Huhtamaki’s fiber solutions

Redesigning packaging for the future

Huhtamaki Fiber Solutions brings innovation to life. Photo Huhtamaki

Fiber packaging has existed for years, but what difference does it make? Huhtamaki innovates to make the most of this natural material, elevating it through cutting-edge technology capabilities. What brings material and packaging innovation to life is people. Their knowledge, expertise, and passion reflects in the work they do each and every day to design the fiber packaging of the future.

“Fiber is the material of the future because it is adaptable, endlessly versatile, and fully recyclable. It is much stronger than you can imagine,” says Wouter Kienstra, Process and Product Development manager at Huhtamaki. “To be able to innovate it, you have to acknowledge that fiber works in a completely different way compared to normal metals or plastics.”

Huhtamaki takes this renewable material to a whole new level with its high-precision technology – in partnership with the customers. It uses both sustainably sourced virgin fiber and recycled fiber in its different packaging solutions – always choosing the material that best fits its application. Combining expertise, a deep understanding of the industry, and consumer needs, discover the solutions to redesign the fiber packaging of tomorrow.

Sanne Tiekstra, Innovation Program manager at Huhtamaki, says that customers often request final solutions that are equal to or even better than their current plastic-based solutions. Sanne and her team focus mainly on product and process development. Looking at both aspects of innovation enables the unit to adopt a truly holistic approach, testing and validating the entire solution at different levels to be able to answer the demands and desires of the customer.

“Take for example our Fresh tray used for ready meals – it has to be ovenable and microwavable, and the barrier must be able to withstand those temperatures. In addition, it should have an oxygen barrier to keep and maintain shelf life in the store. By using fiber-based products, recyclability becomes another key advantage. There’s huge potential when it comes to developing innovative fiber packaging and we believe Huhtamaki’s fiber solutions have the power to redesign the future.,” she states.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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