How customer expectations drive sustainable packaging innovation

After two years of pandemics that have undermined industrial activity and while sustainable development is at the heart of the issues, the pack & gift industry has to reinvent itself. In this context, Cosfibel Group relies on two strong values to respond with finesse to the demands of its customers and to assert itself as a leader in the transition of its industry: intimacy and creativity, the keystones of an efficient customer relationship and sustainable packaging innovation.

Through its various entities, Cosfibel listens to its customers and the needs they express in order to adapt its organisation and methods to meet their expectations with precision. A positioning that reveals a strong trend: the customer is at the initiative of the market transformation. We are moving away from the historical pattern of the passive consumer who undergoes trends to enter the era of the “customer 2.0” who dictates tomorrow’s trends through the expectations he or she claims. To sum up, the end consumer has new requirements (quality, materials, durability, lightness, etc.), which are passed on to our customers (the brands), who in turn pass them on to us so that we can finally implement them. This situation creates a virtuous circle of research and innovation, fed by the growing demand for sustainable packaging innovation.

sustainable packaging

Monomaterial, magnet-free, recyclable box by our design studio.

To respond to this new situation, Cosfibel is positioning itself as a leader in the consolidation and transformation of its market. This transformation must be designed to continue to fulfil our primary mission in a sustainable way: to help our customers create memorable consumer experiences. Secondary packaging, gifts, bags and accessories are all ways to bring magic to the discovery of the product and the brand. The strong demand for eco-responsible approaches is not intended to conflict with this mission, but rather to reinforce and perpetuate it.

In order to carry out this mission and respond to the necessary market transformations that our clients are expressing, every project begins with two key points:


  • Intimacy with the client allows us to be tailor-made: each packaging and each gift must tell its own story: the history of the brand, its identity, its values, its commitments.
  • Creativity allows us to surprise and make people dream: materials, design, closing systems (…): all these elements are a good opportunity to surprise, innovate, stimulate changes and create magic…

In addition to these two fundamental pillars, there is also security, which guarantees the successful completion of projects. We source the best materials and factories to support our customers by being as faithful as possible to their demands. To do this, we work with a hundred or so factories around the world, which have been audited beforehand to meet our quality criteria and those of our customers.

Among the other pillars that make up our core values, we have been investing in CSR since 2012. Since then, we have never stopped growing our commitment in this area: we are committed to reference labels, in particular as a partner of the Global Compact United Nations program, by being certified GRS (Global Recycled Standard), GOTS (Global ORGANIC Textile Standard) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or through our Fairtrade Max Havelaar cotton licence since 2019. In 2002, we received the highest recognition of this commitment with the award of the Platinum status of the Ecovadis label.

sustainable fine food box

A caramel cardboard and metal box produced in our factory in Belgium

Finally, we also rely heavily on innovation. Today, large groups are looking for impactful innovations to revitalise the pack & gift sector. Our vocation is to be at the forefront of this innovation in order to provide real added value in terms of advice and creative inspiration to our clients.

These key points (intimacy, creativity, safety, CSR, innovation) are at the heart of what the major cosmetics & fragrance groups expect from us. By focusing our strategy around these pillars, we are able to support ultra-luxury brands as well as brands present in parapharmacies, institutes or in the premium departments of perfume stores. In parallel to this multiple expertise, our international presence allows us to adapt our creations to all markets, from China to the USA, via the Middle East.

To ensure optimal control of the know-how specific to Europe, we have strengthened our offer thanks to our factories, which are the perfect illustration of the adaptation of manufacturing methods to the needs and desires of customers.

sustainable cardboard packaging

A range of recyclable cardboard boxes produces in our spanish factory

Thanks to our Cartec factory based in Belgium, we manage a 100% European RPET production, able to respond with unparalleled reactivity to various orders from the cosmetics and food industries. In this market segment, the observation is the same: customers’ expectations are evolving towards new, more eco-designed materials. This has led to a premiumisation of packaging: we are seeing a rise in orders from mass-market brands, which we are able to meet thanks to Cartec’s know-how and production capacity. Here again, the market is evolving hand in hand with our customers and in a “bottom-up” manner: from the customer to the brands and their production partners.

Grumbe, the group’s historic Spanish subsidiary, is another striking example of this market transformation that is as rapid as it is demanding: a specialist in plastics for decades, the brand-plant has reinvented itself around cardboard and multi-material creation, to meet the demands of the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and perfume industries.

Marie-Claire Figadère, Grumbe’s Sales Director, talks about these market transformations:

Grumbe packaging

Marie-Claire Figadere, Commercial Director at Grumbe

“Born in the 1960s, Grumbe has succeeded in positioning itself as a leader in the plastic packaging sector at the height of the golden age of this material. Since 2019, at the instigation of our customers, we have been undergoing a strategic readjustment by positioning ourselves on multi-material expertise, in particular around cardboard, whose environmental impact is controlled and on which the sector is banking heavily. While cardboard represented 15% of our orders in 2019, we have made heavy investments in machines to accelerate this transition, with an immediate result that perfectly illustrates the demand for change on the part of our customers: in 2021, the share of cardboard will already exceed 50% of the total production carried out by Grumbe! Our order books are growing again as a result of this transition. This transformation has therefore been implemented to meet a strong demand, but has only been possible thanks to the close support of our customers who have taken up this challenge with us.”



* GRUMBE-Grupo Manipulador De Bolsas y Envases, S.L.: FSC-C120565