Materials &
Shape language

Structural product design for food is often a commercial challenge. But those who recognize the signs of the times dare to invest in forward-looking materials in order to package their products sensibly. We provide the right concept through our Material Lab and provide unique design.

We have been working with the food industry as a whole for over 10 years – from farmers to consumers. Our customers tend to be manufacturers or retail companies looking to optimise the presentation of their products. Making structural changes to the packaging is generally a major economical challenge. After all, there are so many different types of highly functional packaging solutions for food. They have existed for years, sometimes for decades. They are fully developed and competitively priced and available in huge quantities.

Improving standards and investing in new methods

The machines in production are well-rehearsed and optimized for this standard packaging. They work very well! So it’s no wonder that manufacturers struggle to change the shape of packaging or the basic material. Now and then it is possible to design and implement a completely new development. We as a design agency are not allowed to present these projects within our website. The sensitive information about it is too confidential. The motivations for individual packaging depend on the food category and vary greatly. A common reason is the profiling benefit as a unique selling point – but limited to the design language. Here you treat your brand soz. the tailored suit and sees more value in differentiation than it costs to invest in new tooling or machinery. In other cases, functional aspects are optimized (opening, hold/stability, etc.) but little is changed in terms of material or shape. In very few cases is packaging rethought and completely individualized from the material and production to the use or primary function to the waste or recycling.

Carefully balancing cost and benefit

But not all customisations are worth it. The value gained from differentiating the brand (USP), e.g. by using a unique bottle shape, needs to be weighed up against the negative environmental impact from its incompatibility with current recycling systems. Even the greatest custom-made bottle becomes a negative when the costs outweigh the benefits.

Become a first adopter and successfully shape the future

Nevertheless: The nutritional turnaround is in full swing. Animal products are slowly but surely being replaced by plant-based products in the food sector. It is only a matter of time before the old market shares are turned upside down. Unconventional becomes conventional and vice versa. Not tomorrow morning, but for the foreseeable future – that is, mountains of questions are piling up on the horizon for so-called conventional manufacturers to ask themselves. The change will take place in the coming years and decades. Strategists in the companies have long recognized this and are working on the products and packaging of a neo-ecological future. We see ourselves as partners in this change and provide answers as packaging designers who take a holistic view of the product.

Our Material Lab is leading the way.

And so we would like to appeal to manufacturers and retailers at this point: Let’s try the big shot! Our Material Glossary offers numerous sustainable alternatives to your current packaging solutions. Reach out and let’s change the future for the better to remain sustainably successful.

And we are not talking about huge innovations here – sometimes the answer lies within easy reach. As an external partner, we have a fresh outlook and can see your challenges from a different perspective. It could just be a case of using a traditional bottle as part of the standard range. And this “remix” may be all it takes to storm the charts.

Remix it!

A successful example of unique positioning despite “standard” packaging is our Glaabsbräu relaunch in the small EURO bottle 0.33l. The little sister of the famous “Helles” bottle 0.5l pleases and underlines the attitude of the brewery brand to create unique beer specialties with traditional methods and a portion of courage. Click here for the case study: Cheers!