John Harrison, Technical Sales Manager at Chadwicks, has over 30 years’ experience in the packaging sector and offers on the ground sales and technical support to Chadwicks’ growing customer base across Australia and New Zealand. Here John talks about future key trends and the continued challenges for flexible packaging in the region. As seen in What’s New in Food Technology and Manufacturing
Australasia has always been an important and strong market for Chadwicks. In recent years we have seen continued growth in our traditional dairy and beverage markets. We are also seeing a move towards our lidding solutions for other products such as snacks, pet food, ice cream, fresh salads and general foodstuff from both large FMCG manufacturers and SME’s. This growth is largely attributable to the proven service reliability provided by Chadwicks, as well as to the growing trend towards sustainable packaging solutions.
As in the rest of the world, much of the discussion around packaging regionally is based on plastic reduction, sustainability and recyclability. Customers are increasingly moving away from unfavourable materials, such as polystyrene, towards more environmentally-friendly alternatives – a goal seen by many as critical in the next few years.
Continued demand for sustainable packaging solutions
Polyester as a rigid packaging format is advancing significantly. Chadwicks is able to respond to this by offering lidding that is both commercially proven and suitable for PET containers. The use of PET lids with PET containers improves the ability to ensure a single plastic component in the lid/container combination. This makes the ability to feed into the post-consumer recycle streams easier.
PET lidding is also capable of being reduced in terms of its overall plastic content, either by incorporating rPET or by gauge reduction – both commercially available from Chadwicks. The use of materials that incorporate recycled content or use less virgin plastic is important to many customers. In response to this Chadwicks has developed recycled content white (30%) and clear (50%) PET lidding. These lids offer the same functionality and optical properties as standard lids. Likewise, we have been working on downgauging and now have a 36 micron product in white, clear and RPET gauges which is ready for market. This is a 28 percent potential overall reduction in plastic consumption on standard 50 micron PET lids.
Innovation key to responding to future trends
Innovation is key to meeting the growing demand for not only sustainable packaging but food safety, which will certainly increase in the short-term given the global pandemic and potentially longer term. New technologies in packaging are emerging all the time. Very often this means challenging conventional packaging solutions whilst ensuring there are no major cost implications.
For example, at Chadwicks we now offer a paper-based lid, suitable for wet products, which a few years ago would not have been considered a viable option.
We are also looking at a two component, resealable lid which removes the necessity for a plastic over-cap.
Successful supply chain collaboration more important than ever
Customers are always looking for ways to improve performance whilst at the same time drive down costs. Suppliers have always needed robust supply chains, but having a supply chain that is fast moving, with short lead times and that can react to the changing market demands has become very apparent during COVID-19.
Like many UK and European companies exporting into Australasia, Chadwicks’ relies heavily on sea-freight shipment of goods to customers. Fortunately, shipping lanes have remained consistent throughout the pandemic with only minor delays. As lidding materials are generally light and non-bulky, the ability to airfreight our products is also a viable option. One of the key attributes that Chadwicks provides is the ability to work to very quick manufacturing turnarounds. Successful supply chain collaboration and innovation are key to addressing many of the trends and challenges that the packaging sector in Australia and New Zealand is likely to face over the coming months. Wherever companies sit in the supply chain they need to understand both the upstream and downstream business issues as well as the needs of the consumer, and respond to these through innovation, consistent quality and reliable service and supply.
For more information John can be reached at email@example.com
Mob: +64 (0) 29 771 3410 Tel : +64 (0) 9 558 3211|