The concept started as a collaborative effort between Ardagh Group and packaging design students at the Dutch University of Twente to create a futuristic ready to (h)eat premium metal packaging concept for food and seafood.
Ardagh R&D Centre, Crosmieres, France
One of their designs was a cheese fondue bowl, which was presented to Emmi and with the assistance of DeDutch, it was further developed to put to market thanks to tests at Ardagh’s R&D Centre in Crosmieres, France.
Martin de Olde, marketing manager, Metals Europe, Ardagh Group, told DairyReporter, it has been funding and been a part of the advisory board of the chair of Dr. Roland ten Klooster, professor, Packaging Design and Management at the University of Twente, in the Netherlands since 2010.
“In 2013, six groups of students worked on new metal packaging concepts for Ardagh Group. The challenge was to design a metal packaging concept for food utilising the characteristics of metal. The results had to demonstrate real innovation, and contain a full analysis on technical production specifications, marketing plan, graphical design, outlines of the filling process, a Life Cycle Analysis and a cost price analysis,” he said.
“The designs needed to satisfy the key parameters of a premium look and feel, use existing technologies, meet user demands (fast, easy and healthy), realistic logistics and pricing and meet food legislation.
“The results saw some remarkable concepts, ranging from cans for steaming food, to tapas, to ready-to-bake cake cans and two concepts for cheese fondue.”
More technical development was needed
He added although the concepts were promising, more technical development was needed and customers needed to be approached.
DéDutch, a food packaging and engineering consultant, closely related to the Food Atelier, contacted Ardagh and requested to further develop the concept and introduce it to one of its prospects; Emmi Group.
Ardagh and Emmi then started lacquer specification selection, shelf life testing for the cheese fondue and bowl shaping to understand the behaviour of the bowl and cheese during heating in a microwave.
The Frauenhofer institute in Germany was asked to carry out these studies. (heating time in different circumstances, heat transport, etc.) There were also studies involving the distance between candle flame and bowl to understand the transport of heat and temperature spread.
Ardagh then added its patented printed Easy Peel aluminium opening to give the consumer an easy and quicker means of opening the bowl.
According to Marcel Zbinden, global category head Speciality Cheese, Emmi, convenience and quick preparation has become an important trend.
“The All In One Fondü, with metal bowl and ready-to-eat cheese fondue made of real Swiss cheeses, has simplified the preparation of this popular dish and is a perfect combination for a quick, easy and delicious cheese fondue at any time,” he said.
Launched in the US, Canada and the Netherlands
The product has now been launched across supermarkets in the US, Canada and the Netherlands.
“We are unique on the market place offering an all in one concept; Ready to heat (in microwave or traditional oven) pasteurized cheese fondue combined with a specifically designed can holder,” added de Olde.
“Consumer research has proved this concept to be attractive and unique. Furthermore it shows not only the microwaveability of cans but proves the fire resistance of metal packaging, next to other benefits such as shelf life and recyclability.
“It is a very easy and clean way of preparing a nice cheese fondue and Ardagh is convinced this concept with microwaveable bowl and Easy Peel will attract other markets and customers.”