Food and Packaging Experts Dare to Look to The Future
1/4/2024 Sustainability New Paths Design Start-ups Article

Food and Packaging Experts Dare to Look to The Future

Established brands as well as newcomers in the food industry are always on the lookout for new designs and packaging solutions. Packaging designer Andreas Milk and futurologist Daniel Anthes take a look at relevant topics of “tomorrow” and “the day after tomorrow” with a specially developed “Future Trend Radar.”

Portrait of Andreas Milk carrying an Erlenmeyer flask with a steaming liquid on his hands. Andreas Milk has developed the Future Food Trend Radar. In it, he highlights the most important current trends in the areas of food, packaging, kitchen and production from his perspective.

A breakfast in the year 2040: the porridge comes from a 3D printer which, thanks to your smart watch, has your current vital data and links it to a nutritionally optimized recipe. The basic raw materials required for this, such as rolled oats, nuts, and dried fruit, have already been processed for the 3D printer and are delivered to your home every week in a subscription box. But the user doesn’t notice much of this, “after all, thanks to technology, everything runs autonomously”, says Daniel Anthes, describing his scenario of the future. He is a start-up founder, food expert, and keynote speaker at the Zukunftsinstitut.

Andreas Milk, who runs an agency for packaging design, has inspired Anthes to develop a joint “Future Food Trend Radar”. The two people from Frankfurt have been working on innovative and sustainable packaging materials for years. The radar not only sheds light on the future of eating and cooking, but also on packaging in the food sector.

Milk and Anthes venture a look into the future and predict that some packaging and systems, such as the compostable film Traceless and the Loop recycling project, will become game changers, while others, such as packaging made from seaweed, may no longer have a secure future.

The radar provides inspiration and guidance on the question of which food and packaging materials and concepts – metaphorically speaking – are relevant today and will be tomorrow (2030 to 2040) or the day after tomorrow (from 2040). Companies from the food or packaging industry can have an individual radar created on this basis. They can therefore develop an individual brand image for the future and start the process for new products and packaging solutions based on this.

Change in Nutrition

“With our 'Future Food Trend Radar', we want to illustrate the transformation of nutrition in all its complexity and multi-layeredness and invite you to think about the future in an entertaining and inspiring way”, says Andreas Milk. “The focus is on the topics of food, kitchen, marketing, and packaging and, therefore, on what we eat, how and where we prepare and cook it, how and where we produce and transport the necessary food, and also on how we package it."

Who Are the Game Changers?

In the Loop project, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Danone, and other consumer goods giants are working together on solutions to reduce waste. This is a completely new way of shopping in which reusable packaging plays the main role. Such naïve fallacy in which the packaging goes back to the retailer, are the future, say Milk and Anthes.

Further leaps in material reduction can be made with other approaches such as the “Flow Pack” from Adapa, which is already on the market. In Adapa’s innovative example, the special mono-material solution for improved recyclability is the decisive piece of the puzzle for contemporary packaging. The experts also see the edible protective layer Apeel as a gamechanger that is here to stay, it can be applied to citrus fruits or avocados, for example, and extends the shelf life of the food.

About the people:

Andreas Milk comes from a family of butchers, is an economist, and works as a creative consultant for the food industry. Food runs in Andreas’ family. And so, it was a logical step to dedicate the agency business fully to the food market.

Daniel Anthes is an economic geographer, business economist, and publicist, focusing in particular on the topics of social change, nutrition, and sustainability. The Frankfurt native founded the start-up Knärzje. He also works as a Senior Associate for the Zukunftsinstitut.

Topics that (could) shape the future of the packaging industry will also be discussed at FACHPACK 2024 – at the exhibitors’ stands and in the forums open to visitors - the INNOVATIONBOX and PACKBOX.