Beyond the Shelf: The Product & Packaging Podcast - A Year in Review

With more than 30,000 downloads, the Beyond the Shelf podcast has reached audiences globally, and we could not be more grateful. With topics like sustainability, the importance of EPR, and the role of technology within the packaging and e-commerce world, we are thrilled to have had some amazing conversations. Join us as we reflect on the highlights of 2023's Beyond the Shelf podcast.

Posted on 
December 28, 2023
Laura Foti
CMO, Specright
Listen to the latest Beyond the Shelf Podcast

2023 is quickly coming to a close, which means there is no better time than now to reflect on all that Specright has achieved in the past year. For the Beyond the Shelf: The Product Packaging Podcast, 2023 was full of great conversations. 

The Beyond the Shelf podcast has made its way around the globe traveling to the ears of audiences in the United States, Germany, France, and more. And with 30,000+ downloads we are so grateful for our loyal listeners. 

The following are a few highlights of our listener's favorite episodes from this past year. 

Packaging Sustainability: A Global Perspective

Sustainability in packaging has been a buzzing topic in 2023, especially with environmental legislation on the rise. Implementing sustainable packaging is no longer a nice to have, it is a must. 

With a background in pharmaceuticals and a passion for packaging, Pierre Pienaar shared his multi-layered understanding and concerns about the world's understanding of packaging in his Beyond the Shelf episode.

During the episode he says, “If I went out into the street right now…and I stopped a hundred people, and I asked them out of the blue, ‘Tell me what your understanding is of sustainability.’ I guess I'd have about less than 5% that would be able to tell me what it was… They've heard the word, they know they should use it because it's the buzzword, but they don't actually understand what it means, and it's quite simple.”

During this episode, Pierre reminded listeners of the urgent need for consumers and companies to better understand the importance of sustainable packaging. His expansive knowledge underscores the importance of awareness and learning in driving meaningful change. 

Listen to the whole episode here and you can connect with Pierre on LinkedIn here.

Why EPR is Good for the Packaging Industry, Brand Owners, and the Planet

On the theme of sustainability, Gary Cohen also shared his insights on the value of EPR in the packaging industry and beyond. 

As Supplyone’s Food and Sustainable Packaging Coach, Gary is a pro when it comes to anything EPR. Many companies find EPR legislation daunting but in this episode, Gary shares how it can actually be helpful for both your business and the planet. 

Gary says it best, “ EPR provides the ability that maybe someday in 5, 10, 15 years that we don't have to put as much in the landfill, that we could be recycling 50 to 60% more.” EPR is an opportunity for brands to take back responsibility for their products' entire lifecycle impact on our environment.

Listen to the whole episode here – and you can follow Gary Cohen on LinkedIn here.   

The Birth of e-Commerce and Packaging

This year the role of e-Commerce continued to flourish, maintaining its important role in so many consumers' lives - many generations can’t even remember a life without it. 

With longtime experience as a packaging executive at retailers like Wayfair, Amazon, and Home Depot Suzanne Fisher has seen the birth of eCommerce firsthand and its impact on packaging.

With the growing number of online shoppers, companies have needed to get creative when it comes to packaging but this also poses unique challenges. Suzanne saw this firsthand with Herman Miller, “Once we, unfortunately, launched into e-commerce, we started having some breakage because I tested to the wrong distribution environment.”

To hear more about how some of the biggest companies in the world overcame similar challenges check out the full episode here.  

The Role of Technology in Food Manufacturing & Product Development

There’s no doubt that the role of technology continues to expand across industries as we move into the future. For the food manufacturing industry, this is no different.  

Andy Norman, VP of Information Technology at Bob Evans Farms, has seen this rein true in all sectors of his company. Whether it’s utilizing technology during manufacturing or storing data in cloud-based software, technology has made Bob and his team's jobs much easier. 

On top of its initial benefits, Andy shares how the use of technology has also helped Bob Evans improve their implementation of Extended Resource Planning so they can continue to scale and adapt. 

As we all know technology on all fronts is here to stay, so educating ourselves on its benefits will be a game changer for companies looking to stay ahead of competitors. Listen to the full episode here to gather more insights. 

Protecting Medical Devices Using Packaging Advancements 

Most of you are probably familiar with Johnson & Johnson, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. This year we were lucky enough to chat with Rod Patch, a packaging engineer at Johnson & Johnson. 

With years of experience and expertise, he shares his insights about the complexities of medical device packaging, as well as its importance when it comes to keeping medical devices safe. 

To most people, this value has never crossed their mind, but a lot of work goes into packaging medical devices. The need for a sterile barrier to ensure that everything used in a patient is safe is extremely important but can go unnoticed. 

Make sure to listen to the full episode here to hear more stories about Rod's 30+ years working across divisions ranging from vision care to surgical vision and medical devices.  

Reflecting on 2023 

2023 has been a huge year for Beyond the Shelf: The Product & Packaging Podcast. It has been exciting to explore new topics with some of the industry's most knowledgeable people. 

As we reflect on the insights shared by our knowledgeable guests it is clear that the future will continue to need more sustainable, technologically advanced, and consumer-centric packaging solutions

And at the end of the day the Beyond the Shelf: The Product & Packaging Podcast would not be possible without its listeners, so we want to thank you! 

The future of the Beyond the Shelf: The Product & Packaging Podcast is bright as we enter into 2024. Make sure to keep an eye out for the release of season 3 episodes starting in January and you can listen to previous episodes here

Balancing Sustainability and Luxury in the Beauty Industry, with Kevin Davis, Dermalogica

In this episode of Beyond the Shelf: The Product & Packaging Podcast Laura Foti speaks with Kevin Davis, Packing Engineering Director at Dermalogica about how driving sustainable packaging in the beauty industry doesn't diminish the prestige of brands.

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Laura Foti

Laura leads marketing and investor relations at Specright. Prior to Specright, she led advertising and analytics at GE Digital, GE’s Industrial Internet software business. Before that, she was a consultant at Deloitte Digital working in enterprise digital transformation, where she helped clients design and deploy eCommerce experiences, develop revenue-driving mobile apps, and reimagine their global digital marketing strategy. Laura was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for marketing and advertising and Brand Innovators 40 Under 40 and 100 Women to Watch lists. She graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She resides in Newport Beach, CA.

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