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Packaging Index (PAX) for fruit juices – 8 packages in comparison

Packaging Index (PAX) for fruit juices – 8 packages in comparison

The starting signal for our new blog series in collaboration with Lebensmittelzeitung (LZ): From now on, we will regularly scrutinise several products from specific market categories and compare their packaging based on various criteria, which are assigned to a total of three dimensions: Performance, Sustainability and Design. In addition to the champions in the individual evaluation dimensions, we will also select an overall winner. The packaging index (PAX) is the decisive factor here. Clear the stage for the packaging of the fruit juices from Albi, Amecke, Bauer, Ernteglück, Granini, Hohes C, Innocent and Pfanner!


Short description of the 3 evaluation dimensions

Performance: This is about the performance characteristics of packaging that are relevant in the value chain from the perspective of retailers and consumers as well as in relation to disposal. Eight criteria from the areas of product protection, POS performance and usage are taken into account.

Sustainability: This is about the sustainability features of packaging that are important with regard to current environmental and recycling aspects. Five criteria from the areas of material, design and labelling are taken into account.

Design: This is about the design features of packaging that primarily relate to the presentation of the product and brand in the FMCG segment. Eight criteria from the areas of brand presentation, product presentation, artwork and structural design are taken into account.

Assessment dimension performance – and the winner is…Pfanner!


The packaging for Pfanner fruit juice is a composite carton with a centrally positioned screw cap. It impresses with its high mechanical stability and ensures a long shelf life for the juice, thus guaranteeing very good product protection. The packaging also scores with its striking appearance and differentiated shape – features that promote a successful presentation at the POS. Pfanner’s composite carton is also impressive in terms of application. It is easy to open, reseal and empty.

Further findings from the performance comparison

– All systems of the analysed fruit juice packaging are easy to reseal.
– The glass bottles used by Bauer and Ernteglück are more difficult to open for the first time.
– The glass reusable bottle from Ernteglück offers the longest shelf life.
– Granini, Hohes C, Innocent and Pfanner stand out with their respective design language.
– The PET bottles from Granini, Hohes C and Innocent proved to be stable in the drop test.

Assessment dimension sustainability – and the winner is…Granini!


The Granini juice is filled into a PET bottle with a wide neck opening. The excellent rating in the sustainability dimension is primarily due to the good ratio between packaging material and contents. Specifically, the low material usage for the label and the transparent material for the bottle are impressive. The packaging is also highly recyclable in Germany. It can be fed into the PET stream. An additional advantage is the clear information on how to dispose of the bottle correctly.

Further findings from the sustainability comparison

– Although the glass bottles from Bauer and Ernteglück are easy to recycle, they require a high material input.
– The recyclability of the composite cartons from Albi, Amecke and Pfanner is manageable – only the fibres can be recycled.
– The PET bottles from Granini and Innocent are easy to recycle.
– Due to the colouring of the PET bottle, the recyclability of the Hohes C packaging is somewhat reduced.

Assessment dimension design – and the winner is…Innocent!


With its outstanding product recognisability and appealing design, Innocent has created a strong brand image. The PET bottle with wide neck opening is characterised by the striking sender and the clear USP. The brand also succeeds in clearly differentiating between varieties. The design and colour concept is just as convincing as the shape. Additional points are awarded for the individuality of the lid and seal. The same applies to Bauer’s glass bottle, which is why it is only just behind Innocent’s packaging in second place.

Further findings from the design comparison

– With the exception of Ernteglück, the brand sender is clearly and quickly recognisable on all packaging.
– The small label means that Granini is not able to differentiate between the different flavours in the best possible way.
– Albi stands out with its unique colour concept.
– The bottles and caps of Bauer, Granini and Innocent are eye-catchers with their respective – unusual – design language.

Overall winner in the PAX comparison of fruit juices

If we take all dimensions together, we have a relatively clear overall winner in the comparison of fruit juices: our Design King Innocent also scores above average in the areas of performance and sustainability – the packaging takes second place in both categories. With a PAX of 1020, the PET bottle from Innocent is 42.5 points ahead of the non-returnable glass bottle from Bauer. Our podium is completed by the PET bottle from Granini.

Bringing up the rear are the composite cartons from Albi, Pfanner and Amecke with 747.5, 700 and 685 points respectively. The poor performance of Pfanner’s packaging, which was still in first place after the performance check, is particularly striking. Ranks 4 and 5 belong to the returnable glass bottle from Ernteglück and the PET bottle from Hohes C. Both are in the midfield in all three evaluation dimensions, so their final placings are logical.


Conclusion of our CEO Christoph Waldau

“The composite cartonboard bottle used for Pfanner impresses with its very strong performance characteristics, but shows weaknesses in the design and sustainability assessment dimensions, so that it falls significantly in the overall assessment.

We categorised Granini’s PET bottle as the most sustainable packaging in the study. The use of mono-material, the relatively low overall weight, the very good recyclability and the communication on recycling play a major role here.

The Innocent bottle was the winner of all the packaging analysed because it impressed in each of the three areas – performance, sustainability and design. The high score in the design assessment dimension is particularly noteworthy here.”

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