Over the last 50 years, advances in packaging technology have paralleled growth in product range
, from the introduction of transparent plastic films to containers for frozen and microwavable foods.
In 1962, Peter Dixon set up Sainsbury's new Design Studio. He took Sainsbury's corporate image to a new level, using bold colours and geometric patterns to create an influential 'pop art' style.
By 1976, Sainsbury's laboratories included a section devoted to packaging research, 'an unsung but vitally important activity'.
In 1997, dried fruit was repackaged in resealable foil bags presenting it as a convenience food rather than a cooking ingredient. This packaging won a Design Effectiveness Award and sales of dried fruit more than doubled.
Today, clear nutritional labelling is essential. Environmental concerns have led to a reduction in overall packaging and the development of recycled as well as recyclable and compostable packaging.
Compostable packaging made using potato starch was introduced for fruit in 2001 and is now used for ready meals and most organic produce. March 2007 saw the launch of the first water bottle to incorporates 25% recovered waste plastic. Tomatoes are now available in FSC-certified Tetra-Pak cartons rather than tins.