What was the most memorable food packaging for you? Most bizarre? Most functionally satisfying?
We all can think of many experiences, brands, that piqued our interest and made us pick a product up. This is one of the things, that we too, at WhatIF Foods thinks and ponders about. In particular for food, finding an ideal packaging solution is not just about making it pretty; it is about striking a balance of functionality among other important factors. For example, protecting the product, fulfilling consumer expectations, shelf appeal, being compliant with internationally recognized food safety and regulatory standards and lastly, not compromising the REgenerative aspects of WhatIF Foods philosophy are all that goes in to creating the best product packaging!
How do we start?
Some of our products require a certain packaging type at the beginning of the product development cycle. We can then determine the processing equipment or the nature of the product itself. On the other hand, other product categories allow us to be more creative, innovative and reinvent the consumer experience. In this multi-part series, you will soon learn about how we came about the unique Hexagonal Noodle Boxes, or different aspects we had to consider when we picked our milk packs, as standard as they may look.
We love collaborating with packaging providers who can produce sustainable and compostable packaging solutions, contributing to a much lower environmental footprint compared to current standard packaging options! However, they also have to hold up to commercial considerations. Minimum order quantities, costs as compared to regular packaging, and how it could all eventually contribute to the entire cost of the product.
For sure, we do not want to create something so ridiculously costly, that you would be paying more for the packaging – which would be disposed of – than for the product itself.
Once we have selected possible packaging solutions, shelf life and stability tests begin. At that same time, our insight team evaluates the consumer experience and convenience of the packaging. The product and packaging are then tested to withstand transport, storage and logistic demands, such as whether they could fit well in a container, whether they could withstand loading and unloading on a truck, or the multiple handling by last mile providers before they reach your doorstep. Other than that, we also need to test them for shelf stability – such as moisture barriers, barriers to oxygen, and whether they are food safe and are adhering to regulatory aspects.
All wrapped up
It is a complex and tedious process, but at the end of the day, starting from the conceptualization and finally seeing it come alive in the hands of friends and family, that is a truly satisfying outcome. Stay tuned to learn more about the story behind our not-so-conventional hexagonal boxes!