Interview with Darcey Howard, Global Director of Marketing at Coconut Bliss and Murray Bain, VP of Marketing at Stanpac
How did the collaboration between Stanpc and Coconut Bliss come to be? How has this collaboration benefited your products and company?
Murray: Stanpac was first working alongside Evergreen packaging in testing a new Bio based resin made from Sugar Cane. We were aware that Coconut Bliss were rebranding their packaging so we brought the suggestion forward.
Darcey: Stanpac has been our pint cup packaging partner for years so we knew that they were solutions based and strived to be on the cutting edge of innovation. They made the connection between what we were trying to achieve and the testing they were doing with Evergreen.
Where do you see sustainable packaging going over the next 5-10 years, and how can the industry as a whole use your collaboration as a role to follow for future packaging ideas?
Murray: I have never seen as much research and product development occurring in the packaging space. Just about every week we are contacted about a new product or process that claims better recyclability or composability.
Darcey: Sustainability, especially in packaging, is as much about building in the downstream, post-consumer, impact as it is about the upstream, pre-consumer, innovation. In the next 5-10 years there will be a thousands of new brands that launch. I anticipate that many (hopefully more than not) will be inspired to “create better” vs. “creating more” by the innovation that’s available in upstream conservation. Eventually this will be the norm; to build into the DNA of products a sustainable lifecycle. Look at Chico Bags for instance. Brilliant!
Are there any challenges within packaging, especially for an ice cream brand, that you see and are looking for a solution to?
Murray: Certainly, moisture and vapor barriers, Freeze thaw tests, print quality, strength of the package for stacking and distribution. All of these conditions still need to be considered when new materials are tested. The industry may need to rethink what is really needed and can we change what our criteria for an acceptable package is?
Darcey: So many challenges! Where to start? I tell you, crouton manufacturers have it made; shelf stable, easy to ship, essentially made from waste.
We are challenged on a daily basis with the fact that ice cream by virtue of what it is, a frozen item, is contributing to greenhouse gasses through frozen/refrigeration. How do you make ice cream as desirable as it is without it contributing to greenhouse gas? An organic, clean label, shelf stable ice cream base that can be shaken up then frozen at home vs. cold storage and trucking, maybe?
As you put together your presentation for the conference in March, what do you hope are the top 3 take-aways that the audience needs to look out for?
- Identify your “what if...” (some may even call this a BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
- Find a good supply chain partner that is willing to be challenged to make a difference and go the distance with you.
- Assess the commercial reality; who’s your tribe, make them care and make it easier for consumers to change their behavior
Murray: I agree with Darcey’s goals.
What are you most looking forward to at the conference?
Murray: The opportunity to network and collaborate with people (not necessarily in our corner of the market). Listening to what’s happening or what people would like to see happen can often generate new ideas and inspire us to dig deeper.
Darcey: Hearing from others that are discussing and educating on biopolymer solutions. Such as Derek Atkinson’s session, “End of Life options for PLA as part of the circular economy: composting, physical and chemical recycling” on the 11th at 4:30pm. Also how design is driving consumer behavior in Scott Byrne’s session; “Designing with Circularity in Mind: The Impact of Design Choices on Overall Sustainability” on the 12th at 11am.