In February, H.J. Heinz Company announced that starting this June, it will use The Coca-Cola Company’s plant-based plastic bottle to package its ketchup in the U.S. and then expand its use worldwide. At the BioPlastek 2011 Forum on Bioplastics Today and Tomorrow, Heinz vice president-Packaging R&D/Innovation Dr. Michael Okoroafor will reveal some of the motivating factors behind that move. Okoroafor will present a keynote address at the event, scheduled for June 27-29, 2011 at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
Dr. Okoroafor suggests that the rationale for the decision by H.J. Heinz is that consumers seek products that are both innovative and that protect the environment—an idea that is consistent with the title of his keynote presentation, “Leveraging Creative Biobased Packaging to Drive Brand Differentiation.”
Companies like Heinz are facing the challenge to develop products with this public sentiment in mind even though the business case is not as clear-cut as building product differentiation or driving operational efficiencies. Says Dr. Okoroafor, “We at Heinz have responded to these realities and have converted them into opportunities. The sustainability paradigm has provided us with a new holistic way of looking at products, services, consumers, and the value chain in ways that not only foster tremendous innovation but also give competitive edge.”
Dr. Okoroafor’s leadoff presentation at the BioPlastek 2011 Forum will address packaging opportunities that are derived from plant-based materials and enable key supply chain requirements. Following will be more than 40 presentations from the bioplastics value chain providing analyses of where the bioplastics industry is today, where it will be tomorrow, and why.