„Consumers clearly want to get away from plastic packaging“

The pasta manufacturer Alb-Gold Pasta is gradually converting its product range from foil to paper bags. In an interview with Oliver Freidler, Managing Director of Alb-Gold Teigwaren, the second tranche is scheduled for the beginning of 2020. At the packaging congress PACKAGING360° he will report on the new and sustainable ways of the company.

Mr Freidler, since autumn 2018 you have been advertising with the slogan ‚Noodles naturally packed in paper‘. Do consumers now often reach for the seven types of pasta that are already wrapped in paper?
Paper packaging is a great success. We get a lot of positive feedback, also from the social media. Consumers clearly want to get away from plastic.

How is the volume business going?
Extremely positive. The start last autumn was concentrated on the dm drugstore market. Now we are also present on other, altogether much larger trading areas with noodles in paper packaging. At the beginning of 2020, we will convert six varieties of organic pasta – original cereals – spelt, emmer and einkorn – and seven varieties of organic pasta durum wheat to paper packaging.

Was there a specific reason to change the packaging material?
We have been looking into alternatives to film bags for some time and have also gained experience with folding cartons. In mid-2017, a machine and paper manufacturer approached us and suggested paper packaging for pasta. That was the trigger.

What were the challenges?
On the way to the new packaging, we carried out numerous tests and pre-tests. The decisive factor was the realization that customers at the POS actually buy products in non-transparent bags – which do not allow a direct view of the contents. Paper is a good choice for spaetzle and pasta quite unusual packing material.

How did the changeover go?
Since we had to put a completely new packaging line into operation for the paper bags, the starting conditions were the same as for a line for plastic films. The time intervals for running-in and clocking were also in the same range.

What kind of paper meets your packaging requirements?
It is FSC-certified paper printed with water-based inks. The paper is a monomaterial and can be absolutely sealed dust-tight.

When is spaghetti in paper robes available?
That is not yet certain. With spaghetti and some other types of pasta we still have problems with moving into paper sleeves. We are currently working on solutions.

You are speaking at the dfv Packaging 360° event, which core theses are you presenting?
Our entrepreneurial actions are characterized by sustainable thinking. Only if we succeed in integrating all aspects of sustainability into our daily work will we be successful in the long term. I think that I am also speaking for the entire young generation of entrepreneurs here. Above all, we want to act sensibly. And it is this sense that makes the quality of our products and our company so meaningful.