In 2017, our readers gobbled up stories on some truly innovative package designs, including modular thermoformed containers for kids’ ‘meal kits,’ a valved can for coffee, and a clear retort can for vegetables. They also expressed great interest in innovations related to packaging equipment—in particular machinery designed to handle the growing demand by retailers for customized case sizes. Our number-story of 2017 also caught the attention of a large number of fans of new technology. Read on for our Top 10 countdown:
10. Thermoformed trays allow for customized kids’ lunches
Eat Pak’d, a new online service that delivers fresh, healthy lunch items for kids, introduces modular, thermoformed packaging that lets parents mix and match the food components.
9. Robotic case erector increases component packing productivity 300%
Radwell International replaces manual case erecting for shipments of small components with an automated system that randomly erects any one of six case sizes on-demand and without changeover.
8. Hello green! Meal kit box is eco-friendly
HelloFresh introduces an insulated box for its meal kits that uses 100% recycled fiber, is 100% recyclable, and is easy for operators to assemble and for customers to disassemble.
7. Automated end-of-line system for eight container styles, three case sizes
A small-footprint system at Ring Container Technologies’ blow-molding plant operates 24/7 case erecting/sealing, tumble packing, palletizing, and stretch wrapping.
6. Packaging, not product, is at the core of PepsiCo’s LIFEWTR
PepsiCo introduces a premium water brand that features artwork from emerging artists to leverage the popularity of social media and connect with consumers in an inspirational way.
5. Valved can for texturized coffee is a first
Pairing a new valved-can technology with packaging machinery inspired by the aerosol industry, coffee company La Colombe pioneers an authentic draft latte for the RTD market.
4. Nestlé Pure Life relaunches brand
Relaunch includes new packaging that emphasizes the role water plays in consumers’ lives and the company’s family-centric values.
3. Hershey’s new display-ready case reduces corrugated by 32%
Redesigning the display-ready case for its packaged chocolate products from a two-piece to a one-piece box helps move Hershey toward its goal of reducing its packaging material by 25 million pounds by 2025.
2. Clear retortable plastic can debuts
McCall Farms is first to commercialize this three-piece coextruded plastic can. Product visibility is the key, but it certainly helps that for the most part it’s a drop-in replacement for steel cans.
1. Coffee capsule lines extraordinaire
Close collaboration between Barrie House Coffee & Tea and a dedicated core of packaging machinery OEMs yielded four sophisticated lines each capable of running 300 single-serve coffee capsules/min. Read the story; watch the video.