Nestlé pilots reusable and refillable dispensers

Reducing single-use packaging for cat food and coffee

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Nestlé’s pilot for refilling cat food and coffee was first rolled out in three stores in Switzerland
Nestlé’s pilot for refilling cat food and coffee was first rolled out in three stores in Switzerland

Global FMCG giant Nestlé’s pilot program for reusable and refillable dispensers for petcare and soluble coffee as part of its efforts to reduce single-use packaging has been tried for four months in Switzerland. The in-store dispensers offer consumers a shopping experience that is free of single-use packaging and provides flexibility and variety of product choices.

Consumers can bring reusable containers to purchase different types of Purina cat food and Nescafé soluble coffee. They can also digitally access product information that is typically found on the packaging, such as ingredients, nutritional values, and shelf life.

Working in collaboration with the start-up MIWA, Nestlé recently began the pilot of the reusable and refillable dispensers in three Nestlé shops located in Rorschach, Orbe, and La Tour-de-Peilz, in Switzerland. According to the company, during a four-month trial period, the dispensers were well received by consumers, and Nestlé was able to gain valuable insights, including their user-friendliness. To further assess the dispensers’ effectiveness in preventing packaging waste along the supply chain, the dispensers are now being rolled out across more locations in the next few months.

Hélène Lanctuit, R&D packaging lead at Nestlé, says, “Packaging plays a key role in maintaining food safety during a product’s shelf life. 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.”

Bulk, reuse and refill options

The development of alternative delivery systems such as bulk, reuse, and refill options are a key focus area for Nestlé across several product categories. The company has already announced a pilot test for Refill Plus, a water dispenser using state-of-the-art technology, that allows consumers to personalize their water with sixty-four flavor combinations. In partnership with Terracycle, Nestlé is rolling out Loop, a subscription home delivery service in the US, and will also introduce it soon in France. Additionally, mini dispensers for Nescafé and Milo are available for the out-of-home segment in many countries around the world.

These innovative systems are part of a broader set of actions to reduce single-use packaging. Building on its commitment to making 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, Nestlé announced plans to reduce the use of virgin plastics by one third by the same deadline.

Catfood and coffee

Bernard Meunier, CEO of Nestlé Purina Petcare EMENA, says, “At Purina, our teams are focused on designing our products and packaging for a more sustainable future. This pilot marks an important step forward in our efforts towards waste reduction, and we are proud to play a leading role in testing these innovative dispensers. Offering pet owners the option of using safe, reusable, and refillable dispensers in-store can help us improve our environmental impact while still providing great quality nutrition for pets.”

Philipp Navratil, global head of the beverage strategic business unit at Nestlé, says, “As part of Nescafé’s packaging transformation journey, we have been working hard to rethink how we design our packaging for better environmental impact. 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 Nescafé experience at home.”