60 seconds with… Frédéric Dreux, Unilever Prestige Brands

Frédéric Dreux, Global Packaging R&D Leader, Unilever Prestige Brands and PCD Advisory Board member talks sustainability, his path into packaging and how his daughter inspires his daily work.

What do you see as the key challenge for packaging developers/designers?
Sustainability taking many forms. It is more and more complex to make the right choices and to get them understood by consumers, for example lifecycle analysis vs pollution. Creating sustainable packs while still being disruptive and innovative. Integrating sustainability in day one of a new pack (and not, as often seen, retrofitting).

What is the most exciting innovation of the past year in packaging?
For me, it’s LOOP, not a pack per say but the pack component and impact is key, truly transformative in pushing the boundaries as to what we consider as established distribution and consumer delivery.

What or who inspires you in your working life?
Maybe lacking originality, but Ellen MacArthur’s vision and projection on the circular economy, showing a path to success while making things differently was definitely a big shift.

The other one is my daughter. I started in ice cream and when you walk on the beach you see a lot of ice cream vendors. Of course, my daughter can spot the brand I work for. It is nice when she wants an ice cream calling it daddy’s ice cream, it is less nice when she describes the same showing a wrapper coming out of the sand. You do not need any other reasons to act.

How did you get into packaging?
I started in public research in polymers but quickly wanted something more applied and faster to market. Polymer-plastics to packaging: the link was a clear path.

My job has evolved a lot since my beginning in the ice cream factory combining development and firefighting on production lines. It was a great school. I am now glad to combine my knowledge on plastics and my packaging experience to find more sustainable ways to make packaging with plastic or not.

Describe the perfect pack in three words
Attractive, intuitive and sustainable

Meet the full PCD Advisory Board here

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