candy when you remove the paper. It’s also possible to tear off one row at a time. Because of the paper back, no extra cardboard sleeve is needed.
Hak, a canned food company, has managed to make its glass jars more user-friendly. Recently, it equipped its jar of “snackaugurken” (party pickles) with an “elevator.” No more struggling to get the pickles out of the small opening of jar, just pull the elevator and the pickles come up to you.
Spice it up!
The packaging of the herbs and spices grinder of “Verstegen Spices & Sauces” has won a silver “Pentaward” and a “RedDot” award, each from worldwide packaging design contests. The packaging’s elegant design ensures a good presentation on the supermarket shelves and can be put on the dining table with pride, according to the designers. Flex, the innovation lab, is the design agency behind this packaging.
You’ve got the look
A shaker-shaped glass bottle wrapped in a silver metallic full body sleeve was introduced to the Dutch market by Toorank Distilleries under the name Coppa Cocktail. The bottle has a full body sleeve that fits tightly around the bottle from the bottom to the neck. The result is a beautiful silver metallic cocktail shaker.
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