How Different Foods Are Packaged Around the World

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When it comes to cuisine and traditions, every country is unique. While it might seem like food packaging is trivial enough to be similar across cultures, that’s simply not the case. Some countries have innovative (and often strange) methods of packing food products. Here’s how different foods are packaged around the world.

Bagged Milk in Canada

Several large plastic bags filled with milk rest on kitchen counter
Credit: spring26/ Shutterstock

In the early 20th century, many households in North America received milk in glass bottles that were shipped right to the door. While it might have been efficient, glass was heavy, space-consuming, and expensive to produce. Pretty soon, manufacturers began searching for alternatives.

Cardboard and plastic jugs were the obvious successors to glass bottles. In the 1970s, Canada switched to the metric system. Instead of redesigning all the plastic and cardboard jugs, a Canadian food and packaging company, DuPont, released new liter-sized plastic bags. The bags were easy to produce, compact, and cost-efficient. Pretty soon, everyone in Canada was drinking milk out of plastic bags. Today, about 75 to 80% of milk sold in Ontario is packaged in plastic bags.

Col-Pop in South Korea

Close up top view of cola soda in a glass with ice cube in left of frame
Credit: Pat Siravich/ Shutterstock

Don’t you hate having to choose between holding your drink or eating food? Well, the South Korean fast-food chain, BBQ Chicken, is solving that pesky problem once and for all. The Col-Pop is an innovative cup that holds your drink and your food all at once. The bottom of the cup is filled with the ice-cold beverage of your choice. The top of the cup has an insert that holds your favorite finger food such as french fries or chicken tenders. Use a straw to sip your drink from the bottom while using your free hand to pick at the food on top. Could this be the future of on-the-go snacking?

McBike in Denmark

Person riding white bike on street next to car
Credit: connel/ Shutterstock

Eating your McDonald’s fries, burger, and drink while in your car isn’t really an issue (hands on the wheel notwithstanding), but what happens if you’re traveling by bike? In one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, Copenhagen, McDonald’s has solved that issue with their McBike packaging.

The McBike is a takeout container that’s designed to fit securely on the handlebars of your bike. It can hold a drink, burger, and fries without spilling. How’s that for convenience? The innovative packaging has been released at “bike-thru” windows all over the country and will also be launched in other bike-friendly cities like Amsterdam and Tokyo.

KitKat Origami in Japan

Several colored origami paper cranes hang from the ceiling
Credit: Duet PandG/ Shutterstock

In early 2020, Nestlé released brand-new packaging for its world-famous Kit Kat bars. Instead of standard plastic wrapping, the company is switching to a more environmentally-friendly paper wrapper. Although the paper will seem dull and less appealing than plastic, Nestlé has a trick up its sleeve.

Japan loves Kit Kats. In fact, there are more flavors of Kit Kats in Japan than anywhere else in the world, which makes it the perfect place for Nestlé to release its new packaging. Starting in 2020, the paper Kit Kat packaging will come with instructions on how to make an origami crane out of the wrapper. Other designs are planned to be released in the future. Nestlé hopes that the switch will not only reduce the amount of plastic being used, but also encourage consumers to keep the paper in use longer as decoration. While many will likely throw them straight into the trash, we applaud the efforts towards conservation.

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