The most innovative and intuitive Save Food Packaging uses design features that can contain & protect, preserve, extend shelf life, easily open, and reseal, provide consumer convenience, and portion control; all the while meeting global sustainable packaging targets.
Opportunities for packaging design to minimise food waste can include better facilitation or communication around portion control, date labelling, extension of shelf life, protection, resealability and openability, serving size, food safety/freshness information, information on storage options and improved communication on packs.
One of the standout packs that was recognised in the 2021 Save Food Packaging Design category in the PIDA awards was Edgell Supa Crunch for Food Service.
Edgell Supa Crunch (Simplot Australia) for Food Service
To meet the needs of the Foodservice channel, Simplot developed Edgell Supa crunch, a new chip designed to stay crunchy for up to 40 minutes throughout the challenging delivery process.
To complement and aid maintaining the crunch during delivery, Simplot designed an innovative and sustainable pack that has a raised and ventilated floor and just the right amount of ventilation on the sides and top to allow steam condensate to escape while retaining heat.
This pack utilises the stack effect where air is drawn into the carton at the base and then vents at the top of the carton allowing moisture filled air from the chips to rise and escape. The relatively shallow carton is designed to allow the chips to spread out, so they are not on top of one another.
The one-way venting that the stack effect promotes works well in balancing heat retention and moisture escaping, promoting quality for food delivery.
The product has instructions on the pack as to how to use it, and how to effectively extend the life of the chips to keep hot and crispy and therefore not wasted.
This product has been designed to extend the life of the product through keeping the product crispy and hot. If the customer finds that the product has cooled too much the packaging has been designed in a way that it can be reheated in a microwave for 20 seconds which extends the life of the product reducing the risk of spoilage due to cold soggy chips.
The pack was designed with tamper evidence for product security and is stackable allowing for easier distribution of bulk product and reducing the risk of crushing. The board is fully recyclable, FSC certified and has been optimised to reduce the amount of board used.
The National Food Waste Strategy that aims to halve all food waste that heads to landfill by 2030, provides a framework for collective action across the ecosystem.
Packaging Technologists have the opportunity to minimise food waste at the start by incorporating the AIP Save Food Packaging Design guidelines into their NPD process.
Marketers can spotlight the SFP design features as a point of difference and send a message to the consumer that the brand is actively trying to minimise food waste from paddock to plate.
Embedding Save Food Packaging design features at the NPD stage ultimately reduces the product’s overall environmental impact at the start of the value chain which minimises food wasted in the household.
Author: Nerida Kelton MAIP, executive director – Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), Vice President – Sustainability & Save Food – World Packaging Organisation (WPO).