3 steps to eco-friendly packaging solutions that work for you and your customers


Grocery stores are increasingly looking for ways to be eco-friendly and are turning to packaging companies for their expertise and products.

Like most retailers, grocers are committed to protecting the environment. Even if they weren’t, they still face increasing pressure from consumers who are willing to pay higher prices and travel farther to patronize grocery stores that share their sustainability values.1 Additionally, local, state and federal regulations continually challenge grocers to raise the bar to create more environmentally friendly operating processes.

With demand for improved sustainability coming from many fronts, grocers are looking to food producers for solutions.

Food producers, in turn, are turning to packaging companies, says Ron Cardey, senior vice president at Kwik Lok. “Food producers come to us and say, “We know we have to do something to improve sustainability, but we have constraints because we don’t have a big margin. What are some of the options we have? »

The answer? Three strategies for identifying and implementing eco-friendly packaging solutions that are right for the business, says Cardey.

1. Find the right solution.

This solution is more than a product, like a durable food seal. The right solution requires understanding the big picture and solving the whole problem, even if new problems evolve.

It starts with a thorough understanding of the food producer’s goals, Cardey said. How do they measure the success of the solution? If they are trying to reduce carbon, certain other components must be used. Or, in parts of the world where plastic is strictly regulated, the right solution takes this into account.

Which solution is “right” at the moment will change as new processes, technologies and regulations affect production. Due to these rapid changes, food producers should anticipate that their solution will require future iterations and can be adjusted to meet new demands.

2. Find the right partner.

Since solutions are not one-size-fits-all, find a partner who can develop an answer to individual retailer and consumer needs. The right partner will look for new ways to package that take into account freshness, safety, environmental friendliness and cost. It’s not just a sustainable product, Cardey said. This is a product that works in the system of a food producer.

“In 2019, Kwik Lok introduced the first sustainable closure,” he said. The closure had to work in a variety of machines, otherwise it wouldn’t be practical. A partner must understand the challenges food producers and grocers face and develop products that make those challenges more manageable.

Grocers who partner with packaging companies like Kwik Lok reduce their risk of error in packaging decisions. For example, Kwik Lok works with other bag makers and keeps abreast of industry innovations. This means Kwik Lok partners can better anticipate the rapidly changing landscape.

3. Communicate your efforts.

The best green strategies won’t be appreciated if your customers – and their customers – don’t know about them. In one study, nearly half of consumers surveyed (48.6%) said their main retailer did not have a sustainability program in place, even though 85% of stores practiced some aspect of sustainability.2

“Retailers haven’t done much to communicate with the consumer,” Cardey said. This communication includes the use of signage, social media and advertising. QR codes can also be used on packaging closures, allowing for more educational marketing and cross-promotion opportunities.

When a retailer invests in a partnership to advance sustainability, it is essential to highlight it, not only to be recognized for its efforts, but also to educate consumers about sustainability. Whether it’s explaining the virtues of buying ugly fruit or the meaning of different recycling symbols on packaging or providing a how-to guide on composting, grocers can help their customers reach their goals. of durability.

The expectations and challenges of delivering environmentally friendly products do not go away. As food producers and grocers balance business, consumer and environmental demands, the three eco-friendly packaging strategies create solutions that benefit everyone.

Looking for an eco-friendly alternative but don’t know where to start? Discover Kwik Lok latest offers to see how they could help.

  1. Browne, Michael. “Sustainability is high on consumers’ shopping lists, according to a new report.” Supermarket NewsOct 7, 2021, www.supermarketnews.com/sustainability/sustainability-ranks-high-consumers-shopping-list-new-report-shows.
  2. Hoeff, Andrew. “Make sustainability visible in your grocery stores.” Datecheckpro.Com, www.datecheckpro.com/blog/making-sustainability-visible-in-your-grocery-stores. Accessed February 3, 2022.

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