Caring for confectionery

Nina Happonen

Last Sunday was the opening day of ProSweets, a trade fair held in Cologne, Germany. The four-day event gathers professionals from the entire supply spectrum of the confectionery industry under one roof.  Metsä Board is also there, presenting its extensive range of sustainable boards for packaging chocolate, sweets, snacks, biscuits and food to be eaten on the go. To give you a taste of what the next few days will bring, we picked a few trends and drivers affecting sustainable packaging now and in the future.

Less is more

Confectionery packages are getting lighter and smaller in size. Many drivers are shaping this trend, such as consumers looking for premium delicacies in smaller packages and manufacturers seeking options that are both cost efficient and sustainable. Lightweight boards are cost efficient, environmentally friendly, and maintain the quality feel of a luxury treat, making them the perfect choice for confectionery packaging.

You should not taste the packaging

The basic purpose of a package is to keep its contents safe and clean. Today’s consumers are more aware of food safety, which extends to packages as well. The safety of packaging lies in the quality and traceability of the raw materials used in their manufacture. In paperboards’ case, the sensory properties are also important in ensuring the packaged delicacy stay odour and taint-neutral, tasting purely like itself. 

User experience starts in the store

Consumers, longing for a treat and a touch of luxury, expect a lot from confectionery packaging. When deciding on their purchase, attention is paid to the size and design of the package, and many consumers also check the label to understand the precise details of the product. Whether the package is functional, user friendly and safe is all put to the test when it is opened and in use. When the goods have been enjoyed and the package is empty, recyclability, in turn, becomes an important issue. Many recycle it right away, while some might want to keep the packaging and reuse it.

Populations grow – as do forests

We see a bright future for paperboard packaging. Megatrends like population growth and the decline in natural resources oblige us to consume sustainably and utilise raw materials efficiently. The use of paperboard has significant advantages, such as renewability, biodegradability, and recyclability. While plastic decomposes in 700 years, for paperboard it only takes a couple of months. The time it takes for the wood needed for one tonne of board to grow in Finnish forests is even shorter – that only takes one second.

Nina Happonen,
VP, Technical Marketing


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