Smurfit Kappa launches e-commerce beverage pack portfolio as research reveals COVID-19 demand surge
25 Jan 2021 --- Smurfit Kappa is launching a range of “eBottle” packaging solutions to meet booming demand for beverage home deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The line of paper-based packages includes 11 new designs for single and multi-pack products.
The pandemic e-commerce surge is evident across all sectors, says the company, including the beverage market.
Speaking to PackagingInsights, Herwin Wichers, marketing development director at Smurfit Kappa, describes the rigorous testing the eBottle underwent.
“The main challenge was to find the optimum balance between the right protection level and efficient material use. Using our International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) certified lab facilities, we were able to simulate and test for the e-commerce supply chain damage risks and define the right material usage, reaching the needed performance levels to overcome these risks.”
“This means our customers can be assured their products will arrive at their destination in perfect condition, while at the same time being confident in the efficient raw material usage from a sustainability perspective.”
Online shopping beverage boom
Smurfit Kappa says online sales for alcoholic beverages have increased by 34 percent in Europe, driving up demand and opening the space for innovations ensuring deliveries are environmentally sustainable.
Other key challenges for the beverage e-commerce market are preventing product damage, improving consumer experience, and accelerating sales and speed using efficient packing processes.
Smurfit Kappa consumer research also shows consumers are continuing to push for higher standards.
The research found over two-thirds (69%) of consumers prefer paper-based packaging and over half (59%) want parcels to be easy to open.
However, only 10 percent say they would consider reordering once having received a damaged product through the post.
Smurfit Kappa says it began innovating its latest designs off the back of this research.
The 11 new designs adding to Smurfit Kappa’s portfolio are as follows:
- Pyramid insert: A cardboard solution for single bottle delivery such as wines.
- Cuboid insert: Designed for larger surface area and additional space for customizable labeling.
- Protected gift: Added strength in the design aims to prevent any breakages on wine bottles and provide exterior labeling space.
- Roller bottle pack: “Iconic, disruptive and unexpected,” this single bottle pack rolls outward from a hexagonal frame.
- Bag-in-Box: This solution is designed to maximize parcel space, saving CO2 during transport.
- Divider 3-in-1: This solution can be automated, and the pack can hold 3 or 6 bottles.
- Heavy duty pack: An extra strong boxing type that can hold between one and six bottles.
- Pop-up insert: A modular design, giving full visibility of your products and can hold 3 or 6 bottles.
- eStack: The eStack solution allows for branding placed on large surfaces and highlighting on bottles. Smurfit says this is a “clever solution” for packages containing bottles of different heights.
- BiPack - BiPack allows for inside printing for additional marketing.
The road to market
Wichers adds that the automated packaging solutions are an extension of the company’s Better Planet Packaging range, aimed at producing more sustainable materials and designs for e-commerce.
“We are working together with the major alcoholic drinks companies, as well as medium to small-sized companies. There is already significant interest due to the opportunities the portfolio offers to the e-commerce channel,” explains Wichers.
InterDrinks, an online merchant selling over 2,500 different beer and beer products, has adopted Smurfit Kappa’s range of customizable designs.
“The online European alcohol beverage market is worth €5.6 billion (US$7.2 billion), and we want to help companies take advantage of the real growth and opportunity in this segment.”
“As a result of the implemented packaging and automation solution by InterDrinks, it has increased its packing and filling capacity by 66 percent, allowing it to fulfill more orders, faster,” concludes Wichers.
By Louis Gore-Langton
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