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At The Hive Awards in Sydney today, the Best Packaging category was won by Don Smallgoods, part of George Weston Foods, for its resealable flow wrap pack for sandwich fillers and other smallgoods. This innovative packaging is a departure from the conventional thermoformed packs and addresses consumer demands for better functionality, sustainability, and product visibility.

Don Smallgoods (Don) has made a significant step forward for the smallgoods category, promoting less packaging, food, and energy waste. By preserving food freshness and sealing in moisture and flavour, the reseal functionality allows consumers to keep their sandwich fillers in the original packaging, reducing the need for additional wrapping and cutting down on packaging disposal.

In the first instance, Don commissioned research on consumer attitudes to packaging, with the number one concern being reseal functionality. Consumers also expressed frustrations with bulky packs, lack of sustainable options, product visibility, and the presence of liquid in the pack.

To master the intricacies of working with nitrogen and CO2 to achieve the best resealable functionality, some of Don’s team travelled overseas and met with manufacturers using similar equipment. It took seven months of development before the packaging was ready to launch.

The flow wrap technology has not only reduced plastic waste by 50-70 per cent compared to conventional packaging but also uses 50 per cent less energy, making the entire process from production to consumption more energy efficient. This innovation aligns with the growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging solutions and also sets a new standard in the smallgoods industry.

Ultimately, Don’s new flow wrap pack directly addressed consumer issues and more.

Resealability: Unlike traditional thermoformed packs that often tear upon opening, the new flow wrap pack features a resealable label on the reverse side. This allows consumers to easily open and close the pack, maintaining product freshness without the need for additional containers or cling film.

Sustainability: The new packaging uses 50 per cent less plastic than Don’s current 100g Fillers Range and 69 per cent less plastic than competitors’ packs. Research by Benchmark (June 2023) showed a dramatic increase in consumers’ willingness to store the product in its primary packaging, reducing the use of plastic for storage.

Recyclability: The flow wrap pack is CEFLEX compliant and meets APCO’s 2025 targets. The internal board is kerbside recyclable, ensuring that the packaging is both sustainable and easy to dispose of responsibly.

The new flow wrap pack is designed to be compact, saving fridge space and making it easier for consumers to store their smallgoods. The packaging also includes an aqueous board to absorb any free liquid, keeping the product neat and preventing mess.

Another hurdle was ensuring the pack’s rigidity for effective supermarket shelf presentation. After extensive trials, Don found that a two-sided laminated dispersion barrier food board provided the necessary support and absorption without compromising on sustainability.

Don’s new resealable flow wrap pack delivers convenience, sustainability, and freshness without compromising on quality, offering consumers a superior packaging option that meets their needs and supports a greener future.

(The Hive Awards is a program run by PKN's stablemate Food & Drink Business).

 

 

 

 

 

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