Naked’s BIG EAT has reduced plastic by 50%

6 October, 21

We talk to Symington’s marketing director Kevin Butterworth to discover why Naked’s ‘The BIG One’ became ‘BIG EAT’ and why Greiner Packaging’s K3® cardboard-plastic cup delivers on Symington’s journey to full recyclability.

Since 2015, Symington’s Naked brand has taken consumer’s taste buds on an adventure in an instant, with authentic Asian flavours. For the last three years, five of our noodle flavours and two of our rice flavours have also been available in a wider, larger format called ‘The BIG One’.
The brand team identified the opportunity to review our packaging formats during our annual brand planning last year. We did some work to discover who was choosing the larger format, and the consumption occasions. The standard pot was hitting more of a snacking occasion and the large pack was popular for lunch or an evening meal.

We wanted to know if consumers needed to have the physically bigger pot to justify the occasion and quickly reconciled that they didn’t. This led us to rebranding Naked’s ‘The BIG One’ to ‘BIG EAT’.

Reducing plastic

We discovered that there needed to be a demonstrable difference between the core range and the BIG EAT, but we also learned that consumers were massively favorable towards any format that reduced its plastic.

Working closely with Greiner Packaging, we carried out a full review of the packaging options.
For the BIG EAT, we reduced the diameter from 116mm to 95mm, to match our core range. This resulted in an immediate plastic saving of over 50%. Coupled with the advantage of the K3® cardboard-plastic packaging being perfectly recyclable, the pack format change has made a significant contribution to our mission to reduce the impact our packaging has on the environment.

By moving to the new taller cup for BIG EAT, we also slightly reduced the size of the cups for our core range to underline the value differentiation, but without reducing the portion size.

Throughout the project, the Greiner Packaging team worked closely with us, identifying the most suitable packaging solutions, and pushed the boundaries to create the new pack size which was outside what its existing machinery could produce at that time.
Many factors contributed to this successful project. We were clear why consumers were choosing the larger pack and for which occasion, and rationalizing the format to match the in-store footprint of our standard product line delivered improved operational efficiency. There is also a significant advantage from the plastic saving and recyclability of Greiner Packaging’s K3®. Symington’s is on a journey to full recyclability, so we are currently investigating a range of options to also make the lid recyclable.

UK first for new tear-tab

The Greiner Packaging K3® pack is perfectly recyclable, as the consumer can easily separate the cardboard wrap from the plastic cup. Naked has been the first food brand in the UK to use Greiner Packaging’s newly improved and more visible tear-tab to make the process as easy as possible. We use the reverse of the wrap not just to show the fill-level, but also to engage Naked fans with more about our brand, and how they can be part of our sustainability journey.

For Symington’s, consumer research is ongoing, with taste-tracking the top priority. But we also discover more about appeal, relevance, modernity, and other factors. We have learned that our consumers are much more aware about recyclability, so being able to involve them with a strong message about reducing plastic and ensuring the pack is genuinely recyclable is all part of delivering our longer-term CSR commitments particularly around environmental sustainability.

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