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Alternative Packaging Insulation Material Solutions for a Meal Kit Subscription Box Industry Leader

Bredehoft, Amy Louise LU (2016) MTTM01 20161
Packaging Logistics
Abstract
This thesis serves as participatory action research with a case study to investigate and test packaging solutions for last mile delivery of food sold online, specifically via the meal kit subscription box industry. The study is done within the context of the case study subject’s product, production, and logistics’ requirements. Identified materials and packaging systems applicable to the immediate needs of the case study subject were tested and compared via a practical quantitative method to determine the thermal barrier effectiveness and heat penetration rate. The results in conjunction with the temperature profile of the logistics network allowed for the estimation of total required phase change material to ensure the food products are... (More)
This thesis serves as participatory action research with a case study to investigate and test packaging solutions for last mile delivery of food sold online, specifically via the meal kit subscription box industry. The study is done within the context of the case study subject’s product, production, and logistics’ requirements. Identified materials and packaging systems applicable to the immediate needs of the case study subject were tested and compared via a practical quantitative method to determine the thermal barrier effectiveness and heat penetration rate. The results in conjunction with the temperature profile of the logistics network allowed for the estimation of total required phase change material to ensure the food products are shipped within mandated temperatures. The heat penetration performance of the materials was in accordance with expected performance as predicted from the literature. A variety of alternative materials are able to provide sufficient insulating properties on par with standard packaging materials for transporting food items. (Less)
Popular Abstract
What do old jeans, sheep, hemp and mushrooms have in common? They can all be utilized to keep your egroceries cool and safe on their way to your front doorstep.

The meal kit subscription box industry is a relatively new business model, yet growing at an alarming speed. In just a few years, more than 100 businesses have entered this sector in the US alone. HelloFresh, the case study focus and industrial partner for this study, grew from revenues of $3 million in 2012 to $290 million in 2015. Blue Apron went from delivering 500,000 meals per month to 5 million in just 18 months.

As this industry continues to grow, these businesses are fighting to both retain and gain customers. One critical component to both the product as well as an... (More)
What do old jeans, sheep, hemp and mushrooms have in common? They can all be utilized to keep your egroceries cool and safe on their way to your front doorstep.

The meal kit subscription box industry is a relatively new business model, yet growing at an alarming speed. In just a few years, more than 100 businesses have entered this sector in the US alone. HelloFresh, the case study focus and industrial partner for this study, grew from revenues of $3 million in 2012 to $290 million in 2015. Blue Apron went from delivering 500,000 meals per month to 5 million in just 18 months.

As this industry continues to grow, these businesses are fighting to both retain and gain customers. One critical component to both the product as well as an impactful element to the net promoter score from their customers is the product packaging. Customers across all key markets are concerned over the amount of waste from the packaging they feel this product and business model creates. One of the costliest, bulkiest, but most essential components of this packaging is that required to keep perishable food items at or under regulation-mandated temperatures.

The industrial partner of this work requested further information concerning what similar businesses are using throughout the industry as well as what alternative materials are readily available to insulate their food box. Insights were gathered via participatory action research and a case study of the industrial partner. Simultaneously, a number of materials were procured and tested via a heat penetration test similar to that of ASTM D3103. Furthermore, the temperature profile of the partner’s logistics was analyzed to then provide estimated ice – or other phase change material - usage guidelines to ensure products are kept cool for the entirety of the last mile.

In conclusion, this study proved that a number of alternative materials apart from expanded polystyrene can be and are utilized for insulating food boxes, much like similar arguments for insulating homes and automobiles. Sheep wool, hemp, cellulose, recycled PET, and jute are some of said tested materials that can provide sufficient insulation for perishable food items in transit via uncooled logistics. Additionally, this study provides insights into this unique egrocery business concept, specifically around secondary packaging for cold chain maintenance.

This master thesis work was carried out with meal kit subscription box (MKSB) industry leader HelloFresh. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Bredehoft, Amy Louise LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Participatory Action Research and a Case Study for Material Identification, Testing and Implementation
course
MTTM01 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
ISBN
978-91-7623-884-4
language
English
id
8888816
date added to LUP
2016-08-23 14:28:27
date last changed
2016-08-23 14:28:27
@misc{8888816,
  abstract     = {This thesis serves as participatory action research with a case study to investigate and test packaging solutions for last mile delivery of food sold online, specifically via the meal kit subscription box industry. The study is done within the context of the case study subject’s product, production, and logistics’ requirements. Identified materials and packaging systems applicable to the immediate needs of the case study subject were tested and compared via a practical quantitative method to determine the thermal barrier effectiveness and heat penetration rate. The results in conjunction with the temperature profile of the logistics network allowed for the estimation of total required phase change material to ensure the food products are shipped within mandated temperatures. The heat penetration performance of the materials was in accordance with expected performance as predicted from the literature. A variety of alternative materials are able to provide sufficient insulating properties on par with standard packaging materials for transporting food items.},
  author       = {Bredehoft, Amy Louise},
  isbn         = {978-91-7623-884-4},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Alternative Packaging Insulation Material Solutions for a Meal Kit Subscription Box Industry Leader},
  year         = {2016},
}