Market potential for oven safe pizza boxes
The novelty was that the box with the pizza inside could be heated in the oven of the consumer. During the pandemic, it became obvious that these boxes have a large market. Due to the increased demand for home delivery, there could be a time lag of up to 40 minutes between the cooking of the pizza until it reached the consumer. To reheat the pizza as it was delivered in the box became a competitive advantage. The first to believe in this project was "Pizzikotto"- brand of the Cigierre Group, Italian leader in developing and managing casual dining restaurants with original and recognizable concepts.
The pizza box developed by LIC Packaging is a corrugated box construction produced entirely from oven safe unbleached kraft papers from Nordic Paper in Åmotfors. The box is now available on the market in Italy and LIC Packaging foresees demand from Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The Italian regulations for food contact materials are more strict than in other EU. All components of an Italian pizza box are required to be made of virgin fibre material as opposed to recycled material. Giorgio Mariani, R&D director at LIC Packaging, sees large potential if the Italian regulations would become standard in all of EU.
At the R&D department of LIC Packaging, paper grades available on the market from different suppliers are tested in search for new application areas. A continuous development of the customer offering is in the DNA of LIC Packaging since start of the company 70 years ago. Out of its about 350 employees, some 20 are directly involved in designing and developing new packaging for its customers. Almost 5,000 packaging design projects are carried out annually for the customers. Sustainability is core for LIC Packaging as it wants its solutions to contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable society. To develop packaging that is easy to recycle is important for the company.
There are many players producing ordinary pizza boxes, but oven safe boxes are true specialities. Giorgio Mariani describes insightful how different paper qualities behave under heating. He appreciates that the kraft papers from Åmotfors are oven safe and these are the papers that meets the conditions best out of all qualities tested. In this way, consumers have been able to enjoy real Italian pizza despite the pandemic .As Pizzikotto puts on its pizza boxes “Where there is pizza, there is hope”.