Orkla Health is supporting a circular economy and launching a new, square package for their dietary supplement brands in the Nordic markets. The new concept is produced using 48-100% recycled plastic and with a lid and label in plastic from renewable resources. In less than 2 years, Orkla replaces the packaging for more than 240 dietary supplement products in 20 brands in 8 countries. The replacement takes place gradually to ensure learning along the way and to ensure that products in the current packaging are sold out and not wasted.
In 2019, Orkla Health approached KDV Studio with a challenge – help them redesign their packaging range for dietary supplement. When the work started, there were 29 different package types (comprising different sizes and materials) in the factory. This was causing a high degree of complexity and complicating possibilities of a more sustainable offering. Orkla Health was ready to upgrade the factory in order to produce a more environmentally-responsible solution. KDV Studio’s mission was to design this new modular concept which should work in the factory as well as across many markets and brands. KDV has been a fully integrated design partner throughout the process – from exploring user needs and listening to market insights, to designing the concept, delivering prototypes for consumer testing and being involved in the sustainability communication.
“The key mission for this project has been to make our packaging line more sustainable, and we knew we had to do it in a holistic way; reviewing everything from material, form and usability, to production and logistics,” explains Business Development Director, Tina Lindeloff, who has been managing the project. One of the main missions was to review the choice of material, resulting in a focus on circular solutions. The materials originate from recycled or renewable sources and can be recycled after use. “With the new square shape,” she continues, “We not only created a new form factor in the supplement shelves, but we also designed out the loss of air in transport and storage, and designed in more ergonomics in the opening procedure.”
Design Director of the project, Kristina de Verdier, explains the design approach: “With respect for environment, the compactness of people’s homes and an increasing demand for e-commerce, we, early in the process, decided to explore simplicity. In a world where people have too many things, too many choices and too little time, we wanted to remove the non-essential elements. So, we created a compact square shape, which is more streamlined for storage and environmental footprint than the circular-shaped packages. We also considered that there are many people out there with reduced abilities, so it was important to improve ergonomics where possible too. The fact that Orkla Health was also investing in new cap tools gave us the opportunity to design the opening experience. The square shape makes the package easier to grip and to open.”
In a world where sustainability is growing in importance, people are subconsciously searching for natural cues in packaging which goes all the way from an eco-smart shape, to material choices. The recycled plastic is giving a slight greyish tone to the plastic of the new packaging, which, a couple of years ago, would probably have been evaluated as imperfect but today, this quality is just evidence of being part of a circular economy.