Nestlé Ireland today announces industry-leading packaging innovations for two of its best-loved Irish brands - Quality Street and KitKat. In a category first, Quality Street will move to recyclable packaging for its twist-wrapped sweets. By replacing the double layer of foil and cellulose with a paper wrap, Quality Street will remove more than two billion pieces of packaging material from the brand’s supply chain.
At the same time, KitKat will introduce wrappers made with 80% recycled plastic*. These wrappers can be recycled in household bins in Ireland. The rollout will begin this month on the brand’s flagship two-finger products, before being extended across the entire range by 2024.
KitKat will use the highest proportion of recycled food-grade plastic of any major UK & Ireland confectionery brand. The launch is part of Nestlé’s ongoing commitment towards reducing its environmental impact and supporting a circular economy.
This commitment is further demonstrated by the new Quality Street wrappers, which were developed by packaging experts at Nestlé's research and development centre in York. One innovation is the development of a special vegetable-based coating for the paper, which does not hinder the recycling process.
Nine of the eleven Quality Street sweets will move to paper-based packaging. The Orange Crunch and the Green Triangle will remain in their simple foil wrappers as, traditionally, they have not had cellulose wrappers. The transition to paper, which is now underway, will take several months to complete. This means that for Christmas 2022, consumers will find a mix of both the old and new wrappers in their Quality Street cartons, pouches, tubs, and tins. The delicious mix of sweets inside is unchanged.
Ben Brown, Country Category Manager Confectionery Nestlé Ireland said:
“These major packaging innovations have been pioneered by our teams in research and packaging. The new KitKat packaging is enabled by a significant upgrade to Nestlé’s York Factory, while the category-leading Quality Street paper twist-wraps have been designed at our Confectionery Product Technology Centre in York, and implemented in Halifax, the home of Quality Street for 87 years.
“Nestlé Confectionery is taking a leadership position on packaging sustainability as we work towards reducing our use of virgin plastic by one third and making all our packaging recyclable or reusable within the next three years. The changes we are announcing today have been informed by detailed lifecycle assessments** that have enabled us to identify solutions with a lower environmental impact than our current packaging.”
Séamus Clancy, CEO Repak said:
“Nestlé have been a Member of Repak for over 20 years and in 2019 joined our Plastic Pledge programme which aims to deliver a sustainable future under five key objectives in the prevention of waste, the support of the circular economy, simplification of polymers, the use of recycled content and to help avoid food waste. Moving to a Circular Economy where we keep our resources in use as much as possible is now well recognised and recycling is a key step within this. We welcome these changes by Nestlé to help us all recycle as much as we can.”
Nestlé has been working to improve the sustainability of its confectionery operations and supply chain for well over a decade. The business has sourced 100% certified sustainable cocoa for all its chocolate and biscuits since the end of 2015 and is aiming to halve the carbon footprint of its local fresh milk supply by 2026. This involves helping farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices that will protect and restore natural resources such as soil, water, and biodiversity around their farms over the years to come, while producing the best quality milk for Nestlé products.
Quality Street is the second Nestlé confectionery brand to introduce paper, following Smarties, which introduced recyclable paper packaging for all its confectionery products globally in 2021.