After a long career with packaging manufacturer and supplier Klingele, Heinz Bürgerhoff decided to become self-employed at the beginning of the new year. Under the name HB Verpackungsservice, the Delmenhorst native primarily assists producers and smaller packers of fruit and vegetables in choosing the right and forward-looking packaging strategy.
As an area sales manager at Klingele Papierwerke & Co, Bürgerhoff mainly looked after customers in northern Germany for many years. “At the end of my career, however, I wanted to do something different. Overall, I have also been involved with packaging in the fruit and vegetable sector for about 17 years. This segment of the food sector continues to fascinate me. In contrast to other sectors, you deal directly with the decision-makers more often, which is why the distance to the customer is shorter in the end. There is less of a multi-level hierarchy.”
Heinz Bürgerhoff has been acting as an independent packaging consultant since the beginning of the year.
As an independent consultant and intermediary in the industry, Bürgerhoff sees himself primarily as a “link between producers and packaging suppliers,” he says. “I focus primarily on growers who package their own yields. In addition, I naturally have the advantage that I was frequently represented at trade fairs and events during my time at Klingele and was thus able to build up a good network.”
Trend toward paper and cardboard
In pre-Corona days, everyone was talking about sustainability in product packaging. Currently, the issue seems to have faded somewhat into the background. However, the overarching shift in packaging is still taking place gradually, says Bürgerhoff. “There is an increasing switch to alternatives made of cardboard, corrugated board and solid board. There’s also more use of brown packaging instead of white, so there’s a lot of movement in the market.”
Bürgerhoff sees a future challenge in the availability of paper as a raw material. “Paper is obviously becoming scarcer on the market. That’s why it’s even more important to finally call recovered paper a raw material instead of waste, because it becomes new paper again in a closed cycle.” Bürgerhoff takes a very positive view of the situation with regard to reuse. “We Germans are pioneers in waste paper collection and efficient disposal. In this respect, we are already on the right track.”
Balanced packaging strategy
“The consumer’s wishes are certainly of great interest to retailers, but they must be implementable and affordable. The rule for most packaging should be: As simple as possible. That would also be my recommendation for the next few years: not too colorful, but still with recognition value. Ultimately, the product to be marketed must then speak for itself.”
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