Making the right choice for your product (and your customers)
Attention to the sustainability of production processes and packaging choices has guided consumer choices in recent years; a criterion that continues to be relevant even in the current context characterised by inflation and the destabilising effects of the Ukrainian crisis.
According to data from the latest update of the Consumer Packaged Goods Observatory curated by Nomisma, sustainability continues to be considered an important factor, so much so that for 35% of respondents it is a decisive factor for future choices, while 57% say they take it into account.
Among the factors that come into play when assessing the sustainability of a product are naturally the origin of the raw materials, the supply chain and production methods; but also the environmental impact of the packaging and how it is recycled.
Packaging choices have become increasingly important to 92% of respondents: among the aspects taken into consideration are the preference for products without overpacking, i.e. without unnecessary packaging (58%), that are fully recyclable (56%) and that contain reduced amounts of plastic (47%).
Among the materials perceived as most sustainable by consumers, the preference is for cardboard in the case of beverages (59%), while in the case of packaged goods the option considered most sustainable is glass (67%).
Casalasco’s packaging options
Sustainability is crucial in determining the best packaging solution for a given food product, but it is not the only factor to take into account.
The choice will be guided by evaluations concerning the safety and quality of the end product, such as the mechanical resistance of the pack, the barrier effect, the guarantee of durability; logistical aspects concerning weight and volume, production efficiency, transport and storage possibilities; communication assessments concerning the possibilities of customising the pack, the graphic rendering, the visual impact on the shelf and so on.
Casalasco provides the companies with which it collaborates as co-manufacturer with a range of eight different packaging solutions. Thanks to its in-depth expertise regarding all production phases and its long experience gained both in Italy and on the main international markets, Casalasco guides each customer in identifying the solution best suited to its needs.
Glass is the material that Italian consumers perceive as the most sustainable: thanks to its chemical and physical properties, it preserves food perfectly, without altering odours and flavours; it has the advantage of transparency, which allows the contents to be displayed, attracting and reassuring the customer at a glance; it is also totally recyclable an infinite number of times.
However, it should not be forgotten that glass is the heaviest of the available packaging choices and the most fragile.
For its brick packs, Casalasco relies on Combibloc SIG and Tetra Pak®.
Brick packaging is lightweight and versatile, making it convenient for transportation and storage, and after use it can be flattened to take up less space in waste. A smaller footprint and reduced weight mean less CO2/kg in transport; plus it is also a safe and convenient package for the end consumer, who can open it easily without any risk.
It also permits extremely versatile customisation, with wide possibilities in terms of marketing and communication on the label.
Tinplate is the oldest of all industrial packaging solutions; the reason it is still so widely used today is because it has never ceased to be relevant.
Not only is it robust, secure and able to protect the contents from any external factors; it is also lightweight and virtually infinitely recyclable. Indeed, steel is an ‘eternal’, indestructible material that is also easier to differentiate than other materials due to its magnetic properties.
Like cans, aluminium tubes are also a solution with a long history that has not lost its lustre.
Aluminium shields the product from all external agents and does not permit air or light to enter the packaging; not surprisingly, it is still the standard in pharmaceutical packaging.
Aluminium is also fully recyclable; the production of aluminium from recycled material requires 95% less energy than production from raw material.
Pouches are made of aluminium or microwave-compatible material, and are practical and convenient because they are light, robust and easy to open, as well as highly customisable.
Casalasco offers pouch packs in both pillow and stand-up versions depending on the volume and how the product will be presented on the shelf.
A bag-in-box consists of a polylaminate flexible container equipped with a valve for opening and closing, which in turn is contained in a cardboard box that protects the bag and makes storage more convenient. Perfect for products from 5 to 20 kg, since it minimises the weight of the container while protecting the product from external agents and the risk of container breakage.
PET packages, adapted to modern consumption habits, can be customised and conveniently transported. They are sometimes still the most suitable choice, especially when it is essential to combine impact resistance, low weight and versatility.
When it comes to packaging very large quantities of product, e.g. for industrial supplies, drums are the most cost-effective and sustainable option: they also withstand external storage and allow the product to be stored for at least 18 months.