Examples of prevention
Prevention action: 
Removing a packaging element
Product category: 
Food products
Carefully thought-out packaging avoids the need for cutlery

The quality fast food chain EXKi has recently introduced new cardboard triangles for its pies and quiches. These triangles enable the consumption of sweet or salted pies without cutlery. The company expects to save up to 240,000 pieces of cutlery per month.

Pies and quiches in triangles

EXKi was created ten years ago and today is a familiar brand in our shopping streets. This Belgian company specializes in quality fast food and ensures the freshness and natural character of its ingredients. Among the products offered by EXKi are 28 types of pies and quiches. These are sold in pre-cut slices in triangular cardboard trays. They are one of the company’s most popular product ranges.

No more need for cutlery

‘We have just finished re-thinking our triangles in order to reduce their environmental impact,’ explains Virginie Torra, R&D and Procurement Manager at EXKi. ‘The new packaging has the same dimensions, but is foldable at its tip. In other words, the tip of the triangle can be lowered, thus enabling the eating of the piece of pie or quiche more easily. The convenience aspect for our customers is thus increased.’ The new triangles enable customers to consume the pie without cutlery. ‘This considerably reduces the environmental impact because we sell approximately 120,000 pieces of pie per month. We therefore expect cutlery savings of up to 240,000 pieces a month,’ adds Torra.

Less bleach and lighter cardboard

Just like its predecessor, the new triangle is manufactured from recycled cardboard. However, its production requires less bleaching. Its environmental impact is therefore reduced during production as well as its final disposal. In addition, the new triangle weighs only 9 grams, which is even less than its predecessor.


Good to remember 

  • The new triangles for pies and quiches avoid the necessity of cutlery, which entails considerable savings.
  • This initiative is part of the Re-think Project, through which EXKi is rethinking all of its packaging in order to reduce its environmental impact.
  • In addition, they require less bleach during their production and are lighter.


How EXKi designed its new triangles for pies and quiches

Step 1: Rethink the concept

EXKi asked its Belgian supplier of cardboard triangles to reconsider the concept in order to reduce its environmental impact. With new manufacturing technologies available, the supplier suggested a cardboard tray that is foldable at its tip. The new packaging combines innovation, respect for the environment, and convenience.

Step 2: Test prototypes 

The supplier designed an initial version of the triangle. This prototype was tested by EXKi’s product/marketing team, then adapted by the supplier. The final design minimizes cardboard waste during both production and end of life. This new model was also fine-tuned in terms of handling ease and robustness.

Step 3: Packaging launch in stores

The new triangles were made available in stores as soon as the stocks of old cardboards were exhausted. The stores’ sales teams were informed in order to explain to customers how to use them. In addition, promotional folders were made available to describe the practical and environmental benefits of the new triangles.


We wanted an innovation that was also practical and respected the environment. We scored three bullseyes with one stone.

Virginie Torra, R&D and Procurement Manager, EXKi 



EXKi and the environment

Since its creation in 2001, EXKi has made health its primary commitment. Respect for the environment was naturally an integral priority. The company considers all of its actions in terms of sustainable development. It implemented its Re-think action plan in 2008. One aspect of Re-think is the development of the Green Card. This eco-citizen loyalty card rewards the re-use of paper bags, bio-cotton fabric bags, isothermal mugs, et cetera. Re-think has already enabled the company to reduce CO2 emissions related to its activities by 29% (the initial target was 25%). The 2011-2012 project plan focuses, among other things, on optimizing packaging from an environmental perspective.