Minimizing Our Mac & Cheese Master Case

Packaging is more than just a Mac and Cheese box. In fact, over a quarter of Annie’s packaging footprint is never seen by consumers. We’re talking about the packaging that is only used to transport our yummy products from factories to store shelves. These so-called “outer cases” or “master cases” made up 27% of our packaging by weight in FY2015.

We believe it is important to do the right thing, even (and especially) when no one is watching, and this is why we are always working to optimize all parts of our packaging, including outer cases. In 2013 we developed a new master case for all our mac and cheese products. This master case uses a cardboard tray and shrink wrap instead of a full box, reducing the amount of cardboard used per case by over 55%. As this configuration has been implemented, we have virtually frozen our yearly cardboard use despite a continuing increase in sales.

But we do not plan to stop here. At Annie’s we are re-assessing all our packaging through a sustainable inputs, outputs, and optimization framework, looking at how we can prioritize more sustainable materials with higher recycled content and end-of-life recyclability, all while using less packaging in the first place. This is just another way Annie’s lives our commitment to nourish both people and planet.