The big drivers in today’s competitive food industry are single-serve and on-the-go convenience. Verstraete IML (Maldegem, Belgium) helped its customer, Nestle Brazil Ice Cream, achieve both of those ideals by launching a series of 140-ml mono-packs in December 2016 with a Peelable IML lid, including the unique spoon-in-lid. Since then, Brazilian consumers have been able to have their ice cream and eat it too at the time and place of their choosing, because they always have a spoon on hand.
Plastic packaging producer Plasticos Regina, ice cream producer Froneri and IML label producer Verstraete IML collaborated in the development and production of the new IML lid, an initiative that is paying off for consumers.
Since December 2016, Froneri has been using the peelable IML lid for its on-the-go ice cream in Brazil. “We’ve been aware of the advantages of IML for some time, since we use it for other packaging solutions,” said Henrique Bechara, Packaging Development at Nestle Brasil. “IML entices consumers with a premium look and feel. It is also technically possible to integrate a spoon into an IML lid, creating a significant competitive advantage. Consumers can eat their ice cream whenever they want, since they always have a spoon available. This user-friendly spoon-in-lid design gives us a real edge on the competition.”
The spoon remains intact when filling, stacking and transporting the ice cream packages. Other advantages include the elimination of the conventional two-step process: The label does not need to be adhered as a secondary operation because it is injection molded into the lid, becoming an integral part of the lid. Also, IML print quality increases the appeal of the product, which in turn enhances the brand image among consumers, according to Verstraete.
“Peelable IML offers a number of important advantages,” commented Jose Oscar Peres Filho, Regional Business Development Manager for Latin America at Verstraete. “It is perfectly safe for transporting and storing frozen products, and consumers can easily remove the label to use the packaging to store other products or to cut out a discount coupon or reward point from the label without ruining the packaging. When combined with DoubleSided IML, the brand owner can even print product information or inspiring recipes on the back of the label.”
The new spoon-in-lid with Peelable IML label wasn’t without challenges. According to Bruno Dedomerici, Associate Industrial Director at Plasticos Regina,
“The greatest challenge in this project was to integrate the spoon into the lid. Verstraete sent us a number of test labels. We [exchanged] feedback so that together we could arrive at the best functionality, optimal design and ready-made molds.
“Nestle is very pleased with the result,” Dedomerici added. “The spoon is extremely easy to remove from inside the lid and the system is both safe and hygienic. In addition, the perfectly sized spoon is lightweight, sturdy and stays securely in place when filling and stacking our packages.”
The new ice cream mini-pack recently won the prestigious Gold Award in the DuPont competition for Packaging Innovation. Commenting on the design, the jury said, “It is a packaging solution designed for the on-the-go consumer. The clever cup is the combination of a suite of technologies, including thin-wall injection molding, which offers fast cycle times, and in-mold labeling for decoration. Demonstrating a strong commitment to responsible packaging, Froneri repurposed 26% of the whole lid weight to be formed into the detachable spoon instead of adding another film layer or using additional materials. The ice cream cup showed increased production efficiency, a commitment to responsibility, and a clever use of materials thanks to the IML spoon-in-lid,” said the jury.