As Nestlé has embarked on an ambitious three-year effort to develop one of its biggest secret weapons: paper capsules for the Nespresso platform.
2019, the giant of CPG The Institute of Packaging Science was established to help the food and beverage manufacturer meet “highly ambitious” packaging commitments across its portfolio, Gerhardt said. kneader lighterhead the department.
In this case, the Institute, in cooperation with other departments, Nestlé and its external partners needed to overcome the challenges posed by paper packaging while maintaining the same quality and taste consumers have come to expect from the Nespresso brand.
Nestlé will also ensure that the shapes are compatible with the Nespresso platform, that the capsules are properly filled and sealed at the factory and that the coffee complies with strict food safety and regulatory standards. Many other challenges had to be addressed, including:
The paper-based pods, which will be tested in France and Switzerland this spring, will complement recyclable aluminum pods by giving consumers a choice, the company said.
Nespresso pods are a key part of the Swiss-based manufacturer’s ambition to improve the sustainability of the millions of pounds of packaging material Nespresso uses each year for its frozen foods, coffee, creamers and plant-based meats. is.
Nestle pledged to make 95% of its plastic packaging recyclable by 2025. More broadly, the company wants to eventually be able to recycle or reuse all of its packaging.
Nestlé is also committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. Most of his CO2 emissions come from sourcing raw materials such as dairy products, but he says an additional 12% comes from packaging.
“For me, it’s an emotional topic.” kneader lighter Said. at the size of Nestlewe can really provide…sustainable solutions Nestle and the market. ”
Overcoming inevitable challenges
As Nestle Even if a new option is possible, it does not always mean that it is practical in the market. Packaging must meet many requirementsinclude Contribute to and sustain the company’s goals of protecting food, maintaining food safety, and reducing CO2 emissions compatibility Existing manufacturing machinery, not exorbitant cost.
These challenges include the fact that some of Nestlé’s early packaging overhauls eliminated the plastic straws and spoons found in products such as Nesquik and Nescafé, which were essential but not necessary to overcome to use the products. That’s a big reason brought about by replacing it with a paper equivalent. Many of these hurdles.
“There are some products that we can respond to faster,” he said. kneader writer, who participated Nestle About 20 years ago, before joining the Packaging Institute, he worked as a food engineer working on products such as DiGiorno Pizza, Blue Bottle, Starbucks Coffee, and Coffee Mate. “However, we must be careful not to implement solutions too soon, as they can have very negative long-term consequences.”
Some of the new packaging traces its origins back to the lab and has been incorporated into many products Nestlé’s the most famous brands.
in the United States, Nestlé’s Natural Bliss Creamer Bottles are made with compatible materials and inks and can be recycled without removing the label sleeve. Our popular Frozen Stouffer Single Serve Tray material is made from 30% post-consumer recycled plastic.The company recently moved away from using black colorants to Colorless This increases the chances that the recycling facility will be able to sort the material correctly.
From plastic to paper
Few packaging materials have received as much criticism as plastic. Although the material’s durability, low cost, and water resistance have made it popular, plastic has been accused of polluting the environment and endangering wildlife.
Niederreiter said future packaging will likely be a combination of paper, glass, other less-used materials, and even plastic.
“Plastics will be part of our portfolio in the future,” he noted. “Plastic itself is not bad. said that they could look to
The popularity of paper as a packaging material is growing exponentially and may have an even greater presence in the future.
“There are some products that can respond more quickly. But we have to be careful not to implement solutions too quickly, as it can have a very negative impact in the long run.”
Head of Nestlé’s Research Institute for Packaging Science
A handful of big CPGs have dabbled in paper packaging, including Kraft Heinz ketchup bottles, Bumble Bee paperboard tuna wrappers, and Diageo paper whiskey bottles.
According to Niederreiter, the biggest challenge with paper is that it’s porous like a sponge, increasing the ability of moisture and oxygen to penetrate the food the package is designed to prevent. is. To slow the process, Nestlé and his other CPG and packaging suppliers added a thin layer of aluminum. Inside a sheet of paper that can be removed before recycling. Overcoming these and other hurdles, paper has several advantages.
“Consumers know what to do with their paper. I don’t have to tell anyone in the world what to do with their paper anymore.” kneader lighter Said. “Paper is renewable. Paper can be composted, right?”
look to the consumer
The future of packaging is largely daily necessities companies and their suppliers, Nestle Said Shoppers play an even bigger role.
While many consumers choose which products to purchase based on a product’s sustainability profile, they are increasingly willing to bring their own containers into stores when purchasing items such as coffee and cereal. . They are also willing to buy the product and return the empty package to the store when they are done using it, similar to how people use large plastic jugs at home.
the consumer More sensitive to packaging, they are becoming increasingly aggressive in bringing their own packaging to U.S. retailers. ” kneader lighter Said“In my opinion, this is the future.”
2019, haagen dazs (Nestle subsequently sold its US ice cream business) We partnered with Loop to develop a reusable, double-walled steel ice cream container that keeps ice cream in optimal condition during transport and consumption. The packaging can be collected, cleaned, refilled and reused.
the current, Nestle cereal, coffee, Nesquik in france Carrefour supermarket chain, Nesquik in Germany in partnership with a startup Circulation.
in the meantime Nestle is headquartered in Switzerland, but the company is currently valued at $25.5 billion, or Nestlé’s Global sales.of daily necessities The giant’s large presence allows it to take packaging changes and implement them worldwide, or incorporate them into other products available elsewhere in the world.
do my best
Nestle carefully notes that it is a food and beverage company, not a packaging manufacturer.The laboratory develops a package prototype of what Nestle I would like to use it for one of my products. The company then contacts suppliers to manufacture the material.
Nestlé’s packaging laboratory includes a team of 50 scientists trapped in its research headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
But Nestlé’s efforts go beyond the laboratories themselves. The company works closely with its own 200 his R&D packaging specialists, packaging his suppliers, start-ups and universities. The company also keeps an eye on its competitors and packaging developments launched in industries other than food and beverages.
However, early packaging options may suffer losses. NestleThe manufacturer may have never made it before, Nestle seeks to produce in smaller batches, at least initially, which is usually more costly. Increased production usually lowers costs.
“Always think ahead. I believe we will have a cost-neutral solution in at least two to three years,” says Niederreiter.