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Design Force, Inc. proudly announces that has published its President, Ted Mininni’s latest thought leadership article on packaging in the featured articles section of its web site on October 13, 2011. In his editorial, Mr. Mininni questions the latest efforts at retailer sustainability that involve eliminating packaging completely for food products. He asks: “Are the ideas that made packaging viable still meaningful or have cultural shifts made it expendable?”

Good question in this age when the race to go green among retailers may lead to decision making that seems good on the surface but has the potential to create more problems than it solves. This article centers on a proposed new grocery store concept in Austin Texas in which the owners plan to offer foods in bulk in order to eliminate packaging waste. Mr. Mininni questions whether this is a wise move given the important role packaging plays.

In a recent interview, he stated: “Given the possibility of taint from the environment, viral and bacterial elements that consumers may pass among themselves, the idea of eliminating packaging for food products really ought to be reexamined, in my view. Contamination is one thing. Then there is the issue of the rapid degradation of nutritional value in food that is not sealed in proper packaging. And what about the possibility of tampering? There are just too many issues that should be considered for the safety and well-being of consumers.”

As the article progresses, Mr. Mininni cites the fact that in a litigious society, retailers who choose to sell unpackaged food products may be leaving themselves open to legal action, as well. “Without packaging, consumers are buying generic, unbranded products unless shelves are tagged with the information. Even then, what does it mean when the food is bagged and brought home? Will people remember? Unlikely. What about the issue of transparency and traceability? Consumers are increasingly concerned – as they should be – about where their food is sourced.

Mr. Mininni ends his article by calling for a continuation of cutting down on extraneous packaging, in lieu of forsaking it altogether. He suggests that finding more renewable sources that can be recycled or biodegrade is preferable, as is reusable packaging that can easily be repurposed. “It seems to me that doing these things will yield highly functional packaging and viable, safe, fresh products with measurably less packaging material going into landfills on an ongoing basis.”

To read the article, please visit: