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"Packaging should attract the customer's attention and help sell produce quickly"

Consumers are becoming more aware of ecological packaging, and supermarkets have opted to follow suit, says Adam Sikorski, sales manager of Polish packaging company SoFruPak: "I observe the packaging market from our perspective and see greater interest in cardboard packaging year on year. Ecological awareness is increasingly influencing consumer choices. More and more supermarkets and fruit producers realize that they must adapt their packaging strategies to changing market expectations. In the coming 2024, the fight against plastic will continue to be a priority, which is why we plan to increase sales of our 100% biodegradable packaging."

According to Sikorski, cutting corners when it comes to packaging is not what will bring a brand to the next level, as proven by trying out cheaper packaging. "Previously, customers were looking for the cheapest cardboard packaging to keep the price difference from plastic packaging as small as possible. This strategy brought bad results, as poor-quality packaging appeared to be unable to cope with the humidity and gave poor visibility of the fruit packed in it. Fortunately, the market quickly verified this, and in 2023, the situation started to change. Sellers understood that the fruit must be very well displayed, and the packaging should attract the customer's attention and help them sell quickly. That's why we currently sell 95% of EcoView series packaging with cellulose film windows."

Despite an increase in costs, SoFruPak hasn't increased the price of their packaging as a result, Sikorski explains: "Production costs are increasing year by year. Recently, reductions in paper prices have helped us cover rising electricity and labor costs, which is why our packaging prices have not changed to the benefit of our customers. Taking into account optimistic forecasts and the planned increase in sales in the 2024 season, despite further increases in production costs already announced in Poland, we don't plan to change the prices of our packaging to higher ones."

Next to regular improvements to its packaging, SoFruPak will introduce a new series of packaging with permanent closure in 2025, Sikorski states. "Every year, we improve our packaging. In the 2024 season, we've improved the lid and closure of the packaging. They will have a stiffer structure and will be more resistant to mechanical damage in stores. However, in the next year, 2025, we plan to introduce an innovative series of packaging with permanent closure. In the case of cardboard packaging, there is currently no such solution, so this may be our next proposition."

Thanks to the new plastic regulations in France, this market is very interesting for the Polish packaging manufacturer, Sikorski acknowledges: "Last year, we participated in 17 fairs and conferences in the EU. Thanks to this, we are a recognizable company, and we sell to all EU countries. I observe that the French market is the fastest growing for us, and I assume that sales to French customers in 2024 will be the largest. This is related to the Plastic Free regulations in France. By increasing production capacity, we are prepared for this."

Looking ahead, Sikorski feels that supermarket chains will play an important part in the increase in demand for plastic-free packaging. "The demand for ecological packaging will certainly increase, and this is a process that will never be stopped. Supermarket chains will play an important role here, as they cannot ignore plastic reduction in accordance with the EU resolution and cannot remain indifferent to the growing ecological awareness of consumers. Moreover, more and more fruit producers have decided to change from plastic packaging to ecological ones, wanting to stand out in the local market. I see great interest in our packaging not only in Europe but also in the Americas, where we have already concluded our first commercial transactions. This is another market we will focus on," he concludes.

For more information:
Adam Sikorski
Tel.: +48 725 591 457