Packaging Strategies That Save Food: A Research Agenda for 2030

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Thoroughly considering and optimizing packaging systems can avoid food loss and waste. We suggest a number of issues that must be explored and review the associated challenges. Five main issues were recognized through the extensive experience of the authors and engagement of multiple stakeholders. The issues promoted are classified as follows: (1) identify and obtain specific data of packaging functions that influence food waste; (2) understand the total environmental burden of product/package by considering the trade‐off between product protection and preservation and environmental footprint; (3) develop understanding of how these functions should be treated in environmental footprint evaluations; (4) improve packaging design processes to also consider reducing food waste; and (5) analyze stakeholder incentives to reduce food loss and waste. Packaging measures that save food will be important to fulfill the United Nations Sustainable Development goal to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and to reduce food losses along production and supply chains.


  • Fredrik Wikström
  • Karli Verghese
  • Rafael Auras
  • Annika Olsson
  • Helén Williams
  • Renée Wever
  • Kaisa Grönman
  • Marit Kvalvåg Pettersen
  • Hanne Möller
  • Risto Soukka
External organisations
  • Karlstad University
  • Michigan State University
  • RMIT University
  • Linköping University
  • Lappeenranta University Of Technology (LUT)
  • Nofima
  • Ostfold Research
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Management
  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


  • Food loss, food waste, industrial ecology, package, packaging strategies, sustainability
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-540
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch