Sector News

Huhtamaki rolls out connected bio-based ice cream packaging Icon

October 8, 2022
Energy & Chemical Value Chain

Huhtamaki is launching Icon, a 95% renewable bio-based paper-based packaging solution for ice cream containers and lids, enabling recycling in communities with paper product recycling programs across the US. A connected packaging QR code provides consumers with more information on environmental sustainability.

Huhtamaki says the launch is a “breakthrough” in delivering an environmentally sustainable solution for consumers that combines Huhtamaki’s proprietary water-based barrier coating with Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI)-certified paperboard. The ice cream containers and lids are to be recycled along with other paper products such as folded carton packaging.

“Our paper-based technology and barrier solutions are the key differentiators in Icon ice cream packaging. The technology allows ice cream packaging to enter the existing North American recycling stream more easily,” says Ann O’Hara, president at Huhtamaki North America.

Integrated QR code
Kevin Gunning, senior vice president – consumer goods, Huhtamaki North America, says that Icon packaging uses capabilities from Huhtamaki’s connected packaging solutions, with a QR code integrated into the packaging design, which directs consumers to the Icon landing page to help inform and increase understanding of the sustainability benefits of Icon packaging.

“This includes how we use responsibly sourced paper board, design packaging for circularity, harness ground-breaking technology and take practical steps to ensure that we regenerate value through recycling,” he remarks.

Gunning highlights that connected packaging is part of Huhtamaki’s digitalization strategy to provide a communication and marketing platform for customers, support consumer education and enable improved waste management through increased recycling.

“At Huhtamaki, we are driven by innovation and operational excellence, designing for circularity and developing next-generation innovation. Icon packaging has been developed by Huhtamaki’s Technology and Development and operational team as an alternative packaging solution for ice cream.”

“Our teams use their expertise in barrier functionality, paper forming and printing to drive differentiation and deliver ‘game-changing’ sustainable food packaging to our customers,” adds O’Hara.

Ice cream paper packs
For Huhtamaki, Icon packaging is a demonstration of the company’s ambition to become the first choice in sustainable packaging solutions. We are committed to achieving carbon-neutral production and designing all our products to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030.

Earlier this year, PackagingInsights spoke with experts from Huhtamaki and looked at some of the recent findings by Innova Market Insights to find out more about how the segment is changing and what we can expect to see in the near future.

Challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic increased environmental regulations and pressures against materials like plastic, and the need to make products appear healthy and sustainable all play a role in how dessert and ice cream packs are currently being designed.

Meanwhile, Nestlé unveiled new recyclable paper packaging for its KitKat Stick ice cream in Hong Kong. The move supports the food giant’s ambition to achieve 100% recyclable or reusable product packaging by 2025 and reduce the use of virgin plastic by one-third.

Edited by Natalie Schwertheim


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