Aseptic packaging provider SIG Combibloc Obeikan – headquartered in Dubai – has set a new trend to conveniently consume on-the-go packed juice, says SIG Combibloc Obeikan marketing and business development manage Hugo Klaasen.
This follows the partnership between SIG Combibloc Obeikan, and branded food and beverage products producer and distributor Pioneer Foods in launching the first combismile in the Middle East and Africa region.
Combismile is a packaging solution that offers volume and design flexibility, explains SIG Combibloc Obeikan Middle East and Africa commercial strategy and marketing directorMartin Schmedes.
The solution is created using only the paperboard made of pulp from trees from Forest Stewardship Council- (FSC-) certified, responsibly managed forests and other controlled sources. It is, therefore, among the most environment-friendly packaging solutions, he adds.
“It guarantees convenience and differentiation on the shelve and is produced from a raw paperboard that is made of 100% plant-based renewable materials to reduce the impact of production on the environment. Whether it is for drinks, food, or both, the carton packaging is light, attractive and easy to transport. Foods and beverages are perfectly protected and retain their high quality,” says Schmedes.
Klaasen notes that using sustainable packaging is in line with Pioneer Foods’ mission to build a low circular economy.
He adds that the company has noted a “rapid increase” in the use of this packaging in South Africa, which has been the fastest-growing region in SIG’s country portfolio.
Meanwhile, SIG Combibloc Obeikan COO Abdelghany Eladib highlights that this packaging innovation offers Pioneer Foods the potential to access new market opportunities, fuel a wide demographic with on-the-go consumers and offer premium product differentiation across its portfolio.
For example, plastic pollution is a major concern for businesses and consumers globally, particularly the environmental impact of plastic straws.
This has caused many governments and cities to ban or phase out plastic straws, which has put the food and beverage industry under pressure to offer a viable alternative, he adds.
“To help manufacturers meet these demands and reduce plastic waste, we have co-developed the first fully renewable and recyclable paper straw solution. The paper used to produce the straw originates from FSC-certified forests and other controlled sources. U-shaped paper straws are now available for our on-the-go packages.”
Eladib notes that Covid-19 highlights how crucial it is for companies to be responsible and consider their environmental impact, as “the pandemic has sparked an important conversation about how businesses can better support people, society, and the environment”.
“During Covid-19, we have understandably seen an increased awareness of product safety, with consumer concerns focused firmly on hygiene and food safety, but it has also led to heightened awareness regarding health, wellbeing and immunity.”
Another impact of Covid-19 that can be expected is a greater commitment from consumers to buy from responsible companies, adds Elabid.
He suggests that in the era after Covid-19, businesses will be scrutinised more than ever – not only in what they produce but also in how they act.
Elabid points out that, with this kind of pressure, now is the time for producers to consider how they can effectively minimise the environmental impact of their products and processes.
“If a producer wants to offer more sustainable and responsible products, then packaging, and the system behind it, is a good place to start. Packaging is the first key touchpoint for consumers, and influences the entire brand experience.”
He adds that SIG is committed to protecting the environment and fostering sustainability globally.
“In many markets around the world, SIG is considered a frontrunner in sustainability. We were the first in our industry to have all our packaging 100% FSC-certified, meaning all our paperboard comes from responsibly managed forests.”
Further, Elabid notes that SIG Combibloc Obeikan has noted the emergence of major trends locally and globally, such as increased demand for immunity supplements, including ice tea, flavoured water and plant-based beverages, as well as a preference for home cooking and convenient food packages.
He concludes that SIG Combibloc Obeikan continuously monitors these trends, as they provide new opportunities for innovation and differentiation to overcome market challenges.