As a Packaging Developer I do both consumer and retail packaging – mostly for our own brands Garant, Garant Eko, Såklart, Minstingen and Fixa. It means that you have to handle all kinds of material and categories. Paper, glass, plastics, metal and mixes. Bottles, boxes, bags, tins and jars. All of these of course have to meet the high demands of Axfood, to work all the way from production and warehousing through to the store, and finally, into the hands of the consumers.
My job also involves adaptation of wholesalers’ packaging to the size and shape of the consumer packs, making sure they are shelf-ready and, for example, steady enough for stacking and transport.
A packaging designer has to stay updated and never stop learning.
Another part of my job is visiting production plants and attending trade shows and various packaging seminars. Besides this we initiate and drive innovation projects together with external partners.
What trends have you identified in packaging and sustainability?
- A growing demand for material based on renewable sources.
- A general aim to reduce food waste on various levels. It’s an issue that keeps us busy as well.
- Interactive packaging – but the question is how to recycle in a smart way.
- Transparency, meaning an ambition to be honest to the consumer.
What type of packaging are today’s consumers looking for?
– Environmentally friendly packaging that adds no extra cost but, at the same time, has functional features such as re-closing - which is sometimes hard to combine.
In the future what if consumers may be able to order customized packaging and print it out themselves?
What about tomorrow’s packaging? What will packaging be like in five or ten years?
– I think we will have a lot more interactive packaging. But also more well-adapted packaging without unnecessary excess material and unnecessary transport of air – empty space – in the packs.