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Food e commerce boom and brands sustainability demands drive innovation in packaging

Food and Beverages | Monday, February 14, 2022

Packaging firms are clamoring to respond to the surge in fresh food and grocery sales in Asia’s e-commerce channels, with the market set to double in the next five years to tip USD 250 billion in South East Asia alone, while simultaneously striving to meet brands’ sustainability ambitions

FREMONT, CA: The United Nations estimates that the total amount of fruits and vegetables lost and wasted in Asia will reach 625 million tonnes by 2030. Experts worry about this major environmental concern as food loss also indicates a waste of resources such as fuel and freshwater. Food waste disposed of in landfills generates enormous amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

The Director of APAC sustainability remarked that product packaging has a much higher environmental footprint than the product itself, so it is essential to prevent product losses and food waste from packaging.

The pandemic has also resulted in a greater emphasis on packaging for the booming e-commerce and e-grocery industries. As food travels from farm to store, as well as from store to doorstep, using the right packaging application will ensure food is transported safely, efficiently, and on time, leaving consumers with a great eating experience. The demand for fresh food and groceries to be delivered on-demand is on the rise, and people are shifting to healthier foods with fewer preservatives.

In response to these developments, Sealed Air introduced TempGuard, a line of fibre-based insulated box liners designed to preserve temperature-sensitive goods, replacing polystyrene bins with a recyclable and renewable alternative. Additionally, smart packaging solutions can help reduce waste during food production and consumption. Cryovac, Sealed Air's food packaging division, developed smart packaging for the avocado spread that uses cold high-pressure pasteurization to extend the product's shelf life from 30 to 90 days, enabling more of the crop to be processed, exported, and consumed while lowering crop losses.

Packaging firms in APAC are increasingly using recyclable or reusable materials in their food packaging as consumers educate themselves on sustainability. Across all packaging solutions, Sealed Air has achieved 50% recycled or renewable content. Amcor's new packaging for Mondelez in Australia is one example. The Cadbury Dairy Milk brand's recyclable soft plastic container was designed and would be offered in Australian shops starting in September 2022.


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