Rethinking B2B coffee packaging to preserve and extend value through a returnable system

SGK Anthem, Vrijdag Premium Printing, Generous Minds, Neurensics, Kurz, Merck and Haval have joined forces under the name ‘Packadore Collective’ to design and implement both desirable and sustainable packaging solutions. Their ‘In Return’ design innovation explores how to preserve and extend packaging value through a returnable system.

B2B coffee packaging is fairly standardised across the market in the form of plastic and aluminium layered pouches — a highly efficient structure in terms of maximising volume and providing optimal protection against moisture. However, due to the use of multi-materials, such packaging cannot be currently recycled.

In the on-trade environment, coffee is typically stored in large 1 kg packs and with an average use of 20-30 packs per week, the volume of waste of un-recycled packaging materials across the sector is extensive.  

‘In Return’ conceptual packaging design innovation offers a far more sustainable solution in the form of reusable glass jars that can be directly attached to the coffee grinder. The design of the reusable lids incorporates a degassing valve for quality of preservation. The jar itself provides an invaluable surface for branding applications — a new consumer touchpoint at the point of purchase, helping to validate the commercial opportunity for investment in a more sustainable solution. 

After use, the jars can be stored and collected by the supplier when making their next delivery, ready to be cleaned and refilled for re-use. The Netherlands is well versed in returnable systems, just think of the Beer and Water categories. Preserving and extending the value of the packaging in this way helps reduce cost and reduce waste.

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Written by Kevin Gambrill