Smart packaging innovations to cut waste, showcase produce and improve shelf life

Smart packaging innovations to cut waste, showcase produce and improve shelf life

Ganor Sel

Dutch packaging

From tactile ink that gives packaging a craft-like feel, to permeable fresh produce buckets, Netherlands-based packaging solutions company, Van der Windt, showcased several lines last month at Fruit Logistica.

Floris Oldenhof, from the export division, takes PBUK through the “eye-catching” packaging range, which has been developed alongside suppliers and then sold in different markets all over the world. He starts with the “Dill it Yourself” buckets, on sale on the US market.

They are part of the fresh produce breathable bucket range to present sweet fruits and vegetable, like mini cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes and berries. Produce lasts longer, is kept fresher and all-importantly, according to Oldenhof, the “colours and textures” of the produce are on show.

The “Dill it Yourself” kit takes the concept further. Packed with Sunset mini cucumbers, it’s been developed as a brand with its own sachet of spices and on-pack recipe telling consumers exactly how to make pickles, while encouraging kids to prepare and learn about the food they eat.

There is even an empty space on the front of the pack for the child to put his/her name on their very own pickle kit. Once refrigerated overnight, they are ready to eat.

While Sunset has branded “Dill if Yourself”, Van der Windt’s compact buckets are easy to carry thanks to the practical handle and resealable lid. They come in five different sizes (300 to 500 grams) and are suitable for various occasions, ideal for snack time on the train, or to take to school or work.

“These fresh produce buckets are ideal right now because of the growing trends towards healthy eating and parents trying to get their kids to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables,” Oldenhof tells PBUK.

“The produce is on show, it looks great and the concept behind the bucket being clear is the association with candy cotton for example, a treat for children, which normally comes in this sort of packaging – but instead of candy cotton, there are nutritious fruit and vegetables.

“In Holland it’s becoming popular for parents to give their kids maybe some tomatoes or fruit as a snack, rather than crisps or chocolate. It’s important for us to keep up and ahead of that – the buckets are one innovation.

“It is a really great idea because for the last decade, vegetable consumption is in decline so innovations like this can maybe help to push that up,” adds Oldenhof.

Disposable packaging


Disposables and packaging made of natural raw materials – like sugarcane and palm leaves – are gaining ground, says Oldenhof, looking at the company’s Biodore range.

The series is made of materials provided by “Mother nature”, and the latest addition is PalmBlad, a range of 19 plates and dishes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

PalmBlad disposables are grease and water resistant and can withstand temperatures ranging from -25˚C to +200˚C, as well as being compostable.

Other plates and dishes are made of sugarcane and the eco-friendly range includes PLA glasses for cold drinks, cardboard PLA-coated cups for hot drinks, heat-resistant PLA cutlery and carrier bags made of a blend of starches.

“We have different target groups for our natural eco-friendly range, but a really important one is festivals. If you have a million visitors over the weekend for instance, people want to be environmentally aware and act responsibly. They want a product that is less harmful to the environment.”

Tactile ink

Another new range is “Inktouchables”, a way for customers to really showcase their fruit and vegetables with a type of ink hallmarked by its eye-catching paper look and feel that can be printed in register.

The coating is ‘tactile’, which adds “feeling” and “experience” into the packaging mix, says Oldenhof.

“There is a trend for customers to want a craft paper look on the products. It might not be for everybody as they have machines to print for them, but this is really about premium packaging with a structure to it.”

Luxury packaging

The Japanese market presents opportunities for Van der Windt to tap into the trend for premium, luxury packaging.

Going through a range of bespoke compact fruit boxes for produce like strawberries, aubergines and mini cucumbers, the high quality packaging lends itself to the trend of giving premium fresh produce as gifts.

“In places like Japan you see a trend where people offer very expensive and exclusive fruits to each other, so there is also a development in the more luxury packaging.  

“We can start from nothing, the customer comes to us and they tell us what they want to pack – a pineapple or strawberries – but they are looking for something new, not what everybody else has.”




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