I’ll be honest: Packaging News isn’t normally the most rivetting read in the world. Mostly it’s made up of stories about companies redesigning their labels to be a slightly lighter shade of green. Every now and then, however, it catches me out with something that makes me sit up and take notice. Take this headline from last year, for example: Ready-to-eat packaging in stores ‘soon’.
Now, I’ve not mentioned this to too many people around Davpack yet. Between you and me, there’s one or two here that are a few cartons short of a palletload, and if customers start getting their bubble wrap rolls or polystyrene sheets with bite-size chunks missing, you know who’ll get the blame.
One bacon, lettuce and pallet wrap, hold the mayo
Obviously, rather than packaging generally, the idea is intended for food and there are, it seems, two companies claiming to be only a year or two away from being ready to launch their version of the concept. One of these probably needs to spend some of the intervening period working on its marketing, as they are currently describing their product – bizarrely called WikiCells – as a “natural food membrane held together by electrostatic forces and containing a liquid, emulsion, foam, or solid food substance possibly within an edible or biodegradable shell.” Yummy.
The more you read the article, however, the more unanswered questions spring to mind. For example, assuming that the idea is to reduce the amount of packaging materials used, how do you keep it fit for consumption as it passes through the distribution and storing processes without putting it in more packaging? And are you meant to eat the lot in one go, or do you have the contents for main course and the packaging for pudding?
A pint of bitter and some dry roast packing peanuts, please
Either way, we like innovative thinking here at Davpack and, should the idea take off, we see no reason why the concept shouldn’t be extended to other forms of packaging. According to one of the comments attached to the story, one biodegradable void fill is already unofficially edible (not ours, so please don’t rush off and start scoffing it) and tastes like Weetabix. And it would certainly bring new meaning to the term ‘food grade poly bags’…
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