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Customized packaging brings vital improvements

New packaging design for Vital Farms pioneers recycled materials and a carbon neutral lid

Vital Farms, a US ethical food company, has been using Hartmann’s recyclable Hybrid egg packaging for some time – but recently approached us to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging still further. The challenge was an exciting one. 

The companies ethics are shared across a community of like-minded family farmers, suppliers, consumers, crewmembers and shareholders. This includes considering the environment in its business decisions from the land on which animals are raised to the materials used to package its products.

A great opportunity for Hartmann to develop a new carton that satisfied the high standards of both Vital Farms and its passionate consumers.

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A customized Hybrid carton for the entire egg assortment of Vital Farms: pasture-raised, non-gmo pasture-raised and organic pasture-raised eggs.

Custom-made for a very innovative customer

Of course, Vital Farms had already had success with using Hartmann’s Hybrid egg carton for their entire egg assortment.

Hartmann’s standard Hybrid egg carton (exclusively produced for North America) has a traditional moulded fibre base made from 100% recycled paper. The lid is made from SBB (Solid Bleached Board), a virgin fibre paperboard which is 100% recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable.

However, they now wanted to raise their stake in the ethical market. So, in August 2019 we set to work to produce a customized carton made from 100% recycled material.


Working alongside Vital Farms and a Canadian-based agency we dug deep into research. We unearthed useful consumer insights, valuable industry insights, and married them with our knowledge and experience of how an egg carton is produced.

Then we thought about what could be improved. What innovations could be made to the raw materials? How could the carton lid be reshaped to create a larger front area?

And after several prototypes and rounds of testing, we were finally able to show Vital Farms a customized Hartmann Hybrid egg pack.

 

Hybrid 12-egg carton for pasture-raised eggs before the customization.

Customized Hybrid 12-egg carton for Vital Farms' pasture-raised eggs with a longer front flap.


The new carton features:

  • Reduced environmental footprint - The lid is now made from 100% recycled fibers and is also Greenchoice 100 certified. This certification means the lid is C02 neutral - as the carbon emitted during its production is offset by new tree plantings.

  • Longer front flap - More merchandising space and shelf impact due to the larger front surface.

  • Refreshed direct print design - With the cute little creative touch of making the right tab into the wing of the hen.

Vital Farms is being mindful of the environment in its business decisions and striving to increase the sustainability of its packaging.

A vital improvement, you might say – but also another great example of the efforts Hartmann makes to meet our customers’ needs and consumers ever-changing expectations. After 14 months of hard work, the ethical cartons were rolled out in the first week of November 2020 – just in time for the busy Holiday season.

"Hartmann is a great business partner. Throughout the design and production process, the Hartmann team demonstrated a deep understanding of our values. They were proactive in bringing us new ideas, not only to achieve our environmental goals, but also to develop a carton that felt uniquely Vital."

Becca Simmonds
Product Marketing Manager
Vital Farms

“This is one amazing piece of packaging! It was an absolute pleasure to work with a
visionary partner – thank you Vital Farms for being an inspirational, demanding but absolutely great client to work with.”



Bruce Strecheniuk

Quality and Process Improvement Manager
Hartmann

About Vital Farms
From just a single farm in Austin, Texas, in 2007, Vital Farms has grown into the United States' leading brand of pasture-raised eggs and butter, with products sold in around 16,000 stores nationwide. Working with approximately 200 family farms, their ethics focus on the humane treatment of farm animals and sustainable farming practices, right down to the land on which the animals are raised.

08 October 2021
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