Designing innovative and sustainable packaging solutions for the agri-tourism and HoReCa sectors

In an era of increasing environmental awareness, the agri-tourism and HoReCa (Hotel-Restaurant-Catering) sectors are seeking to introduce increasingly sustainable solutions. One of the key aspects here is innovative and sustainable packaging design, which can contribute to reducing the carbon footprint and minimising waste generation.

Statistics and the potential of sustainable packaging
According to data compiled by European Packaging Industry Statistics (EPIS), the packaging industry for the agri-tourism and HoReCa sectors in Poland generates around 800,000 tonnes of packaging annually. Across Europe, this figure reaches 8 million tonnes, while globally it is as high as 24 million tonnes.
In contrast, research by the Nordic Packaging Association (NPA) shows that in Norway, the production of packaging for these sectors is around 200 000 tonnes per year.

The growing importance of cardboard packaging in agri-tourism

In recent years, sustainable paperboard packaging has been gaining popularity in the agritourism industry. According to a report published by the Market Research Institute (MRI), the global market for cardboard packaging in agritourism is expected to reach $6 billion by 2026, with an annual growth rate of 4.8% (Market Research Institute, 2021). Cardboard packaging is extremely environmentally friendly, easy to recycle and saves space during transportation, an important aspect for the sustainability of the agritourism sector.


The development of cardboard packaging for the agri-tourism industry is not limited to the use of sustainable materials. An example of innovation in this field is the use of nanotechnology, which makes it possible to obtain cardboard with better barrier and strength properties (Packaging Innovation Report, 2020). With these developments, paperboard packaging can protect the contents from moisture more effectively, while maintaining its low environmental impact.


Educational initiatives and community engagement are key to the further development of sustainable paperboard packaging in the agri-packaging industry. In its 2020 study, the Global Packaging Trends Institute (GPTI) highlights that consumers increasingly expect information about the origin of products and packaging, as well as their environmental impact (Global Packaging Trends Institute, 2020). Agritourism businesses can therefore contribute to environmental awareness by informing customers about the benefits of cardboard packaging and its proper management.


The role of cardboard packaging in the HoReCa sector

Cardboard packaging plays an important role in the HoReCa sector, where there is an increasing need for sustainable and practical packaging solutions. According to a survey conducted by the World Packaging Association (WPA) in 2021, 67% of HoReCa companies reported a growing demand for corrugated packaging due to its sustainability and ease of recycling (World Packaging Association, 2021). Further investment in the development of innovative corrugated packaging for the HoReCa sector can help to increase business competitiveness and reduce environmental impact.


Due to changing consumer preferences and growing demand for food delivery services, takeaway cardboard packaging is gaining popularity. The 2020 Global Food Packaging Market Insights (GFPMI) report indicates that 76% of consumers choose cardboard packaging as their preferred takeaway option due to its environmental friendliness and ease of recycling (Global Food Packaging Market Insights, 2020). The introduction of innovative cardboard takeaway packaging can help to increase the appeal of HoReCa businesses and meet the expectations of increasingly aware consumers.


As interest in cardboard packaging in the HoReCa sector grows, so does the demand for personalisation and uniqueness in these solutions. In a study published by the Packaging Design and Innovation Institute (PDII) in 2021, 54% of restaurants reported an increased interest in personalised cardboard packaging to promote their brand and differentiate themselves from the competition (Packaging Design and Innovation Institute, 2021). Tailoring corrugated packaging to the needs and values of a particular business can help build long-term customer relationships and increase brand loyalty.

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Through the Norwegian and EEA Funds, Norway contributes to reducing social and economic inequalities and strengthening bilateral relations with beneficiary countries from Central and Southern Europe and the Baltic Sea area.
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