Dutch A TOP Packaging wins prestigious European packaging innovation award

Dutch A TOP Packaging wins prestigious European packaging innovation award

Produce Business reports

On 7 October, the winners of the European Carton Excellence Award 2020 were announced during a virtual event that was organised to celebrate the achievements of the European carton industry during a challenging year.

A TOP Packaging of The Netherlands, which focuses on circular and sustainable packaging solutions, was awarded the innovation prize for their ‘Re-Fruiter Tray’.

Packaging engineer Aad Hoekstra, the design partner of A TOP Packaging, says they are always looking for packaging problems that seem unsolvable.

“We focused on strawberries and other soft fruits that are sensitive and require special care during packaging and transport,” he said. “Because these fruits are often packed in plastic trays with bubble wrap for extra protection it makes recycling more difficult. We created the Re-Fruiter Tray out of recycled cartonboard and designed the entire concept for recycling”.

Dutch packaging manufacturer Fonkels was instrumental in finding the launching customer, namelya strawberry fan who did not want to use plastic for his product anymore. The three parties solved all teething problems and launched a product that has since shown its worth in the market for soft fruits.

The innovation aspect of the winning Re-Fruiter Tray lies in its grid-like, patented bottom that is shock-absorbent and moisture absorbent. The main purpose of this innovation is to keep the contents in good condition, as the consumer’s decision to buy a fresh product is largely determined by the visual impression.

The end product meets the highest recyclable and compostable standards, using ‘rPaper’, a material that is much more durable than plastic variants. This mono material packaging can be disposed of with wastepaper after use. The Re-Fruiter Tray is highly stackable, fits in with current logistics concepts, and is easy to print for own identity. Shape and volume content can be adjusted.

“We designed the tray with ‘naturalness’ as top of mind characteristic of the tray,” said Adrian Verbeek, the business development director of A TOP Packaging , who said the simplicity of the Re-Fruiter tray caught judges’ eyes. “Aad designed a construction with slightly raised feet at each corner of the back of the tray. This improves in-store presentation by raising the pack slightly. The patented cuts at the base of the tray allow the packaging to flex when the fruit is added, thereby reducing damage to the fruit”.

Official name of entry: Re-Fruiter Tray

Carton Converter: Snel B.V.

Brand Owner: Fonkels Packaging

Structural Design: A Top B.V.

Idea and Initiative: A TOP B.V.

For more information:

Adriaan Verbeek, Business Development Director, A TOP Packaging E: [email protected] / M: + 31 622 20 24 49 www.atoppackaging.com


In modern society all good marketing intentions come to naught once an empty package must be discarded as unproductive waste. Dutch packaging specialist A-TOP focuses on developing food packaging through new thinking and technologies, offering customers access to sustainable, circular solutions that are commercially feasible.



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