Discover 5 Top Refill Packaging Solutions for Food Companies

Curious about new technological advancements in the food industry? Explore our analysis of 100 global refill packaging startups & scaleups and learn how their solutions impact your food business!

Staying ahead of the technology curve means strengthening your competitive advantage. That is why we give you data-driven innovation insights into the food industry. This time, you get to discover 5 hand-picked refill packaging solutions.

Global Startup Heat Map highlights 5 Top Refill Packaging Solutions for Food Companies out of 100

The insights of this data-driven analysis are derived from the Big Data & Artificial Intelligence-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 2.093.000+ startups & scaleups globally. The platform gives you an exhaustive overview of emerging technologies & relevant startups within a specific field in just a few clicks.

The Global Startup Heat Map below reveals the distribution of the 100 exemplary startups & scaleups we analyzed for this research. Further, it highlights 5 startups developing refill packaging solutions that we hand-picked based on criteria such as founding year, location, funding raised, and more. You get to explore the solutions of these 5 startups & scaleups in this report. For insights on the other 95 refill packaging solutions, get in touch.

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Trashless uses QR-based Packaging to Refill Products

Every year, people trash millions of tonnes of plastics, among which half of it are single-use. The biggest plastic polluters include FMCG products like bottled milk, groceries, and packaged food, among others. It is difficult to eliminate the use of plastics altogether as it is widely available and affordable. However, there is scope to reduce plastic usage by adopting various refilling solutions. Startups innovate in product packaging and operation models to enable consumers to refill containers and contribute towards circularity. It also helps companies eliminate single-use plastics and reduce packaging costs over time.

US-based startup Trashless develops an online platform that uses QR technology and serialization to deliver grocery products with zero packaging waste and refill options. The startup offers an eCommerce platform that enables consumers to order products and refills without new packaging. First, the startup picks up ordered items from the local shop and then delivers them to the customer in a QR-coded container. Later, the consumer scans the seal to refill the item and get it home delivered. Moreover, Trashless collects the containers in which they deliver the reordered products and eliminates the use of additional packaging.

Packwise auto-stocks Inventory with IoT-based Packaging

There is no standard way to measure the contents of fleets, such as tanks and containers, for storing products. Vendors often lose track of inventory status which, in turn, delays their stocking process and impacts sales. This problem is consistent with every level of the supply chain, creating bottlenecks for smooth inventory management. Hence, startups develop solutions to automate the inventory management process. The internet of things (IoT)-based solutions connect warehouses and auto-manage the stock and enable brands to streamline their supply chain and increase recurring orders.

German startup Packwise develops smart packaging caps which track fleets and provide inventory insights. IBC fleet sensors monitor and simplify the processes for recycling industrial packaging. Once placed on the fleet, sensors detect the inventory status and automatically update before the container is empty. This saves time for suppliers and improves the overall operation of the supply chain. It also notifies brands about suppliers’ inventory statuses, which allows them to plan production processes and automatically refill stocks.

Save Our Planet (SOP) Refillery builds AI-based Refill Packaging

As customer preferences shift to packaged food, plastic waste increases significantly. In addition, FMCG products are frequently used and delivered in new packaging every time. Although there are plastic packaging alternatives, startups develop models and packaging technologies to completely eliminate single-use packaging. Companies are shifting towards packaging practices that allow end-users to refill the product instead of re-ordering the package. It simultaneously helps brands to cut production costs and serve consumers in an eco-friendly manner.

Canadian startup Save Our Planet Refillery uses AI-based packaging to innovate supply chain distribution and enable refilling options for end customers. SOP Refillery creates a 24×7 self-serve drive-through refilling station. The startup moves suppliers’ backend filling containers to consumers refilling their own containers. As a result, this reduces supplier operating costs and consumers’ product costs. SOP Refillery also stops waste from ending up in landfills, which reduces the carbon footprint.

UpPacked uses RFID-based Refill Packaging

As consumers are becoming more environment-conscious, brands are innovating to engage them with packaging and delivery solutions. But, to simultaneously maintain sales, brands have to ensure that their solution is compatible with various factors. For example, companies cannot switch to smart technologies if their consumers cannot leverage them. Therefore, startups develop solutions that use various technologies like radio-frequency identification (RFID), QR, and IoT to bridge the gap between companies and users for product refilling. These solutions allow brands to reuse previously made packaging and reduce plastic usage.

Norwegian startup UpPacked develops smart packaging and product dispensers to automate the product refilling process. The startup uses RFID-based packaging technology to track each container and incentivizes users by allowing them to withdraw a percentage of the product’s amount when they return them. Sensors track the product status and updates users about when to refill along with details about the nearest dispenser. Besides, the startup develops mobile apps that help users obtain product information while refilling through the startup’s smart dispensers.

Pieter Pot uses Glass Jars for Circular Shopping

Apart from harmful packaging materials, roughly a million plastic bottles are sold every minute around the world, with more growth predicted. Plastic packaging is quite harmful to reuse and, hence, end up generating tonnes of waste. Brands replace plastic with alternate eco-friendly options but this increases the cost of the products. As a result, third-party companies collaborate with brands to deliver the products in long-lasting materials like glass and ceramics. The companies provide refill options that help customers to save on packaging costs and brands receive recurring sales.

Pieter Pot is a Dutch startup that develops an online packaging platform for supermarkets that delivers groceries in refillable jars. Once the customer places an order, the startup takes some deposit amount to fill the jar with the ordered product and deliver it to the customer. The startup later refunds the deposit when the customer returns the jar after refilling the product. The solution also comes in various sizes and shapes of jars, available for customers on the website before order placement. The product is ideal for users looking to implement circular shopping practices.

Discover more Food Tech Startups

Food startups such as the examples highlighted in this report focus on connected packaging technologies such as RFID, IoT, AI, and QR codes to enable circular food refill packaging. While all of these technologies play a major role in advancing the food industry, they only represent the tip of the iceberg. To explore more food technologies, simply get in touch to let us look into your areas of interest. For a more general overview, you can download our free FoodTech Innovation Report to save your time and improve strategic decision-making.

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