We are all familiar with this unpleasant surprise when unpacking the groceries: the contents of a yoghurt pot have leaked all over the shopping bag through a tiny hole in the lid. This will hopefully become a problem of the past, as Walki®Lid offers a solution.
Walki®Lid, developed by Walki, is a user-friendly and renewable fibre-based lid, designed for milk product packaging. Its excellent printability allows customers to design more impressive lids.
“Walki®Lid is not an entirely new product. However, in the last six months the lid has been developed further and interest in it has grown," says Heikki Lumme, Packaging Product Line Manager at Walki. According to Lumme, Walki®Lid is now a more user-friendly product – for instance, peeling back the lid has been made easier. In addition, the product has many mechanical and environmental benefits.
“A fibre-based lid is made from sustainable raw material, so it is easily recyclable and energy-efficient to manufacture. The lid is durable, protects the product well and will not break in the shopping bag. Furthermore, the lid does not tear but peels back neatly when opened," says Lumme. The printability of Walki®Lid is also excellent. This enables better quality graphics and more attractive and informative packaging.
Walki sells their lids all around the globe, from Australia to Africa. So far, they are mainly used in the Nordic countries. As the product is improved, there is a growing desire to enter larger markets. “The hot sealing method used in the early fibre lids created challenges and problems. Now the sealing properties have been developed and the functionality of the product enhanced by the renewed packing machine lines," says Heikki Lumme.
By developing the fibre lids, Walki aims to win larger market shares also in the field of bulk products such as yoghurt. References are needed for market growth, and a very important client was acquired last year. “Valio became enthusiastic about the lid when looking for new options for their aluminium lids. Now it looks like our fibre lid is leading the competition, which is of course magnificent. In Finland, Valio is an extremely important client for us," says Lumme.
Valio is the leader in dairy products in Finland, and it holds a strong position in the neighbouring markets of Russia, Sweden and the Baltic countries. The company has subsidiaries in the USA, Belgium and China and sells industrial products globally. The international operations – including licensing, export and foreign companies – cover 65 countries.
Valio has a long history with fiber lids, which are used for various snack products. “We use approximately 20–25 million fibre lids annually, mostly in desserts and cottage cheese products," says Juha Ylisiurua, Packaging Development Manager at Valio. Due to numerous environmental and technical benefits, Valio decided to use fibre lids in their other products as well. The fruitful co-operation between Walki and Valio advanced so well that in 2010 Valio was able to test the new, developed lids on yoghurt pots with great success.
“The prospects of Walki®Lid look good. Advanced packaging methods and improved qualities of the lid have brought extremely satisfactory results. Good usability, printability and durability bring substantial added value to the product and make it more user-friendly. Another important factor is the recyclability of the fibre lid, which is significant from an environmental standpoint,"says Ylisiurua.