Zirp insects food packaging design

Sustainable superfood in sustainable and safe packaging

​Insects are considered a common element of human nutrition in many regions around the world. In Europe, too, snacks and dishes made of arthropods are becoming popular. No wonder given the fact that they are rich in nutrients, beneficial to the environment and efficient to breed. Zirpinsects, the manufacturer of ZIRP insect snacks, packs its dried mealworms, grasshoppers and crickets in a sustainable folding carton made of Metsä Board’s fresh fibre board – for a natural, sustainable and consistent product presentation.


​Insects are the new superfood and are particularly rich in proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. On top of their health benefits, insects are a sustainable food source requiring less energy and water to grow compared to traditional livestock. One of the pioneer brands in the market is ZIRP, produced by Zirpinsects. Zirpinsects has carried out numerous consumer tastings that have shown more than 90 percent of the participants loved the subtly nutty flavour. “We designed insect illustrations for the product communication,” shares Simon Hagleitner, Art Direction and Design, at Zirpinsects. “We want to attract the consumers’ attention and encourage them to choose these still slightly unusual products.”

To reach its full potential, even the best product should come in packaging that presents it appropriately and authentically, reflecting its characteristics and communicating them to the potential buyer both verbally and implicitly. “We believe insects can make a considerable contribution to conserving natural resources,” says Christoph Thomann, founder and CEO of Zirpinsects. “If you want to communicate this message to consumers in a credible way, the product’s packaging must also meet highest environmental standards.” 

Zirp insects packaging designMetsäBoard FBB Prime 230 g/m2 excelled in terms of sustainability and efficiency as well as food safety and design.

Both sustainable and efficient: Metsä Board’s fresh fibre paperboards

The packaging design team chose MetsäBoard Prime FBB 230 g/m2, a paperboard made from fresh fibres that offers compelling properties, particularly with regard to sustainability, efficiency and food safety. The fresh fibre boards, made of fibres coming from sustainably managed northern European forests, are lightweighted, which means that less raw material, energy and water are consumed, and less weight is transported and it produces less waste in the end of the packaging value chain. Depending on the available local recycling facilities it can be recycled, making an important contribution to the circular economy. In addition, it is naturally pure and therefore particularly safe for food packaging.

MetsäBoard Prime FBB offers both design and sustainability benefits: In this case it was used ‘inside out’ providing a natural organic feel on the outside, whereas the multi-coated reverse side is ideal for printing, e.g. product information and recipe ideas. As the carton is produced 100% glue-less, it is easy to open and offers sufficient space for detailed text on the inside. This eliminates the need for an additional information leaflet, saving even more resources. After its use, the carton can be folded flat, thereby minimising the waste volume. Gerlinde Gruber, Packaging Designer, was impressed; “I was particularly surprised at how easily the paperboard can be folded. The design is also attractive. We are happy to have found the perfect partner to pack ZIRP.”

The carton made from MetsäBoard FBB Prime is produced 100% glue-less and offers plenty of space for detailed product information and recipes on the inside.

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