International Paper Foodservice Europe has won the prestigious Sustainable Innovation in Packaging Award at the 2016 Foodservice Footprint Awards for its new, plastic-free version of the iconic KFC food bucket.
Throughout the development of the new food bucket, International Paper Foodservice Europe worked closely with KFC UK and Ireland to achieve the joint objectives of improving food presentation and environmental performance.
Innovation in materials used was one of the judging criteria for this award. Polyethylene is often used in paper board food buckets, either internally to prevent the grease from the food soaking through the container or externally to improve print finish. This new food bucket uses a grease-resistant lining instead of a traditional polyethylene (PE) lining, which prevents the build-up of grease to improve food presentation and also removes plastic from the construction of the product.
Further development work targeted the outer of the container to give it extra visual impact. KFC UK and Ireland wanted a glossy finish, but that needed to be achieved without the addition of a plastic coating. Building on its earlier investment in print quality at its Winsford factory, International Paper Foodservice Europe has now developed a clay-coated finish that brings extra vibrancy to the print.
The judges commented on the plastic-free food bucket, saying: “This is a breakthrough and has been achieved in conjunction with developing the client’s brand values. Given the cups controversy this is a timely product. Communication to mills regarding the ability to process with mixed papers will be key. Good innovative solution to an everyday problem.”
This is the second accolade for International Paper Foodservice Europe’s new food bucket – it was highly commended in the Foodservice Packaging Association’s Innovation Award category in March.
Sales and marketing director, David Lawlor, says: “This was an exciting product development project that challenged us to change the traditional design, construction and presentation of the food bucket. We rose to the challenge and I am thrilled that we have won this award.”
Pictured, from left: David Lawlor, International Paper Foodservice Europe, Mark Durden-Smith and Nick Piper, Pro2Pac