VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle SA is piloting reusable and refillable dispensers for its pet care and soluble coffee as part of its effort to reduce single-use packaging.
Consumers can bring reusable containers into stores to purchase different types of Purina cat food and Nescafe soluble coffee. Product information typically found on packaging, including ingredients, nutritional values and shelf life, may be accessed digitally.
“Packaging plays a key role in maintaining food safety during a product’s shelf life,” said Hélène Lanctuit, R&D packaging lead at Nestle. “This means that whenever new packaging systems are explored, we need to ensure that our products can be delivered to consumers in a safe and hygienic manner. These dispensers are novel because they incorporate smart technology, which allows us to ensure product safety and also guarantee the freshness and traceability of our products.”
Developing alternative delivery systems such as bulk, reuse and refill options are a key focus area for Nestle across several product categories. The company previously announced a pilot test for Refill Plus, a water dispenser that features 64 flavor combinations. It also partnered with Terracycle to roll out the Loop home delivery service in the United States.
The company is investing up to 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.07 billion) to develop sustainable packaging solutions. In January, it launched a venture fund to invest in startups focused on creating new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions.
The efforts support Nestle’s goal of achieving 100% recyclable or reusable packaging and reducing use of virgin plastic by one third by 2025.
The Purina pet food and Nescafe coffee dispensers debuted in three Nestle shops in Switzerland and now are being rolled out across additional locations.
“As part of Nescafe’s packaging transformation journey, we have been working hard to rethink how we design our packaging for better environmental impact,” said Philipp Navratil, global head of beverage strategic business unit and senior vice president at Nestle. “We are excited to work on a refilling option made possible by our in-store dispensing system for our consumers who want to enjoy their Nescafe experience at home.”