Ambalaj is a global hub for packaging design. The latest innovations, beautiful brand stories and thoughtful designs, grasping the dynamics of the global packaging design industry

100% Plant-based bottle

coca cola plant bottle packaging innovation design

“Coca-Cola unveiled the world’s first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant materials at the World Expo in Milan, Italy. PlantBottle packaging™ uses patented technology that converts natural sugars found in plants into the ingredients for making fully recyclable PET plastic bottles. The packaging looks, functions and recycles like traditional PET but has a lighter footprint on the planet and its resources. “Today is a pioneering milestone within our company’s portfolio,” said Nancy Quan, Global Research and Development Officer. “Our vision was to maximize game-changing technology, using responsibly sourced plant-based materials to create the globe’s first fully recyclable PET plastic bottle made entirely from renewable materials. We are delighted to unveil the first bottles at World Expo – a world-class exhibition where sustainable innovation is celebrated.”

WWF Natural Cleaning

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WWF just* packaging innovation design

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wwf just* sustainable packaging design

This is outstanding! All the plastic bottles with chemicals we use to clean things around us. This work designed by Leo Burnett for WWF, showcases sustainable ways to do it instead.

Just is a WWF initiative created to show that there are often simple and natural alternatives to many of the products we use every day – products that require packaging that uses up resources and often end up as landfill. A few simple steps are all it takes to make small changes that, when done by many, can help create a cleaner and more sustainable future. Create a better tomorrow, today.”

Leo Burnett explains:

“To help spread WWF’s sustainability message in a new way we helped people rethink how they consume by creating a range products called just. 100% natural and packaged in recycled and biodegradable materials, each was an alternative to a mass-produced product, free from plastic containers. Made available at produce markets, just reminded people that they were already buying many of the ingredients they need to live more sustainably. A dedicated microsite also housed a series of simple and light-hearted ‘how-to’ videos to show how easy it is to use the products while promoting WWF’s core aim of creating a world where humanity and nature live in harmony”

Carlsberg developing a bio-degradable bottle

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Green-Fiber-Bottle-packaging design

Carlsberg plans to develop the world’s first fully bio-degradable and bio-based beer bottle. Made from impulse-dried wood fibers, the “Green Fiber Bottle” is a groundbreaking innovation and currently under development in a partnership between Carlsberg Group and partners ecoXpac, Technical University of Denmark and Innovation Fund Denmark. The project commenced in January 2015 and it is expected to take three years to develop the final product.

This is the first prototype of their bio-degradable bottle. Still looking and feeling very different from what the final product will be, the prototype does give an idea of what the future of beer bottles could be.

Just fruit

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Nature Addicts was created in 2009 by Bertrand Jacoberger, a food fanatic, and a nature addict. This package was created based on the concept ‘pure fruit’. The pouch contains a pure blended fruit, and the design was created from the idea that ‘one picture says more than a thousand words’. It had to express immediately what the product is a pure fruit, just that! Designed by Logic. Via The Dieline

FibreForm Packaging

BillerudKorsnäs FibreForm® offers new opportunities for all kinds of packaging solutions where previously traditional papers have had their limitations. With extremely high stretchability comes the possibility to replace plastics with striking and personal packaging solutions in exciting shapes.

  • FreeFormPackTM is a leak proof fibre based container formable in 3D
  • FreeFormPackTM gives designers and brand managers the possibility to create unique shapes and textures.
  • Machine can flexibly produce multiple shapes and effects with change parts.
  • Materials are safe for direct food contact.
  • It is suitable for non-liquid food markets and all non-food markets

Little Farmer

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Little Farmer, a range of premium yogurts produced by the dairy company Malý Gazda. Designed by Slovakian design agency Pergamen.

Insects – the future of food?

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six foods insect food innovation

“US food start-up Six Foods has developed a brand of crisps called Chirps, which uses beans, rice and cricket flour (made from crushed crickets) in its ingredient mix. The company claims that, compared to a typical bag of potato crisps, Chirps have triple the amount of protein – delivering 7g of protein per portion, the same as an egg – as well as half the fat. The crisps, available for pre-order in the US, come in Aged Cheddar, Sea Salt and Hickory BBQ varieties. “The contemporary branding solution helps to make this type of ingredient more palatable to a wider consumer audience,” says Mandy Saven, head of Food, Beverage & Hospitality at Stylus. “This is something you could easily picture on any mainstream supermarket shelf.” At this year’s Food Vision Conference, Chris Cornyn, director of US-based food and drink agency Dine, expressed a similar sentiment. “If you can make insects look like great food, it will make a huge difference [in the minds of consumers]. However, we’re going to have an issue with labelling – you can’t ignore that there is a bug in your food. Via Stylus

Paper craft with love

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Kim Walltin paper craft future days packaging
Fantastic paper craft by Kim Walltin, packaging designer based in Malmö, Sweden.
“I have been inspired and delighted by paper since when I studied Product Development and Design, where my thesis was a disposable snuff cup in just paper, aimed at restaurants. When transforming a one-dimensional sheet of paper to obtain a three-dimensional gut tingling shape, this is where the fascination lies for me. I create all my sculptures without the use of glue, using a tab system that lock into each other. A pretty demanding craft, but very amusing when you get to it. Paper has conveyed ideas and thoughts in both flat and folded form through the ages and still feels super relevant, even in our digital world.
It all started when I discovered the incredibly nice post modern buildings in my hometown Malmö and started to photograph and publish them in my instagram. I got a creative splash and knew I wanted to re-configure the impressions I got from these buildings from an artistic perspective. So it was natural for me to create this in paper since I already handle this ok. I have always been very fond of coulours, so setting the different color palettes from intricate concepts became an important ingredient. While I was working, I listened to the old radio show Eldorado, and from there came the inspiration for naming by the New Wave songs from the 80´s. I am extremely inspired by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm Maclaren’s World’s End shop in Chelsea in the 80s and Dario Argento’s over-coloured horror films too. Everything that I like, I fit into the world of Future Days.”

Teahouse Exclusives

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Designed by Peter Schmidt Group. “Tea drinkers are individuals of strong character, people who like to indulge in a moment of deceleration in their daily lives, and this is the target group of Teahouse Exclusive’s “Everyday Line”. The packaging is of a bronze, shimmering quality and adorned with loosely drawn images of different cups and teapots, while thanks to a bold, colour coding approach, each tea variety immediately catches the eye. The typography has also been 100% handpicked, just like the teas themselves, with individual writing styles that promote their originality. This is as personal as it gets.”

The 5 Pitfalls of Packaging Research

Interest and focus on packaging design has increased in recent years, and with it so has the number of packaging research studies. Unfortunately, when research is fielded by entities that are not experts in the nuances of package design, the findings can lack the direction necessary to drive a successful packaging execution to market. Product Ventures, a packaging innovation consultancy, shares how to avoid the classic packaging research pitfalls that can ensnare a design initiative.

  1. You get “duhs”, not “ahas”

    Obvious insights result when researchers lack sufficient understanding of packaging to effectively probe, uncover, and obtain actionable insights. However, researchers working arm-in-arm with designers and engineers ensure the right questions are asked, and the appropriate tools are leveraged based on realistic packaging possibilities. This results in more meaningful insights that unlock design potential to produce a compelling, cost-effective and manufacturable solution.

  2. Garbage in…garbage out

    One must avoid the enticing convenience of leveraging online research for the screening of new packaging ideas. When designing a tangible item, it is critical to enable consumer interaction with 3D packaging prototypes so that viable options aren’t prematurely eliminated based on misperception and/or strict visual impression. Packaging is a physical object and its size, feel, and functionality can be just as important as its visual communication.

  3. New package gets trial, but not repeat

    Packaging is often evaluated solely from an “at shelf” perspective; however, packaging has a life- cycle that goes beyond the shelf. The package’s ability to win at shelf may lead to “trial”, but “repeat” is derived by the package’s ability to perform in use. There isn’t one tool that tells all, so it is important to conduct research across pertinent package moments within the consumer package experience to ensure a successful outcome.

  4. Redundant rounds of research

    Typically packaging research does not accommodate for the modification of designs on-the-spot to confirm consumers’ needs are being met. Because consumers are reactive and not creative, they cannot envision and confirm their packaging desires until they see them realized. Real-time iterative prototyping enables the team to “get it right” within the same research session, avoiding the additional time and cost of redundant rounds of design refinement and validation.

  5. Skipped steps and missteps

    Budget and timing restrictions often lead to too few, or inappropriate, consumer steps within the package development process. Qualitative research is best used to understand but often misused to measure. Quantitative research is best used to measure but lacks depth of understanding. When cost-constrained initiatives necessitate one consumer touch point, the right step is a hybrid of quantitative and qualitative research. This enables consumers to quantitatively choose and qualitatively offer feedback.

In today’s fast-moving and competitive marketplace, failure is not an option. When research is fielded by entities that are not experts in the nuances of package design, the findings can lack the direction necessary to drive a successful packaging execution to market. It’s essential to employ expertise that can effectively navigate through the packaging innovation frontier, elicit meaningful and actionable insights, deliver a consumer-preferred package solution, and avoid the ultimate pitfall…Failure to Launch.

Kohana Coffee Rebranding



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Designed by Helm’s Workshop. “Kohana’s coffee is exceptional, but their brand identity was dated, out of sync with their values and missing the mark with contemporary coffee culture. With the brand poised to enter the national market and launch a new product line, it was a perfect moment to shun evolution in favor of revolution. We proposed a bold transition from a dated packaging system to an identity focused on the islands that inspired the brand, its values and the ritual of enjoying a cup of coffee. To help, we invited artist Abi Daniel to capture the beauty and energy of the coffee plant. The result is a striking package that not only conveys a sense of Hawaii, but translates to just about anywhere people enjoy a moment of reflection.

Kohana is the small, white Hawaiian flower that heralds the arrival of the coffee cherry. It signals the promise of coffee to come, and the beginning of an extraordinary experience. It’s a strong symbol for the brand, but it wasn’t being leveraged in a way that resonated with consumers. Our solution was to let the flower speak for itself. Rather than just telling consumers that the coffee is organic and natural, we would show them— letting the inherent beauty of the coffee plant tell the story in an honest, pure way.”

Illustrator Frida Wannerberger

Tetra Pak Prisma Illustrator Frida Wannerberger


Frida Wannerberger, freelance illustrator and graduate of Central Saint Martins, created this very nice one! For Tetra Pak Japan.

Packaging Design Trends 2015

Here is an executive summary of five crucial trends within the food packaging world. Packaging innovation & design is worth something when it brings a meaning to people’s lives. Therefore, the trends are presented with human needs, wants and desires in focus.

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Simplify Life: The world today is an endless information overload. People are overwhelmed and craving for peaceful zones, somewhere to reload and recharge. There is a growing need of simplistic packaging experiences, all for a more efficient everyday life.

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Experiaction: More brands are creating packaging with consumer experiences embedded throughout the entire usage journey. It has become a must to create experiences by focusing on the moments that matter the most to people, emotionally.

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Honest & Human: People seek brands who are human, friendly and transparent. Brands that strive to treat people and ingredients responsibly along the entire value chain. Packaging is the perfect canvas to tell the true story. Think of brands as a friend, consumers will embrace honest and generous ones.

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Resourcefulness: People are aware of the radical change needed for a sustainable planet. They are increasingly attracted by brands that do associate with responsible environmental approaches. But this is not enough, the brands must also make it easy for the consumers to do the right thing. There has been too much confusion around packaging and sustainability, and now is the time for a change. 

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Boldsome: The market place is crowded, and brands are desperately looking for ways to differentiate from the competition. Brave brands are re-defining established category codes. But success doesn’t come from being different for the sake of it. If the packaging does not connect with consumer needs, it will fail. 

INTERESTED IN THE FULL REPORT? Would you like to join an informative and inspirational trend spotting journey, in the world of food packaging? With today’s consumers as a starting point, we’ll tackle packaging design two-dimensionally, three-dimensionally as well as emotionally. Kristina de Verdier, founder of Ambalaj, with 10 years of experience in driving innovation & design projects for food manufacturers globally, will lead the way. Please contact for inquiries.


Wheat is wheat is wheat

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Milk by apple. Flour by Prada. Coffee by Cartier. Peddy Mergui, owner of a brand firm, and a senior professor of design at the Holon Institute of Technology, has made an interesting exhibition called Wheat is Wheat is Wheat. “By infusing the packaging of our most basic commodities with values of prestige and luxury, Wheat is Wheat is Wheat explores the dynamic and often blurred ethical boundaries of design within consumer culture. This exhibition is meant to highlight the challenges a designer faces when tasked with promoting economic interests while remaining true to his or her own moral compass. The various exhibits combine shapes and images from the world of consumption with concepts from the field of consumer ethics. They serve to highlight both the contentious, potentially arbitrary connection that products have to packaging, and the ethically challenging conditions in which designers are asked to operate. Using humorous, yet provocative undertones, Wheat is Wheat is Wheat will leave you with more questions than answers – particularly on your next trip to the supermarket. The exhibits were created as works of art and are the result of the freedom of creative artistic expression.”

Beer with gold leaf

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Pang Pang brewery is launching a golden beer. The Stockholm based brewery Pang Pang is one of the most experimental beer brands in Sweden, and as Christmas is approaching they are launching a very unique one – brewed with gold leaf. The gold leaves are added in the end of the process and is clearly visible through the bottle. It creates like a golden snow globe. The beer contains 7,9% alcohol, symbolic since gold has number 79 in the periodic table. The beer is called “Yellow snow” and comes in 1900 bottles – bottles with a champagne-like style.

Froosh in paper packaging

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lamican structure

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Froosh, now in paper packaging, Lamican. Froosh, an independent swedish company with offices in stockholm, copenhagen, helsinki and oslo. They have been revolutionising the beverage shelf with their intriguing and controversial messages on the packages. “Our business is fruit: we don’t do anything else. our froosh products are designed to give consumers in the nordic countries a convenient, delicious and healthy way to get more fruit into their diet and make it a little easier to live a healthy life.” Designed by Pearlfisher.

100% plant based


Tetra Pak launches the industry’s first beverage carton made entirely from plant based, renewable packaging materials. The new Tetra Rex® carton will be the first in the market to have bio-based low-density polyethylene (LDPE) films and bio-based high-density polyethylene (HDPE) caps, both derived from sugar cane, in addition to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC ™) certified paperboard.​” Go Tetra Pak!

Vessyl knows what you are drinking

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vessyl packaging innovation and design trend

Vessyl – Packaging designed for people’s different needs, by Fuseproject “Have you heard that you should drink 8 glasses of water per day? Well, it’s not that simple. Truth is… we all have different hydration needs. Your Vessyl estimates, tracks and displays your real-time hydration needs. Your level rises and declines based on a variety of factors. Vessyl automatically knows and tracks everything you drink (calories, caffeine, fats, sugars, etc). So whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, regulate caffeine, or stay hydrated, Vessyl helps you keep track of what matters to you. Your Vessyl connects to iOS and Android mobile devices. So all of your nutrient data gets updated to your mobile device.”

Blossa 2014

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Every year the Swedish brand Blossa releases a limited edition mulled wine. This year inspired by France. Lavender from southern France blended with a selection of white wines and traditional mulled wine spices. Designed by Scandinavian Design Group.

Tomorrow Machine

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Re-defining packaging for food, by Tomorrow Machine. A Swedish design studio based in Stockholm and Paris, specialized in package, product and food concepts. “We believe in looking at the world from a creative point of view to shape the innovations of tomorrow.” The images above are showing 1. Basmati rice wrapped in a pyramid of soft beeswax, soy-ink printed and dusted with pearlescent robin’s egg blue. 2. Caramelized sugar, coated with wax, to be cracked like an egg to be opened 3. Gel of the agar-agar seaweed and water, made for drinks that have a short life span and needs to be refrigerated.

Bassett Espresso

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bassett coffee brand

Designed by Squad Ink. “Paul Bassett, former World Barista Champion, is the visionary behind Bassett Espresso. Bassett Espresso is a reflection of Paul’s personal taste. It portrays his journey of creative expression and the continuation of his relationship with coffee, capturing the imagination and potential of quality espresso. Our challenge is to ensure that the brand confidently represents Paul Bassett and his unique approach to producing quality coffee whilst creating a highly marketable product with strong retail appeal. Paul’s connection to coffee tradition needed to be translated through our work, so we consulted with him closely to discover that his open mindfulness allows him to continue to explore coffee’s sensory possibilities through technical refinement. With this in mind, we began rebuilding the brand starting with a revision of the name from Paul Bassett Espresso to ‘Bassett Espresso’. The use of the classic typeface, allows the logo to be commanding with a nod to tradition. Another important brand device is the custom pattern, derived from a European tessellated tile pattern. The graphic seamlessly aligns art and geometry, symbolising Paul’s approach to coffee as both creative and technical. The final packaging solution demonstrates an aesthetic that is purposely restrained yet bold through its beautifully considered typography, graphic detail and flawless production.

Tolånga Smör

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Tolånga smör is a micro dairy in southern Sweden. The butter is produced of ecological and unpasteurised cream and flavored with untreated sea salt from Camargue. The packaging is made by the owner Louise Andersson who, when she´s not churning butter, is working as a landscape architect. The butter contains of a few but very good ingredients and the process is a contemporary handicraft with historic roots. Simplicity and quality, past and present – from the product to the packaging.

Absolut Craft

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Designed by No Picnic in cooperation with The Brand Union. And nominated to the German Design Award 2015. “The original ABSOLUT bottle was inspired by a Swedish apothecary bottle, now one of the most recognizable bottles in the world and the most portrayed in art. Retaining this iconic silhouette, ABSOLUT CRAFT reflects the brand’s heritage by featuring the alchemic symbol for distillation. The color coating is inspired by 17th century apothecary jars and protects natural ingredients.”


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Designed by Unelefante, Mexico. “Before founding Unelefante, I designed and produced jewelry and other fashion accessories for over ten years, so I know for sure a few things. Most people are not willing to take risks when buying a product, specially if it’s a gift, so, why not turn an ordinary something into a very unique experience. This is our main principle. Having this knowledge on hand and my passion for art and anything with an eye-catching harmony were catalysts when designing the Pollock bar and packaging. We change the colors to create new harmonies and to differentiate product lots. Also, labeling products can be hideous, specially if it’s by hand and you have hundreds of pieces in front of you, but it’s very fun to label the Pollock bars, labels are glued depending on were you have a better visual of the pattern created with the paint splashes. It’s relaxing.”

Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables

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“Eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day can seem like a difficult task if you aren’t counting fries within that number. Sadly, approximately 300 million tons of food is wasted in a year; including those vegetables you never got around to eating. Intermarché, a chain of French supermarkets decided to do their part by purchasing the  fruits and vegetables their suppliers usually throw away and sell them at a discounted price. For people to realize that the misshapen vegetables and fruits were just as good as their regular produce, they distributed “inglorious” fruit juices and soups. The end result? A success! They quickly sold out, and brought both attention and an easy solution to food waste.”

WikiPearl – Edible Packaging

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wikipearltech edible packaging design

wikipearl edible food packaging design

WikiPearl™ by WikiFoods. “Our goal is to produce edible food & beverage packaging solutions, which make other packaging materials, like plastic or paper, unnecessary. WikiPearl™ comes from an idea of bio-creator and Harvard professor David Edwards. Following an enlightening conversation about “tensegrity” with Ken Snelson, a New York sculptor, Dr. Edwards wondered whether it would be possible to design food and beverage packaging like nature designs fruits and vegetables. The first commercial WikiFoods products, was WikiPearl Ice cream and frozen yogurt, and was launched in France and the USA in 2013. New Wikipearls products are being created every day. From ice cream, cheese, and frozen yogurt to fruits, vegetables, water, cocktails and soups.

How to recreate 36 World Cuisines with 3 spices


Via Visually

Sechzisch & Vierzisch

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“‘Sechzisch Vierzisch’ takes the classic ‘Persching’ drink from Germany’s Rheinhessen region and turns it into a hip and lovingly crafted mixed wine beverage. To folks in Mainz, the name on the bottle says it all: a blend of sixty (sechzisch) percent rosé wine and forty (vierzisch) percent orange soda produces a peach-hued drink (hence the Rhenish Hessian name “Persching”) that is served, oddly enough, in a beer bottle. Those are the dry facts.

The legend goes like this: once upon a time, 200 years ago, a clumsy winemaker’s wife named Lotte had a bike accident, and the oranges she was carrying fell into a wine trough. Unaware of what had happened, her husband, Henry, stomped the grapes as usual and marveled at the strange orange color. Once Lotte had explained the mishap and Henry knew he didn’t want his harvest to go to waste, he proceeded to further process the pulpy mix into wine…. That’s Sechzisch Vierzisch’s own anecdote about the company’s creation.” Via Sturm und Drang

Almond Milk LA

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Almond Milk LA – Almond Milk made from Californian almonds. In a traditional glass bottle, and also possible to get delivered to the door step. If you haven’t tried Almond Milk before here are some ways to use it: “Drink it straight with a cookie – it’s creamy and yummy and refreshing when chilled. Use it as a base for smoothies, pour it over cereal, or warm it on the stove on a cold night with another cookie. Almond milk is high in protein, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, phyotchemicals, living enzymes, and healthy omega fatty acids including calcium, zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, selenium, iron, B12, and potassium.”

Pressed Juicery

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Pressed Juicery was born out of the idea that in order to find fulfillment and balance each day, modern people need to be armed with a fresh set of tools that are simple, convenient, and tailored to their hectic schedules. We believe that everyone is entitled to live their best lives, but in order for this to happen, we need to get back to our roots. While the benefits of juicing are endless, we aim to cut through the confusion and condescension of so many health trends and get to the point: Our bodies require vital nutrients to function at their optimal levels.”