- Nestlé’s Nespresso coffee brand is debuting home compostable paper-based capsules after three years of research and development, the company said in a statement.
- The new capsules will be piloted in France and Switzerland starting in spring 2023, complementing Nespresso’s aluminum capsules. There is no date scheduled for introduction in the U.S., but the company plans for paper-based capsules to be available beyond Europe in the future, Nespresso said.
- Food and beverage giants are gradually changing their packaging materials or using less of them to reduce their environmental footprint and appease consumers who take sustainable packaging into account when they shop.
Nespresso, which was created by Nestlé in 1986 and debuted in the U.S. four years later, said it is introducing the paper pods to further enhance the sustainability halo of the popular coffee brand.
Guillaume Le Cunff, Nespresso CEO, said in a statement the brand “is more committed than ever to widening the sustainable choices we offer our consumers ... without compromising on quality."
He told Reuters not all customers are aware the existing aluminum capsules are recyclable, and many people may be more comfortable with ones made from paper pulp. In a statement, Nespresso added the paper pods are an alternative for those who prefer and have access to composting.
Nespresso said its coffee masters also created four new blends, including an organic coffee, specifically for the paper-based capsules. Nespresso plans to develop more coffees for the paper pods in the future.
Nespresso is one of Nestle's biggest brands globally, posting 6.4 billion Swiss francs ($6.7 billion) in sales in 2021. The brand claims to differentiate itself through its premium beverages and customer service. With consumers paying greater attention to sustainability and the environmental footprint of their favorite brands, Nespresso can further deepen its credentials in this area with the new compostable capsules.
Paper has been one option large CPGs have turned to as a potential option for improving the sustainability of their packaging, but in most cases it has been a test or rolled out as a limited option. Companies dabbling in paper packaging include Kraft Heinz with a ketchup bottle, Bumble Bee with paperboard tuna can wrappers and Diageo with paper whiskey bottles.
Keurig Dr Pepper also is testing its first fully recyclable and compostable paper bottle in the U.S. for its water, juices, sodas and other beverages in its portfolio. The beverage giant also is improving the compostability and recyclability of its other product packaging, including its Keurig K-Cup coffee pods. Last November, the company rolled out “Easy-Peel” foil lids for K-Cups, allowing consumers to dispose of the coffee grounds and recycle the pods.