We are raising a glass to the fifth anniversary and significant growth in the use of the innovative Brown Lift Lock for bread and bakery products, launched in March 2015. At the time, special Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) for the bakery industry were not common practice.
IFCO, with its long tradition of innovation and a pioneering spirit, recognized that a dedicated, reusable crate for bakery products could answer multiple requirements simultaneously: the need for cost savings, supply chain efficiency, and more sustainable practices by industrial bakery firms and retailers. IFCO has also developed the Brown Lift Lock for baked products to tailor it to the specific needs of its customers in the bakery industry, ensuring it is also suitable for deep-frozen products.
IFCO had been involved with supporting the bakery industry since 2012. Thanks to this expertise, IFCO realized that the reusable containers used by the industry have not been specifically designed for the transport of baked goods. Thus, they have not been meeting the exact needs of this market.
For this reason, IFCO developed the Brown Lift Lock which is ideal packaging for items that are pre-baked in a factory, then frozen and finished on-site in a local retail store. It can be used to store deep-frozen products at up to -23°C thanks to its modified composition of the material it usually uses for its RPCs ensuring sturdiness and stability also at such low temperatures. The IFCO Brown Lift Lock RPC is compatible with all other IFCO RPCs, facilitating storage and stacking when not in use.
As soon as it was launched in March 2015, the Brown Lift Lock for Bread saw rapid adoption among customers – especially larger retailers who had already been using IFCO solutions for decades for fresh fruit and vegetables. The IFCO Brown Lift Lock for bread and bakery products offers an additional advantage to retailers already using its Lift Lock products for fruit and vegetables.
IFCO has applied the SmartCycle™, a logistics system based on the the circular economy principle, also to the baked goods industry. The Brown Lift Locks are pooled and rented out. As part of the SmartCycle™, IFCO delivers hygienic RPCs to its customers and recollects the used ones. They are inspected thoroughly and cleaned according to the highest hygiene standards to ensure food safety. Afterwards, IFCO puts the RPCs back into circulation, saving customers money and staff resources.
When, and only if an RPC cannot be repaired, IFCO granulates it and uses the granulate to produce new RPCs in a close loop. This way, the RPCs are used up to 120 times, before being completely recycled. In addition, IFCO Brown Lift Lock can be folded down and stacked when not in use, taking up a fraction of the space of traditional, rigid crates for baked goods. A folded IFCO RPC is only 28mm high, compared to about 150mm for conventional bread crates.
"We’re pleased to be celebrating the fifth birthday of our Brown Lift Lock for the bakery industry and are extremely happy with its take-up among our customers," says Wolfgang Orgeldinger, CEO at IFCO. "This specific model is in regular use in many countries in Europe and this number is set to increase significantly in 2020. Our dedicated RPC for bakery products is yet more proof of our industry leadership as well as our innovation capability, and it fills a real need in the baked goods industry."