Huerta, Oscar; Melo, Carolina; Tiska, Amelia

Research was conducted in order to understand the food packaging-system in Chile. This was done to gather relevant information for the creation of a method for the strategic design of the food packaging-system or parts of it. The project has two outputs. One is a characterization of the food packaging system over its life cycle. Another is a method, including a variety of tools, for the design of either specific goods or services, or larger parts of the food packaging system with a life cycle strategic approach. Literature was reviewed in the topics of packaging, food, life cycle thinking, environmentally responsible design, and design methodologies. A series of interviews were made to experts within the packaged food products value chain. These came from all life cycle stages of the product. Observations were conducted in factories and other diverse scale food and packaging operations. The data collected was analyzed using qualitative techniques. The results show a number of characteristics of the food packaging system that should be considered when designing any solution within it, for both gaining efficiencies and decreasing its environmental impact. It is hypothesized that indeed a packaging-system can be identified as a product in itself, that is subject to be designed just like any other part of it, goods or services. Based on these findings, a method for the strategic design within the packaging-system was created. The method includes sixteen tools, to gather information that is relevant for the understanding of the food packaging system, and to strategically plan and advance towards design solutions that are efficient for the business, environmentally responsible and a good experience for the users.