BDSI calls for urgent EU review on packaging design legislation

Germany’s BDSI confectionery trade group has expressed ‘extreme concern’ at EU legislative plans for packaging design that could negatively impact seasonal product lines such as heart-shaped chocolate boxes, reports Neill Barston.

As the industry organisation noted, the sweets and snacks sector remains renowned for creative flourishes with Valentine’s Day ranges, Easter bunnies or festive Santa Clauses with items such as scarves, hats or bows – which may be considered unacceptable under proposed European laws.

Notably, as Confectionery Production has previously covered, the confectionery sector in Germany has been hit notably hard in the past year, with energy prices and ingredient inflation hitting the industry particularly hard, as with many other markets across the continent and around the world.

According to the BDSI, the draft of the Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) indicates focus should be on minimising packaging in the future. However, unlike the EU Parliament, the European Council’s position does not provide for any exceptions for seasonal products or gift packaging, which have been valued and in high demand by consumers for many decades.

Significantly, the trade group explained that exceptions to mandatory packaging minimisation are currently only planned for products with brand or design protection. However, small and medium-sized companies in particular cannot apply for the appropriate trademark or design protection for each of their products due to the considerable cost and administrative effort.

Dr. Carsten Bernoth, General Manager of the BDSI, summed up the situation as particularly concerning for product development. He said: “By omitting a bow, for example, the suitability of a product as a gift is lost. It is precisely this type of design that makes many popular products unique. For example, the bell or the bow on an Easter bunny or Santa Claus or a small Christmas tree “A chocolate snowman has distinctive characteristics that create the added value in consumer expectations. According to the EU Council’s plans, a special presentation of a chocolate box would no longer be possible.”

The BDSI therefore strongly supports the position of the EU Parliament, which, in addition to the purely protective function of packaging, also takes into account the special design for special occasions. Without taking consumer acceptance and the function of the packaging into account, gift and seasonal packaging would lose its special design that is valued by consumers due to the omission of packaging components.

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