Driscoll's blueberries get new packaging

"We wanted a distinctive, sustainable blueberry packaging"

Remmert Dekker Packaging has designed new, fully recyclable blueberry packaging for Driscoll's. "This partnership led to the development of new cardboard packaging to replace the plastic bucket. It contains 98% less plastic," says Wouter Wigman, Remmert Dekker Packaging's marketing manager.

Consumers and retailers are increasingly concerned about plastic packaging. That led Driscoll's to approach Remmert Dekker's and ask them to replace its blueberries' recognizable plastic 'bucket' with a more sustainable alternative. "Sustainability is a key pillar in our company vision. We started offering our range in cardboard packaging two years ago. We began with 125g packs; organics and bulk packs followed. The large 500g packs of tasty blueberries are a logical next step," says Anne Hamerlinck, product marketing manager at Driscoll's.

"We noticed the important trends toward reducing single-use plastics and rising demand for healthy snacks, breakfasts, and convenience. We're eager to address those trends. Healthy snacking has become increasingly important, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Blueberries are the fruit of choice for this. Considering retailers' growth opportunities in the berry category, we wanted a more sustainable large packaging, but with a distinctive, beautiful look while maintaining quality. That's why we knocked on Remmert Dekker Packaging's door."

Almost plastic-free
"We have experience in cardboard fruit and vegetable packaging solutions," Wouter adds. "So we were honored that Driscoll's came to us and we started working on the design right away." That resulted in an entirely redesigned blueberry package, explicitly developed for Driscoll's. "We don't start from the existing packaging but discuss things what the the client wants to get the desired result. In the end, we chose a packaging made of FSC-certified cardboard."

"The only plastic is in the viewing window. That means it contains 98% less plastic. That window is a requirement, especially for fruit and vegetables. Shoppers won't buy a product they can't see. However, removing the film is easy, so you still have separate materials. And, according to Papier Recycling Nederland and the Netherlands' Institute for Sustainable packaging guidelines, you can even recycle the packaging with the plastic," Wouter explains.

The packaging is a result of a highly successful partnership, he says. "There wasn't so much supplier/customer talk; we shared a lot of information and got a glimpse into each other's work process. For example, we learned a lot about Driscoll's' filling process and transportation. We could then develop a packaging according to their standards. Something that suits Driscoll's' logistic process 100%. It can withstand the cold, is easy to pack, has a unique resealable opening, and a convenient handle."

Positive feedback
The packaging is now available at an increasing number of international retailers. Anne: "Looking at the consumer feedback we've received, it seems to have been a good idea. The packaging has a QR code people can use to let us know what they think of the packaging. And all the reactions are positive. Consumers say quality has been maintained, while the blueberries' shelf life may even have improved, thanks to the sturdy cardboard packaging. And, they often use the empty container to store other fruit."

This packaging will be submitted for the Pro Carton Packaging Award, But it is an exclusive Driscoll's design. Remmert Dekker Packaging and Driscoll's intend to keep working together in the packaging process. "However, we also want to continue expanding into the fruit and vegetable sector and fill a service role," says Wouter. "That sector is fast-paced."

"Our quick solutions and adjustments support that well. We have cardboard packaging and food safety experience. We have no qualms about adding more and more product groups either. Van De Velde Packaging acquired us six months ago. That helps; it gives us more options," he concludes.

For more information:
Wouter Wigman
Remmert Dekker Packaging
159 Knollendammer Street
1531 BD, Wormer, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 752 040 570
Email: contact@remmertdekker.nl      
Website: www.remmertdekker.nl    

Anne Hamerlinck
Tel: +31 (0) 850 217 000
Email: sales@driscolls.eu  
Website: www.driscolls.eu

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