Pet Food in Sustainable Packaging

Pet food manufacturer Pets Deli has changed its packaging to make it more sustainable. Packaging producer Smurfit Kappa developed new solutions for the company’s mail order business.

Pet food manufacturer Pets Deli Tonius GmbH, based in Berlin, sells its products mainly online and ships them nationally and internationally to more than 175,000 customers. However, there are also stationary stores. Pets Deli has set itself the goal of making the packaging it uses even more sustainable and efficient. At the same time, the packaging should create a special brand experience for the demanding clientele. To meet these challenges, the company teamed up with packaging specialist Smurfit Kappa, which was also able to optimize the pet food specialist’s warehouse processes.

Packaging optimization in the mail order business

The challenge  Pets Deli was facing concerned the area of packaging and related processes. The company is growing very quickly, particularly in the e-commerce sector, helped by the years of the pandemic, when many people decided to buy a pet and were and still are happy to order the food online.

Since Pets Deli sets high standards for its products, its sustainable packaging should also reflect this to the outside world. To this end, the company has called on the expertise of Smurfit Kappa, a specialist in paper-based packaging solutions. Boris Maschmann, CEO of Smurfit Kappa in the DACH region, explains: “The analysis of the processes and materials showed us  that there is potential for more sustainability as well as potential savings in materials and costs. In addition, the brand experience can be conveyed more strongly than before via the packaging. Our proposed solution meets all three requirements.”

As a first step, Smurfit Kappa’s development and design team analyzed the packaging used to date and all packaging-related processes and procedures within the company. The first activity that resulted from the analysis was that Pets Deli consistently switched to recycled paper-based packaging material.  Smurfit Kappa’s 100 percent recyclable paper and cardboard packaging material comes from sustainable forestry and is FSC-certified.

Enabling growth through process optimization in the warehouse

Smurfit Kappa was able to identify a particularly large optimization potential in the Pets Deli warehouse in Ludwigsfelde, south of Berlin. Most recently, cartons in the high six-figure range were being placed there by hand each year before being filled with goods. Following an analysis (“Smart Scan”) of its supply chain, Smurfit Kappa proposed a machine-based solution as an alternative. This provided for the five carton formats required for the goods deliveries to be erected by machine in the future. The design of the new solution was adapted accordingly, so that this automatic preparation as well asa thet gluing of the cartons undersides became possible. Now, the personnel only need to load the machine with the carton goods delivered on pallets. The focus of the work  now lies on filling the cartons with the goods.

To make this solution possible, however, the right machine had to be found promptly. There were machines available on the market that could have erected all the carton formats required for Pets Deli with five magazines. However, the build time was at least 18 months. “It was a favorable circumstance that Smurfit Kappa had a suitable machine available from its machine range that could only accommodate one format, but the changeover time to another format was only about five minutes.” Pets Deli showed interest. Now the modalities still had to be settled. Here Smurfit Kappa offered a combined supply contract with a three-year term, which Pets Deli accepted.

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