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The European Coffee Symposium 2016 cups (above) have been provided by Dart Products Europe, ‘your on-the-go food packaging manufacturer, supplier and resource.’ We interviewed Philippe Payras, Vice President of Sales for Dart, to discuss current and foreseeable trends in the industry. Here’s what he had to say:

What trends do you see in the industry with respect to hot and cold packaging?

In recent years we have seen developments in the attitudes of consumers towards food and drink — with buyers wanting more choice, greater convenience and more premium and customisable options. Speciality and customisable food and beverage items require packaging that can accommodate trends; compartment tumblers and containers emerging onto the market allow customers to have a personalised experience that is manageable on the move. The foodie generation of millennials is also evolving into the environment generation, therefore the market is seeing a growth in packaging that is resealable to save on waste, originates from a sustainable source and has a greater life cycle.

What are the latest innovations in hot and cold packaging?

The latest innovations in food and beverage packaging are focused on the ‘all-day dining’ style, whilst also mimicking the diversity we are seeing with contemporary menus. Multi-functional disposables that deliver excitement to the eating experience are setting standards for new packaging designs, the consumer theatre aspect of items such as the ‘press and dress’ range differentiate themselves from the traditional packaging of the market.

Tell us more about your new Cup Inserts solution and how is this going to open your opportunities to new markets and segments?

The new range of cup inserts from Dart Products Europe are a perfect fit for Ultra Clear tumblers. The PET inserts are available in either 3.5oz or a two compartment 1.5oz option, which can introduce drink and food operators to wider menu applications or refresh existing concepts. Edamame beans with salt and chilli, green smoothies with a wheatgrass shot or coconut water with a choice of fruit syrups are all possible using new cup inserts. The option of lids range from flat to dome with hole, and the finished concept is made from 100% PET, making them completely recyclable.

What is the future of packaging?

The future looks set to concentrate on an eco-conscious approach to packaging. Introducing new alternatives to materials that better the environment, without compromising on quality and convenience to the consumer. Alongside convenience, technology is foreseen to be introduced into packaging, container solutions that indicate shelf-life of food and thermochromic inks to demonstrate temperature are all part of the smart packaging trend we could see in the near future.