Packaging Redesign Improves Sustainability, Lowers Freight Costs | Retail

2/27/2023 RRD

Packaging Redesign Improves Sustainability, Lowers Freight Costs | Retail

RRD Packaging Solutions overhauls premium gift producer’s rigid boxes, reducing freight costs by 83% and improving carbon footprint


A leading American gift producer and retailer known for its gift baskets and gourmet food gifts faced inefficiency and sustainability challenges with existing product packaging. 

As it stood, they were using high-end solid white solid bleached sulfate (SBS) board for their packaging, along with certain non-recyclable tapes. Due to the packaging’s rigid construction and tape closure, the boxes could not be flattened, and each box order required six trucks for transportation and storage. They found their current carbon footprint to be unacceptable, and desired the lower freight costs that would come with a potential packaging redesign.

Ultimately, the brand sought an experienced partner to help source new packaging design ideas and sustainable materials.


A longstanding relationship with several RRD business units led the brand to entrust RRD’s packaging experts to overhaul their packaging. RRD worked hand-in-hand with internal client teams to develop time-saving, environmentally-friendly solutions for their packaging needs. 

RRD produced a shirt-style box — a flat folded box  — made with solid unbleached sulfate (SUS) paperboard, which contains fewer chemicals than the SBS stock. The resulting SUS-constructed box is strong, durable, and in adherence with food packaging industry standards.

RRD also eliminated the freight concerns of the rigid and taped boxes with a flat-ship box design. Because the boxes ship flat and are now regionally sourced, five fewer trucks are required per order, leading to vastly lower carbon emissions per shipment.

The brand’s original fruit box design was too tall and narrow for the updated shirt-box style, so RRD designed a new one-part auto-bottom box with the same advantages. This all-in-one style consolidates the box into one SKU, and its effortless pop-up style simplifies assembly. 

To complement the fiberless SUS stock, the fruit boxes contain water-based glue for enhanced recyclability. The boxes are made without plastic or tape, making them 100% curbside recyclable. They also include environmentally-friendly coated natural kraft paperboard visible to the end-consumer.


RRD’s comprehensive packaging solutions provided freight optimization, with 83% lower freight costs, and an average of five fewer trucks per order — reducing the required storage space by a factor of six. Additional benefits included:

  • Increased packaging recyclability
  • Reduction in carbon emissions
  • Lower production costs with a one-part box design
  • Administrative time savings due to fewer SKUs 
  • Assembly time savings due to pop-up box design


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