Danone Canada goes for big impact with less packaging

Manufacturer invests $1 million to reduce packaging for its Greek yogurt brands

The best things come in small packages.

Danone Canada has invested approximately $1 million to reduce packaging for its four-packs of Greek yogurt brands, Oikos and Activia Greek.

The new packages eliminate the overwrap that helped keep the yogurt cups together–a move that reduces the packaging by 25%.

The change might seem small, but Pascal Lachance, sustainable development and environment manager for Danone, said, “it’s a project that comes with a lot of implications.”

Everything from the cup size, to the lids, to the paper labeling were altered during the year-long development. Investments were also required to reinforce the plastic bridge between the yogurt cups so they could withstand the pressures of shipping, transport and storage, while maintaining what Lachance calls “the snap ability”–the ability to snap one cup from another.

Lachance said the packaging change will have no impact on retail price, and there are no plans for consumer marketing.

“It wasn’t really about the price,” he said. “We were really looking to have a product with less packaging while maintaining the same quality.”

The new packaging is part of Group Danone’s global mission to cut CO2 emissions in half by 2020.

Danone has taken several steps to reduce its environmental footprint. In 2012 packaging for tubs of its Greek yogurt was redesigned to be 17% lighter. It also now ships 78% of its product to western Canada by train to reduce carbon emissions.

“We are searching for innovation and we are working to reduce our social and environmental impact,” said Lachance. “And that’s true for the group but also true for each country business level as well.”

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