Kraft is seeking high-tech chocolate bar packaging that will prevent bars from melting.
The owner of the Cadbury’s chocolate brand said it is seeking “novel materials or approaches to packaging that can protect single serve chocolate bars from medium term exposure to warm ambient conditions”.
Nine Sigma, an ‘open innovation’ consultancy has issued a design tender on the manufacturer’s behalf, with “proof of concept” sought within nine months.
“These products frequently experience multiple cycles of exposure to controlled and uncontrolled climates, and consumed sometime later having been carried on the person or in a handbag. Although current technology can provide a solution to the problem, the resultant packaging is both cost prohibitive and excessively bulky,” the tender said.
The tender said that possible approaches may include novel insulating materials, phase change material, thin film approaches that can store energy and repurpose it, technologies that are triggered by temperature or light as well as novel cooling or heat absorbing technologies.
The move highlights Kraft’s focus on innovation. A spokesperson told just-food: “Our strategy is about improving our own internal innovation through open sourcing. While it isn’t new at Kraft foods, we’re now more focused and we have it better integrated into our business. We’re complementing our traditional R&D and actively looking for external partners. So open innovation is an evolution to our innovation, rather than a revolution.”
He said that the company has implemented a number of product developments due to its open innovation work, with improvements in its Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, salad dressings and new resealable Milka packets.
The company is also operating its own open innovation website, www.innovatewithkraft.com, where it receives unsolicited innovations to help meet the company’s needs.