Flextrus packaging reduces food waste

In the RISE project "Packaging system for reduced food waste" new packaging solutions have been developed for three different products. Flextrus developed a food packaging for mixed salad for Axfood’s brand Garant, where the goal was to reduce waste throughout the whole supply chain from producer to consumer.

In Sweden, about 74 kilos per person of food are wasted each day in one year. Almost all food we eat have been packed in any form. Packaging is a way of improving food efficiency, both by providing better protection and improved usability. Packaging can intuitively guide to the right consumer behavior through design and information.

Packaging that better meets consumer needs can help reduce food waste. It is primarily about offering the right amount of food for the needs from different consumers. That the packaging is easy to open and empty are other important functions for the consumer.

Vinnova supports this two-year project with the aim to map out the amounts and causes of waste across the entire value chain, from food producers to consumers, and based on this knowledge develop new innovative packaging solutions that can reduce waste and make the food and packaging industry more resource efficient. 

To better understand these needs, 186 consumers were interviewed with questions such as:
What they liked about the packaging
If there was something they liked / did not like when opening the packaging
If they eat everything at one time
If they throw any of the product, and if so, how much

After the data collection, an idea generation followed for optimisation of the packaging according to consumer behavior. The outcome was that smaller packaging sizes and portions being packed would reduce food waste. A pouch for mix salad was developed by Flextrus in line with this outcome.

The first prototype was tested by consumers.
A total of 16 respondents participated in a questionnaire interview where they both used and evaluated the prototype produced. The answers to the survey clearly showed a list of desired features and information:

• Communicate content / ingredients
• Communicate best-before date
• It is environmentally friendly
• It is possible to recycle 
• It is perceived as hygienic
• Make it easier not to waste food

Through the salad pouch developed by Flextrus, we have learnt a lot from the analysis results and believe that the behavior of households can change by seeing the packaging's contribution to reduced food waste. One of the most important results as a participant in this project is that the collaboration has given us greater understanding of the value chain and in-depth knowledge of food and consumer issues. These insights will be used in our future innovation and development with our customers.

The packaging developed in this project is packed with 30 grams of ecological mixed salad, perfect for one portion!

A different packaging for another food segment is now being projected at full speed. Stay updated here and you will soon know about this new innovation. To be continued…


Picture from www.garantskafferiet.se