WUR starts Unpack your challenge - three packaging strategies unravelled

Published on
November 15, 2021

On 15 November Wageningen University & Research (WUR) launched the Unpack your Challenge project, inviting FMCG companies in Europe to submit their biggest current challenge. WUR experts will then develop a (free) roadmap to achieve the best packaging strategy for the three selected companies. By sharing insights into the route taken to create these strategies, WUR will offer other companies the tools with which they can meet their packaging goals much faster. This reflects the fact that many firms are looking to ensure their packaging is sustainable by 2030 and yet remain unsure how best to proceed or what the most sustainable options for their (fresh) product are in the long term.

“Packaging issues are often too complex for ready-made answers,” says WUR programme manager Eelke Westra. “This is why we are providing a multidisciplinary team of experts to map out the route to the most effective packaging strategies. What the steps in the process are and which information is needed for each one will be determined in brainstorming sessions with three different companies. They will then be given a scientifically-based roadmap that will help them define or adapt and roll out their packaging strategy. In return, we will be sharing anonymised versions of the roadmaps via the trade media to allow other packaging companies to apply the same steps.”

Packaging industry in Europe

The promotion is aimed at CEOs, managers, packaging technologists, purchasers and other professionals from Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies in Europe. Westra: “We would prefer to meet with the CEO and/or manager in the brainstorming sessions, together with a packaging technologist. Both parties are needed to ensure effective and broadly supported solutions for the long-term. Together, they will provide the technological and strategic insights that are required for an integrated approach to the issues at hand. For instance, while a given measure may lead to less packaging waste it could lead to greater wastage of the packaged food product. We have to carefully weigh all aspects in order to ensure a sustainable overall solution.”


Interested companies can submit their challenge between 15 November and 20 December 2021. WUR will then select the three most common and announce its selection by the end of the year. The brainstorming sessions will take place in January and February 2022, with the results published in March and April.