Innovation is transforming the image of corrugated packaging, providing eye-catching uses beyond its traditional purpose for some of the biggest brand names in the food and beverage sectors, says the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).
The UK Corrugated Packaging Industry is already a pioneering force in sustainable, lightweight, recyclable packaging that does not compromise the integrity of the goods, while innovative developments in engineering have led to new types of even more efficient corrugated packaging solutions.
One of the many companies benefiting from this type of innovation is Premier Foods. The business reported impressive cost savings and increased productivity at its Ashford plant, following an overhaul of transit and display packaging for its range of Batchelors dried foods.
After implementing a corrugated solution, packaging throughput has increased by 50%, while the removal of other packaging materials has enabled the business to reduce its secondary packaging costs.
Innovation is coming to the forefront in the drinks sector. MillerCoors has a novel pack design made from corrugated board, incorporating a water resistant inner lining. This enables a cardboard take-home pack of bottled beers to become a cool box when the consumer adds ice or water.
UK corrugated packaging companies have also invested heavily in designing boxes which save on storage space and cut costs across the supply chain. Lightweight papers have resulted in a 7% reduction in weight over the last seven years, with no loss of strength.
Additionally, the UK Corrugated Packaging Industry is working hard to reduce its carbon footprint, which fell by 16% between 2005 and 2011.
Looking to the future of retail packaging, corrugated’s flat printable surface is ready-made for exploiting digital platforms such as Smartphone apps and Quick Response (QR) codes to meet consumers’ growing appetite for instant access to product and dietary information.
Innovative technology is also improving in-store performance through better print capability. High Quality Post Print (HQPP) has transformed corrugated packaging from protective transit packaging, into multi-functional, colourful, Shelf-ready Packaging (SRP), without compromising product integrity.
CPI’s Director of Packaging Affairs, Andy Barnetson, said: "Exploiting other planned technological developments, such as print on demand and the ability to personalise packaging, will, when added to existing innovations, allow corrugated to stay at the very forefront of the Packaging Industry."
Thanks to these significant industry investments and innovative thinking, corrugated packaging is meeting future challenges head on and is being transformed from a simple brown box for conveying goods, to an attractive shelf-ready, environmentally friendly packaging, with eye-catching promotional graphics.