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DuPont Packaging Survey Results: ‘Convenience’ Food Packaging Changed our Lives

Recloseable packaging and microwaveable plastic trays top the list of packaging breakthroughs that changed our lives, according to the nearly 300 people who visited this site from April 9 through May 10, 2013 and voted. 

 (Click on image for hi-res version.)

“Over the 25 years, the DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation has attracted a wide variety of truly innovative packaging developments, making this anniversary event the perfect time to honor those past achievements,” said Shanna Moore, leader/of the DuPont Packaging Awards program. “In reflecting back on these breakthroughs, it’s hard to imagine what everyday life would be like today without them.”

DuPont created the voting project after reviewing hundreds of past DuPont Packaging Award winners and identifying six breakthrough groups that impacted our lives. Descriptions of those breakthroughs are below.

Invention 1 – Hot FillDid you enjoy juice from an unbreakable plastic bottle this morning? Or perhaps the applesauce or catsup bottle you dropped in the kitchen bounced instead of breaking. Thank PET bottles capable of handling “hot fill.” And celebrate innovators like Ocean Spray, S.A. des Eaux Minerals d'EVIAN and Seneca Foods Corp. for embracing the opportunity. Today there are fewer injuries as a result and significantly lower energy needed to transport food around the world. >> Read More 

Invention 2 – Retort and Aseptic Techniques 

 Love them or hate them, shelf-stable foods that don’t need refrigeration helped enable an “on-the-go” lifestyle. Campbell’s in 1986 was the first to capture a Packaging Award for adopting flexible, sterile packaging and using it to provide microwavable prepared soup that can be heated and served in one container. These techniques quickly evolved and today they play an even more powerful role in food safety and security by extending the shelf life of food to reduce waste and ensuring nutritious food can reach remote areas without spoiling. >> Read More 

Invention 3 – Microwave Revolution Remember pre-heating the oven and “waiting” for prepared frozen meals to cook? “Freezer-to-fork” microwaveable meals in minutes - not hours – were enabled by “oven-able” materials. In 1986 Campbell’s – with CPET trays that replaced aluminum – took the first award for this category. Twenty five years and billions of saved BTUs later, the industry is striving to make trays lighter, less expensive and even more sustainable. Can someone remind me what to do with oven mitts?
>> Read More  

Invention 4 – Case Ready/MAP/Value AddOnce you realize this refers to the process of either removing or replacing atmospheric air in a meat package with a protective gas to preserve meat, extend shelf life and protect against contamination, the value is clear. Meat stays fresh and safe as it is sealed from the moment it leaves federally inspected plants until you open at home. Since 1987, when Excel Corp. took home the first award in this category for case-ready beef, the process has expanded to include marinated, seasoned, and even “bake-in-the-bag” meats that can go straight from the refrigerator to the oven for a perfect home-cooked dinner… even after working all day. So that’s what the oven mitts are for!
>> Read More 

Invention 5 – Recycled Content1989 marked the year of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the dawn of the World Wide Web and the first in a long series of Packaging Innovation awards celebrating recycling efforts. The first went to Procter & Gamble for Spic & Span® available in a bottle made 100 percent from post-consumer recycled PET bottles. Over the years, the programs evolved to deal with industrial products, like agrochemicals, in programs that re-use the materials in high-value applications. And last year, an innovative project that supported a social program for low-income families in Brazil was honored. >> Read More

Invention 6 – Re-Closeable Before you skip past this one, take one minute to think about the last time you didn’t have a zipper lock on your food and your leftovers ended up in the trash. Then add the beauty of the stand-up pouch – keeping nuts in the bag where they belong - and you can see how re-closeable has significantly reduced food waste and how Fisher Nuts & Fruits earned the first award in this breakthrough group. >> Read More 


Still wondering what life would be like without packaging?

Click on the images below to view these YouTube videos.

"A World Without Packaging"

"Packaging is Not JUST About Having Too Much"