The General Mills-owned organic cereal maker has developed an inner bag for the Cinnamon Crunch line made from around 57% renewable plant-based material – a first for the company.
“It is currently not possible to make a package that is completely made from plant-based materials,” said Jennifer Jorgenson, marketing director for Cascadian Farm.
“The rest of the package is made from petroleum-based polyethylene that is currently not available in bio-based products… We hope that with further innovation we will achieve closer to a 100% plant-based product,” she said.
More innovation, 2014 roll-out
Along with on-going innovation to raise the percentage of plant-based materials in the liner, Cascadian also has plans to use the inner package in other brands.
“Our hope is to roll out the plant-based liner to all of our oats, squares and flake cereals by January 2014,” Jorgenson said.
Cinnamon Crunch was chosen as the first brand as it is the most widely distributed product in the cereal line within the natural channel, she said.
While the liner has cost the cereal maker more, Cascadian has absorbed the additional costs rather than hiking up the end price, she added.
Do consumers really care about bio-based packaging?
“We know our consumers care about eco-friendly packaging,” Jorgenson said. There have been plenty of studies showing that more consumers are buying ‘green’ products, she said, and Cascadian has also had feedback from consumers.
According to the 5th Annual Tork Sustainability Survey, 78% of US consumers are now buying green products and services, up from 69% in 2012.
Communication is an important part of the green development for the Cinnamon Crunch brand, she said. The packs have been re-designed to communicate its efforts on the bio-based inner packaging. An on-pack logo details how the inner bag is made from plant-based material and a USDA certification features on the side of the box.
The cereal maker has not yet communicated on how to dispose of the bio-based pack, but Jorgenson said the Cascadian Farm website is currently undergoing a redesign which will include this information once finished.