Edible packaging, the next innovation for food packaging?

In the packaging world, the pandemic period was a moment of great renewal in terms of innovation and research. Words such as green packaging or sustainable packaging have become increasingly popular in Google research, pressing industry companies to make increasingly eco-sustainable choices in terms of both raw materials and production processes.

What does sustainable packaging really mean?

But does sustainable packaging match edible one? In recent years, there have been many revolutionary products launched on the market, such as so-called edible, biodegradable or compostable packaging.

The call for sustainability seems to be a key point in the marketing strategies of many companies, especially in the food sector, where the concept of waste can take on different meanings.  

The call for sustainability seems to be a key point in the marketing strategies of many companies, especially in the food sector, where the concept of waste can take on different meanings.  But be careful not to fall into the trap of greenwashing. Because while consumer attention to sustainability is increasingly well documented, the solutions proposed by companies do not always respond to needs in a clear way. Consumers demand a sustainable packaging.

Food packaging: single-serving without waste

During the months of global lockdown, the demand for take-away food has increased and with it the evidence that packaging, in particular in the food industry, can become a pollution cause. The growth in demand for single-serving products has also left its mark on the market with many food companies demanding more sustainable packaging. More portions does not have to mean more waste. Obviously, single portions mean smaller packages in terms of space but larger in terms of quantity. For this reason, attention to the materials from which these packages are made is crucial.  Rethinking food packaging means providing food companies with sustainable packaging in all its forms, from the raw materials used to create it to the production process that makes it possible.

Three key points are essential for food packaging today: traceability, certification and food safety.

The new packaging revolution: edible packaging?

Bioplastics, compostable or even edible, produced with food or plant waste have been presented as the perfect solution. An example? Edible film made from brown algae, a super-renewable raw material found in large quantities in ocean waters. It is a species that does not require fresh water and actually contributes to the health of the ocean ecosystem.

The film is used to create bubbles in which sauces, drinks or even water can be stored. This is an interesting innovation, but it raises the question of logistics. How are these bubbles  stored? And how can they be handled in terms of hygiene? Would you eat food and its packaging? Maybe, but first you would certainly want to be sure of how was stored and handled this food.

After the EU’s so-called SUP directive came into force, companies in the sector started a war and all stakeholders wondered what they could do to replace the single-portion plastic packaging that is so popular in supermarkets, catering and Ho.Re.Ca.

Innovation in the name of tradition

In our opinion, the real issue is to understand the needs of food manufacturers and to direct packaging choices to make these needs compatible with those of the market and consumers that want to choose sustainable packaging, but also to meet a variety of needs, including hygiene and convenience.

Collapsible aluminium tubes have been on the market for more than a century and have always been the first choice for the pharmaceutical sector, one of the areas where standards of quality and hygiene are highest. Sauces and creams find a perfect packaging that meets the criteria of hygiene, safety and convenience in the deformable aluminium tube. Our ToBeNaturAl tubes are a sustainable solution with endless customisation possibilities and ambassadors for your company’s digital marketing strategy.

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