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Laura Stawinsky from Verpackungskontor Nord on developments in the packaging sector:

"Given the increased prices, many are switching back from cardboard to returnable crates"

In the paper packaging sector, a price reduction can currently be observed, while the shortage of materials and the associated delivery times are also tending to decline. "However, falling material prices are only one factor because, at the same time, all other costs, whether logistics, energy, or personnel, are still at high levels. Nevertheless, we hope that the slight recovery of the market will have a positive effect on the willingness to innovate and invest," reports Laura Stawinsky of VerpackungsKontor Nord & Co., based in Ganderkesee.

The unabatedly high paper prices have also led to strategic decisions on the part of customers, according to Stawinsky. "Particularly in the case of potatoes, many have switched back from cardboard to returnable crates, as the use of paper was no longer profitable. Previously, many opted for paper and cardboard not only for sustainability reasons but also because of the price, as it was often cheaper compared to reusable systems after all. This factor is now gradually fading away."

The team from Verpackungskontor Nord at this year's Fruit Logistica, with Managing Director Björn Schote (3rd from left) and Laura Stawinsky.

Alternative closure option
Among other things, berry punnets of all varieties are among the classic top sellers at Verpackungskontor. "We cover any order,  whether 5,000 or 500,000 pieces and can therefore supply both small farm stores and industrial players. Our ambition is to keep prices as affordable as possible by bundling our purchase quantities. We intend to continue expanding this service in the coming years," Stawinsky continues. Meanwhile, trays with cover options are trending. "People are increasingly trying to get away from the plastic lid, looking for alternative closure options. But it's difficult to find a solution that meets all the requirements. Because on the one hand, the product has to be covered, and on the other hand, the consumer also wants to have a view of the respective product at the POS."

Berry trays with standard printed images on 250-400-500-1000 gr containers are continuously available from stock. In the asparagus segment, the two packaging sizes of 5- and 10-kg crates are still being sold. There has been little development in the asparagus segment in terms of containers. According to Stawinsky, the exact opposite is the case with printing specifications: "Until a few months ago, crates with colorful printing motifs were in vogue; in the interests of sustainability and for cost reasons, there is now increasing demand for white and brown printing and a maximum of one to two printing colors."

Rising trend in the fruit and vegetable sector
VerpackungsKontor Nord was established in 2019 and specialized specifically in the markets in the German states of Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein. About one-third of the company's total sales today are to customers in the fruit and vegetable sector, and the trend is upward, according to Ms. Stawinsky.

"We have already been represented at several trade fairs such as expoSE, InterAspa, and currently also for the first time at Fruit Logistica. Now we have been able to win our first customers in neighboring countries. On the supplier side, we already have partners throughout Europe. Against the background of the plastic ban, which is already prescribed by law in several countries, we see an extremely interesting future market in fruit and vegetables, which we want to expand step by step."

For more information:
Laura Stawinsky
Verpackungskontor Nord GmbH & Co. KG
Sonnenblumenweg 3
27777 Ganderkesee
Tel.: +49 (0) 42 22 – 77 40 144

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