2019 SPC Innovator Awards
Innovation in Design Optimization winner:
Blue Apron used innovative design thinking to reconfigure its packaging system and enable gel packs to be placed on top of the meal kit ingredients, allowing a 20% reduction in the amount of gel packs used. A redesign of the outer corrugated shipper resulted in a similar reduction of 20%.
Why it’s important:
Meal kit packaging tends to require significant amounts of insulation, refrigerant gel packs, and corrugate in order to safely deliver ingredients. By going beyond conventional design optimization practices of downgauging and material substitution and using design thinking, Blue Apron was able to target two of the packaging system’s “hot spots” and make significant improvements. Blue Apron also deserves bonus points for using new drain safe refrigerant in gel packs, recycled PET in trays and lids, and recyclable polyethylene films!
“We are very honored to receive the Innovation in Design Optimization award from SPC,” said Gaurav Kale, Head of Engineering, Packaging at Blue Apron. “We are thankful to the judging panel and SPC for recognizing our work. We took guidance from the SPC team in 2015 to understand our packaging baseline and have continuously optimized our packaging through innovations in design. The life cycle metric driven work has enabled us to work on the high-impact areas. We are also excited to be a part of How2Recycle® and be the first meal kit company to join the program.