Smurfit Kappa grapes

Packaging manufacturer Smurfit Kappa has reported a significant increase in the number of companies seeking sustainable packaging alternatives for fresh fruit and vegetables.

The firm, which launched its Better Planet Packaging initiative last year, says it has been working on a portfolio of products designed to replace less sustainable packaging as brands come under increasing pressure to become more sustainable.

It comes as the manufacturer carried out a recent survey showing 75 per cent of consumers have a preference for paper-based packaging against less sustainable alternatives.

Portuguese grape producer Pomares do Sol approached Smurfit Kappa with the intention of finding a solution that would meet its sustainability requirements, increase the profile of its brand and have the capacity to withstand the journey through a complex and demanding supply chain.

Like its SoFru berry pack, Smurfit Kappa describes the new solution as an easy-to-assemble corrugated punnet on which high-quality colour and graphics can be printed to attract consumer attention in the retail environment. It is fully recyclable and designed to ensure that the condition and quality of the fruit remains in perfect condition from farm through to the consumer.

Raul Andre, general manager of Smurfit Kappa Celapack, said: “This was the result of a collaborative process with Pomares do Sol during which we analysed all aspects of the supply chain and the product requirements.

“Raising the profile of the brand was a key consideration and we also created a packaging solution that has a lifespan which matches the lifespan of the product inside, which is very important.”

Smurfit Kappa’s Better Planet Packaging initiative aims to reduce packaging waste and ultimately address the challenges of waste and litter that ends up in oceans and landfill.