As ice cream continues to be among consumers’ preferences, ice cream packaging is becoming more unusual and varied on the market. According to a report from the organizers of Interpack, the main focus when developing new packaging for this category is on sustainability and convenience.
For example, Unilever has developed a new ice cream packaging for its peach ice cream called “Solero Peach”, which is said to contain 35% fewer plastics. Thanks to five integrated compartments in the multipack box and a thin layer of polyethylene (PE) on the inside, the ice lolly products do not require additional plastic sleeves, unlike conventional packaging. Even at high temperatures, the ice cream lollies should not melt faster than in traditional cartons.
The recyclable ‘Solero Organic Peach Pack’ consists of 95 percent pure cardboard; the coating makes up five percent of the packaging. Since June 2019, the ‘Solero Organic Peach Pack’ packaging has been available as a limited test product and exclusively online at the online food retailer Ocado in Great Britain. If customers respond positively, the packaging will be retained.
Unilever launched the #GetPlasticWise campaign in the UK in early 2019. The company’s goal is to make its plastic packaging fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Recyclable Is the Way Forward
Nestlé is focusing on sustainability in ice cream packaging. In mid-2019, a pilot project is scheduled to start in New York, where Häagen Dazs ice cream packaging will be delivered in special containers and collected again. In partnership with the global recycling organization TerraCycle, subscribers can receive their food in tailor-made, durable reusable packaging at the front door and return it empty. The new double-walled steel ice cream containers are cleaned after collection, refilled and reused. The robust material does not affect the consistency of the ice cream during transport. In addition, Nestlé California’s innovative container design ensures that the ice cream melts faster at the top than at the bottom when opened.
Alternatively, the Finnish packaging company Stora Enso launched its new development Cupforma Natura Solo in May 2019, which is an innovative packaging material for hot and cold beverage cups and ice cream packaging. The cardboard for the packaging is produced without conventional plastic coating. Instead, sustainable alternatives such as 100% renewable Natura PE Green, a material that makes it easy to switch from fossil polyethylene, and industrially compostable Cupforma Natura Bio are used in the ice cream cups.
Due to the strong similarity to conventional polyethylene-lined cups, no new processing technology is required. The wood fibers used to come from sustainably managed forests and the packaging is certified.