Virtual engagement to aid food and drink packaging innovation, claims MWV

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: General mills, Unit load

Leading packaging materials and machinery supplier MWV claims its open innovation portal will generate new ideas related to sustainability, materials science and substrate development for food and drink packaging.

MWV said its exchange allows participants to share unsolicited proposals and directly connect with the company’s research and development (R&D) team to ensure speed to market of pioneering types of packaging.

Alison von Puschendorf, director of public relations at the company, told FoodProductionDaily.com that the portal enables MWV to reach out and to search for collaborative partners based on expertise, research areas, and supply chain knowledge.

Targeted networks can then be created to collaborate against specific technical challenge areas,”​ she commented, adding that the MWV exchange serves as a platform for broad communication of its interest areas.

“All information submitted as a potential solution through the MWV Exchange should be considered non-proprietary, non-confidential, and in the public domain,”​ said von Puschendorf, when quizzed on whether proprietary concerns would be a hurdle to the success of such an open approach.

While the website does not fully replace the need for face-to-face interactions, she continued, the virtual engagement allows “MWV to make initial contacts and to reach out to a global community of innovators.”

General Mills has asked potential partners to solve challenges such as easy opening cans as its open innovation project steps up a gear, reported our sister site FoodManufacture.co.uk in October.

The US-based firm, which is best known in the UK for its Old El Paso range and Häagen-Dazs ice cream, has been steadily ramping up its open innovation infrastructure to make it even easier for external collaborators to work with it and get new products to market more quickly.

General Mills is publishing detalied lists of technical problems it is trying to solve on its G-WIN website, based on the recognition that success rests on well-grounded and well-articulated business needs, said Kamel Chida, connected innovation senior manager.

Critically, General Mills was not looking for ideas, but fully formed technologies or products, he told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

In terms of other packaging challenges he reported: “We currently package a dry, shelf stable food product that contains some free oil. We use polyethylene coated paperboard to prevent the free oil from making grease stains on the carton. We seek a proposal that presents a more cost effective, grease-barrier for paperboard.”

Related topics: Processing & Packaging, Smart Packaging

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