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ECOTROPHELIA ITALIA: Packstyle also supports the young students of the ITS-EAT Eccellenza Agroalimentare Toscana Foundation

The Valpiù project won third place out of 2000 projects in the ECOTROPHELIA Italia competition organised by Federalimentare with the scientific sponsorship of ENEA, dedicated to eco-innovation in the development of sustainable consumer products.

When Packstyle's flexible packaging - innovative, sustainable and creative - meets ECOTROPHELIA Italia, the competition organised by Federalimentare aimed at limiting the environmental impact of production processes and encouraging the recycling of industrial by-products, success is assured!

This is the case of the VALPIÙ project, which won third place out of about 2000 projects submitted to the twelfth edition of the ECOTROPHELIA competition by ITS and Universities from all over Italy, whose prize-giving ceremony took place in the prestigious setting of CIBUS 2022 in the Parma exhibition centre.

To present the VALPIÙ bar, consisting of two layers of biscuit and honey sap inside, Packstyle packaging was chosen, which is suitable for optimal food preservation. The Packstyle packaging is in fact completely in line with the values of sustainability that guided the realisation of the project: the recovery of food waste, such as buttermilk and honey sap, and the valorisation of the circular economy. 

In fact, flexible packaging has a lower environmental impact throughout its life cycle (LCA) and Packstyle packaging is designed so that the food will keep for a long time, avoiding waste.

For Packstyle, following the team composed of students from the ITS EAT Foundation was a compelling challenge because of the goals of the competition and because they were tackled together with a group of motivated and willing young people. Their team leader Matteo tells us about the highlights of the process of creating their snack and packaging:

How was your product created?

The Valpiù product came out after a brainstorming session between the team members and tutors, starting from the claims and highlights requested by the European competition Ecotrophelia, in correlation with what could be the potential of an identified target market, i.e. that of sportsmen and women.

We managed to come up with an excellent product prototype, considering the appearance, taste and organoleptic characteristics of an artisanal production. It would have been interesting to produce and taste it on an industrial level, winning the competition, but we are nevertheless very satisfied with our result, and then... never say never. 


Why did you choose this type of product and what are the characteristics of the bar that you are most proud of?

Valpiù had to and wanted to be an innovative product in terms of both the target market and its features mainly related to the claims required by the competition, as well as sensitive topics for consumers.

The analysis of the target market led us to focus on this type of product on the basis of the important points that the competition demanded, but what made us most proud was the appreciation of the judges, experts in the sector, during the tasting phase. A project that started in the classroom, in the desks, arrived on such an important stage as CIBUS and was much appreciated, that was the greatest satisfaction!


Besides being good, what characteristics did your Valpiù bar have to have?

We took up the challenge of the competition with the utmost dedication, respecting all the required characteristics and taking them as our inspiration.

The concept of circular economy, the main theme of the competition, was represented by the 'noble' and 'key star' re-use of production by-products, in this case buttermilk and honey sap. In addition, flour from ancient grains, with important beneficial properties, was used, in contrast to the usual use of modern grains in breakfast products. Finally, in relation to the valorisation of the territory, the supply for the product came exclusively from selected areas in Tuscany.

The use of sustainable packaging was the second criterion the product had to meet, and for this we turned to Packstyle. We needed packaging with a low environmental impact, perhaps recyclable, innovative, that did not renounce aesthetics, and fortunately we found Packstyle through a quick internet search.


How has packaging helped to define the identity of the product? What does it say about you?

The packaging we chose was essential to present the product and 'complete the work', as we were convinced that a shelf-marketing would certainly be interesting. The packaging perfectly matched the qualities of the content and our values related to environmental sustainability and circular economy: we chose a totally recyclable and environmentally friendly paper packaging, in the innovative doypack version, to attract consumers' curiosity.  


In what do you think  you are similar to Packstyle?

Packstyle and Valpiù have some important points of convergence, the first, as I said, related to environmental sustainability: the company is very committed to this aspect, you can feel it immediately, even just by visiting the site, I wish all companies were like that! 

The second lies in creativity and innovation. Valpiù would be an innovative product in its market, like the packaging that would contain it: an entirely new structure for the product category with a sustainable wrapper that very few use. Both products, the bar and its packaging, would have stood out in the market.

What Packstyke product did you rely on? What Packstyle packaging feature best suits your product?

The product identified for our bar is a doypack bag made of recyclable paper, measuring 9x16+6. It "fits" the size of the bar perfectly, without distorting or damaging it; on the contrary, it enhances the curiosity and makes the product much more interesting, with a well-crafted graphic, just as we had thought and sent it by "our graphics department." In addition, as already mentioned, the doypack format turned out to be extremely interesting and innovative both for the various possibilities of display in different outlets and for its new and modern appearance in the target market.


How is the Packstyle service different from the rest of the packaging world? How did it support you?

Packstyle proved to be a highly efficient and knowledgeable company, we were followed with great respect and great interest, and we had the distinct impression that our project was taken to heart. We were treated like any other customer, despite the fact that our contacts knew the nature of our project: we were not a company with large orders to be placed immediately, but a group of guys with an idea. Despite this, Sara, the girl who followed us, immediately understood the importance our creation had for us, as well as the potential it could have brought to the company itself by passing the various selection phases together and reaching the finals at the CIBUS 2022 fair in Parma. In fact, it proved to be prompt, competent and responsive, managing to exceed our expectations, especially in the delivery, which - due to our organisational problems - we had to agree to in a very tight timeframe! The customer service was noteworthy, and should be taken as an example for many other companies dealing with projects related to training and education, but which nevertheless have potential to enrich everyone involved. In order to grow, it is necessary to support those who want to grow, because you never stop learning from the work of others, and Packstyle has great merit in this. Thanks again to the whole team!


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