Del Monte products carry with them a pledge of freshness and quality—that the products we bring to the table will consistently deliver delicious, flavorful, and healthful nutrition. Part of the reason we can guarantee such high quality is our attention to product packaging.
Packaging serves many purposes: it enables us to efficiently transport fruits and vegetables from farm to table, it provides opportunities to convey nutritional and other product information, it protects food from spoiling and thus reduces direct waste, and most importantly, it ensures that food is protected from contamination while retaining its nutritive and taste qualities. We devote significant effort to good packaging design to ensure that not only these criteria are met, but that we also use the least amount of materials and resources to package our products.
Our focus on packaging efficiency has significant repercussions all along our production chain. Even slight adjustments to individual containers can result in big savings of materials, energy, and fuel when considered over millions of units. Reductions in secondary packaging can also significantly minimize waste during shipping. We are consequently pursuing a number of packaging initiatives that focus on the following objectives:
- Remove or reduce packaging and use more effective materials
- Enhance recycled content, recycle-ability, and reusability of packaging materials
- Improve transportation efficiency through packaging changes
Removing and Reducing Packaging
Our quest to eliminate unnecessary packaging has led to significant reductions in packaging materials across our portfolio of products. We have eliminated paperboard and corrugated cardboard inserts, reduced the thickness of shrink-wrap plastic films, and slimmed down the thickness our plastic cup containers. We plan to further trim the thickness of metal fruit and tomato can ends. And, we’ll continue to explore ways to minimize the use and thickness of plastic films, sealants, and cups. We continue to identify and strategize ways to continue to reduce packaging materials into the future.
Focusing on Reuse and Recycling
Wherever possible (based on food safety and processing constraints) we try to use easily recyclable materials for our food containers so that less material is thrown out in the trash after our products are consumed. Many of our products are packed in metal cans, which are almost universally recyclable. We have successfully transitioned to ketchup bottles made entirely of Code #1 plastic, allowing these bottles to be more easily recycled by consumers in the United States. We’ve also converted diced fruit cups and pet food cups from Code #7 plastic to Code #5 plastic.
We’re also transitioning to a higher percentage of recycled content in our product packaging. For example, we converted pet food trays and Milk Bone packaging to recycled cardboard.
Improving Transportation Efficiency
Secondary packaging protects our products during shipping between our plants, distribution centers, and the stores where our products are sold. We strive to minimize secondary packaging materials and increase packing efficiency in order to reduce total freight miles and maximize the amount of product that can fit into each truck or shipping container. Read more these initiatives in the Distribution section of our website.