TINE temporary backtrack on cardboard cups

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

TINE said its goal is still to change from plastic to cardboard in all products as soon as possible.
TINE said its goal is still to change from plastic to cardboard in all products as soon as possible.

Related tags: Tine, Packaging, Sustainability

Since mid-September, TINE has been testing cardboard cups in KIWI stores across Norway.

The dairy company said that while customers welcomed the move, mistakes in production have led many to feel that the packaging was getting soft.

Because of this, TINE said it is going back to sour cream in plastic containers as the company works on developing a new and better cardboard version.

Bjørn Malm, the sutainability manager at TINE, emphasized the move back to plastic is only temporary.

He said innovation can often be a case of two steps forward and one back.

“The result of the Kiwi test is clear: People want more environmentally friendly packaging, and bought more sour cream from TINE than ever before. Unfortunately, we had problems with both the cardboard cover and that some containers became soft due to moisture penetration. We have therefore chosen to pause the test project, while we are working with our supplier to develop a better version,”​ Malm said.

Cardboard must be as good as plastic

In November 2019, the first part of the test period was completed, and during the evaluation it became clear that the cardboard cover did not work optimally, TINE said. It was therefore decided to switch to a plastic lid for the time being. However, the company said, it also turned out that there was too much feedback that the cardboard in the cup itself became soft.

“We have had a very good dialogue with the customers,” Malm said.

“Unfortunately, both shop employees and customers have experienced that the cup became soft because it absorbed moisture. If we are to compete with plastic, people must be able to trust that the alternative is just as good. We therefore choose to delay the launch of cardboard cups on several products until we have a cup that works better.”

TINE said its goal is still to change from plastic to cardboard in all products as soon as possible.

The company said it is constantly developing more and better sustainable packaging solutions, thanks in part to feedback from Norwegian consumers.

“We are grateful for the confidence people have shown us by buying the new container even though it has not been completely optimal,”​ Malm said.

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