A package redesign initiative can be a costly marketing move, but for the White Wave Foods Company, a makeover of its universally loathed International Delight coffee creamer containers is leading to savings and sustainability.
Broomfield, Colo.-based White Wave, a subsidiary of Dean Foods, had been on the receiving end of consumer complaints about the bottles it inherited ever since it bought the brand. The lids spat creamer and dribbled it onto the bottles, which tended to topple over like liquid-filled bowling pins inside fridge doors. While the redesign project was crucial for obvious cosmetic and functional reasons, company executives felt it was a good time to tackle eco-friendly and economic aspects, too.
While consumer satisfaction was job one, “We’ll save over $1 million a year producing [our bottles],” said Trevor Bynum, marketing director for WhiteWave’s creamer brands of the facelift, and he’s spared some natural resources, too: “We’ve also made a 30% reduction in our carbon footprint over our previous packaging,” he added. The new bottles are on shelves in the West Coast and rolling out nationally.
Since it was in the process of examining vendor relationships and available packaging materials, one of WhiteWave’s first steps was to look at the environmental impact of transferring supplies. The first thing to go? Those annoying lids. The company’s transportation and logistics team located a supplier that not only made a superior product, but one that was much closer to its manufacturing facilities. This resulted in a savings of 157,652 transportation miles per year, explained Jonathan Paul, director, packaging R&D for Dean Foods, via e-mail, and translated to a company savings of 31,530 gallons of fuel each year.
Of course, all those bottle caps need to be transported in something, and previously, that something was cardboard boxes, 279,720 of which were used--and disposed of--each year. Today, International Delight creamer lids are transported in reusable totes, which are packed and shuttled back and forth between the facilities. Total trees saved: 793 per year.
Then there’s the bottle itself, which is made from a different type of plastic, one that can be produced in a manufacturing cycle that requires less energy and water to complete that also produces less waste. The new packaging is fully recyclable--including the new, annoyance-free, non-spitting cap.