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Kalfany Süße Werbung (eng. Kalfany Sweet Advertisement) works towards making their products in a way that conserves resources and is sustainable.Today, Kalfany uses Koehler NexPlus® Seal for some of its products. An interview with Klaus Richter, Managing Director Kalfany Süße Werbung.
Mr Richter, you work in a business that deals with sweets packaged in small units. You will have already asked yourself the question of environmental compatibility. How do you deal with this question and how does the industry deal with it?
Packaging always has to fulfil different functions. It is used to advertise the product, but it must also meet functional requirements. These include acting as a barrier against oxygen, light and moisture. Of course, this varies from product to product. Added to this is the increasing demand for recyclable packaging, which in the best-case scenario should be produced in a completely climate-neutral way. This is the challenge we are facing. Where possible, we replace existing packaging with more sustainable alternatives. For example, we can already use the Koehler NexPlus® Seal for sugar-coated products.
Paper reacts differently to packaging machines than films. What are your experiences with this?
We found out that we cannot become infinitely small with the bag formats with paper. The paper is pulled over a forming shoulder and does not react as flexibly to stretching as plastic film. We produced the right sizes and ended up with a bag width of 60 millimeters.
Do your customers in the advertising materials sector also demand more sustainable solutions?
Of course, we are always confronted with these questions. In this sector, we compete with other promotional items such as pens or USB flash drives. With food, we already have a sustainability advantage anyway, because you can’t eat pens. That still leaves the packaging. With the sweets wrapped in paper, we now have a very promising product in our range.
What role does shelf life play? Do the products have to be preserved for as long as possible or are customers willing to compromise?
Minimum storage life is an important issue in the promotional products sector, especially for customers who want to order promotional items in larger quantities in order to distribute them over a longer period. Meanwhile, issues like freshness or the taste itself, meaning enjoyment value, and of course the ecological footprint, play an important role. Customers and consumers are now foregoing shelf life if these attributes play along.
Paper is probably still more expensive. What role does the economic aspect play?
Quality has different aspects. The product itself is extremely important, but packaging also plays a major role. If we offer customers the added value of paper packaging, they are also prepared to pay the extra costs for this quality feature.
If you dare to look into the future, how will the market for confectionery packaging develop?
The industry is driven by consumer demands and is clearly moving in the direction of ecological packaging. The sorting industry is far from being as technologically advanced as it could be. Manufacturers are already making extensive use of mono-materials that can be recycled. However, most plastic solutions are not sorted at all, but end up being incinerated. This is a matter for the legislator. Paper can make a major contribution to the development towards sustainable packaging solutions because it is actually recycled and the recycling cycle issue has already been resolved. I am already looking forward to the Koehler Paper Group’s next developments.