Nestlé Oceania announced that its popular Smarties confectionery range has been switched to recyclable paper packaging in Australia.
In line with their 2017 pledge to help animal welfare, Nestlé is now only using cage-free eggs in all European food products. The company, alongside food brands such as ALDI, Mondelēz and Unilever are also calling for the European Union to ban cages for laying hens.
As consumers concern over companies’ sustainable practices increase, a coalition of companies is coming together to face this through creating Australia’s first soft plastic food wrapper, made out of recycled content.
Nestlé has announced that its Smarties brand is now using recyclable paper packaging for its confectionery products worldwide. This represents a transition of 90 per cent of the Smarties range, as 10 per cent was previously already packed in recyclable paper packaging. Smarties is the first global confectionery brand to switch to recyclable paper packaging, removing approximately 250 million plastic packs sold globally every year.
New research shows Australians are a nation of ‘wishcyclers’ as more than half of us (51%) admit to putting waste in a recycling bin even if we’re not sure it’s recyclable. Read more
Nestlé has released the results for the first nine months of 2020 with the Oceania sector having strong growth over that time.
“Nestlé has remained resilient in a difficult and volatile environment. Our people have acted in a responsible and prompt manner to mitigate the impact of the global pandemic and have adapted quickly to evolving consumer needs. Strong organic growth was broad based and supported by sustained momentum in the Americas, Purina PetCare and Nestlé Health Science, as well as the acceleration of our coffee business in the third quarter,” said Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO.
“We continue to develop our portfolio with speed and discipline. As an example, we are transforming Nestlé Health Science into a nutrition and health powerhouse through a combination of strong organic growth and targeted acquisitions. The recent additions of Zenpep, Vital Proteins and Aimmune Therapeutics are further steps in the expansion of our nutritional health offerings.”
Zone Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa (AOA)
Organic growth was flat, with RIG of -0.2 per cent and pricing of 0.2 per cent. Foreign exchange reduced sales by 6.7 per cent. Reported sales in Zone AOA decreased by 6.7 per cent to CHF15.3 billion. Organic growth in the Zone reached 4.5 per cent in the third quarter.
China saw negative growth, turning positive in the third quarter. Coffee, culinary and ice cream all delivered positive growth, with sequential quarterly improvements. The contraction in Wyeth infant formula sales continued to moderate. The roll-out of the locally produced Belsol brand is on track. Infant cereals and Purina PetCare both grew at a double-digit rate. Nestlé Professional reported a sales decrease, with growth recovering to almost flat in the third quarter. Strong momentum in e-commerce continued, driven by Nescafé, Starbucks products and dairy.
South-East Asia maintained mid single-digit growth. Sales in the Philippines grew at a double-digit rate, with elevated consumer demand for Bear Brand, Milo and Maggi. Indonesia delivered high single-digit growth, led by Bear Brand, Dancow and Milo. South Asia continued to perform well. India posted strong mid single-digit growth, with good momentum in Maggi, Nescafé and KitKat. Sub-Saharan Africa grew at a double-digit rate, with strong growth across most markets. Growth in Japan, South Korea and Oceania was slightly positive.
Oceania reported strong growth across most product categories, particularly in coffee and confectionery. Japan saw a decline in sales, with some improvement in the third quarter. KitKat sales declined in Japan, impacted by a reduction of inbound tourists.
By product category, the largest contributions to growth came from dairy, culinary, coffee and Purina PetCare. In coffee, consumer demand for Starbucks products remained strong. Infant nutrition continued to perform well outside of China. Nestlé Professional and confectionery posted negative growth, with improved sales development in the third quarter.
The company expects full-year organic sales growth around 3 per cent. The underlying trading operating profit margin is expected to improve. Underlying earnings per share in constant currency and capital efficiency are expected to increase.
When you’re a big conglomerate like Nestlé, reputation is key – not just in terms of the products you produce, but how you look after staff.
Nestlé is a world-renowned food and beverage company, which means it is a vital industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. This also means it has to go through a lot of adjustments when it comes to the processing and manufacturing of products.
Alain Riesterer is the company’s Technical and Production director and has worked all over the globe in many different environments. He knows how important it is to keep staff safe, which is why the company implemented strategies before the pandemic hit that in turn meant the teams were anticipating a number of challenges that lay ahead.
“Since the beginning of COVID our operations have run full,” he said. “We have not had a single day of shut down because one of our main reasons of existence is to supply food to the population. That is very clear in this situation of crisis. We have seen several countries where there were potential food scarcity situations, which is why it was important for us to be able to supply food to the communities.”
From an operations point of view in, the company’s seven factories in Australia started with best hygiene practices and standards – that included additional hand washing and sanitation for hands with alcohol-based solutions. Also, from the beginning of the crisis, Nestlé implemented mandatory temperature control at the entry of all of its premises.
“We have also created a Team A and Team B structure in every single one of our operations in order to ensure the social distancing,” said Riesterer.
“We have a rule of two metres, some companies have a rule of 1.5m. In some places in our operation we could not ensure the 2m, so we went into physical barrier installation such as plexiglass separation between our employees.”
Team A and Team B were implemented by the company’s head office first. It has also implemented shift patterns on site at its factories – a morning shift, afternoon shift and night shift. Senior staff ensure that the shifts are consistent with start and end times with the same people so there is minimum cross-over. This means less risk of any cross-contamination between a staff member who might inadvertently come to work infected.
Riesterer said that a lot of the practices that the company has implemented, such as social distancing and physical separation between its employees, will stay and probably never go back to the way things were.
“At the end of the day, it is part of good hygiene practice. We also learned a lot and we proved that we could operate with these new circumstances,” he said. “We also ensure that between the shifts – the cross over – is limited to the bare minimum so we don’t have any potential cross-contamination between the different people.”
Panic buying can produce its own set of problems, mainly in terms of the supply chain and with raw and packaging materials. Luckily, Nestlé was also prepared in that instance, too.
“We did have some raw materials that were coming from overseas and we reacted very fast at the very beginning in increasing our stock cover,” he said. “Fortunately for our factories in Australia, we did not have any major disruption. We followed closely what was happening with raw and packaging material in different countries worldwide. At the moment we have certain raw materials coming from the US and we will increase our stock cover in advance. We have managed a very fluent supply during these last three months without major disruption.”
With a lot of uncertainty around the markets in many industries, some would think it might be time to sit back, take stock of the situation, and perhaps even pare back some activities. Not so, with Nestlé – it’s business as usual.
“Planned maintenance and capex are continuing,” said Riesterer. “From a crisis, there are a lot of opportunities. And I think the mindset of the people and how to embrace that change. This is where we have been very good – at all levels of the organisation from the shop floor up to the management of our factories in our organisation. Nobody wants to go through something like COVID-19 but at the end of the day it’s the adaptability of the organisation that will make it successful.”
A lot of the company’s maintenance needs are met by its own technicians. Being an international conglomerate, Nestlé does have parts suppliers from around the world but this has hardly affected its Australian operations, although like a lot of companies at the moment, it is careful about who it allows onsite and when.
“We limit access to third parties because we want to minimise risk. The health and safety of our people is our key priority, we therefore implemented remote support via
web based technologies, such as, video-conferencing.
Nestlé also did something extraordinary for a conglomerate with a huge workforce.
“We implemented a special 14-day COVID-19 leave, which is additional to the sick leave and holiday leave that is paid,” he said. “At the end of the day, it is to keep the workplace safe. A lot of industries have taken similar steps to ensure that frontline employees are safe, are motivated. We need them. Without them, nothing happens.”
Riesterer said that the company is malleable when it comes to how things will be in the future. He knows that COVID-19 will probably have a lasting effect on how a lot of companies are run. However, he isn’t ready to hang his hat on any one aspect that will change, only that the way things are done will not be the same.
“Are we rethinking the way in which we work in the office? Yes. What is the future? I do not know,” he said. “It has been a very interesting period for everybody. I think we have found out that by using new tools, it allows us to achieve a lot, of which maybe in the past, we were not so convinced.”
Australian coffee drinkers will now be able to pick up a Starbucks blend in five new coffee styles from their local supermarket.
The range includes Roast & Ground, Whole Bean, Premium Instant, Premium Coffee Sachets, and Starbucks By Nescafé Dolce Gusto capsule options, and build on the existing
Starbucks By Nespresso range.
Available in a variety of roasts, intensities and flavours, the Starbucks at Home range allows Australians to have a coffee that suits their taste preference in the comfort of their own home.
Food manufacturer Nestlé has gone the extra step when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic and has added extra leave to its employees who have been affected by the pandemic.
Where the company needs to temporarily stop operations, all affected hourly and salaried staff will be paid in full for a period of up to 12 weeks.
It has also extended additional leave for those affected directly. Any employee diagnosed with COVID-19, or with a household member diagnosed with COVID-19, directed to self-isolate and unable to perform their job, will be paid up to two weeks paid special leave (10 days for a full-time employee working 5 days per week) above personal leave. For casual employees, this will be based on their planned shifts. Additional special leave may be available which will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Nestlé is also providing reasonable access to paid support for parents and guardians who are unable to attend work because they are the primary carer for their children in the event of a school or childcare centre closure.
Nestlé has joined ‘Race to Zero’, the global campaign to mobilize leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy and resilient zero-carbon recovery in the run-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). The campaign aims to drive a new growth and innovation agenda in support of a more inclusive and resilient economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Race to Zero’ will rally leaders who are committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. All participants will also submit a plan in advance of COP26 and set interim targets in the next decade.
Nestlé is already in the race to zero. The company is accelerating its actions to tackle climate change and has committed to net-zero emissions by 2050. Nestlé will publish a roadmap, including interim targets consistent with the 1.5°C path.
Nestlé recognizes that its ability to succeed relies on system-wide changes and urges others to do likewise. It will also require a concerted global effort to ensure the recovery from COVID-19 revives the economy and enables the world to tackle climate change at the same time.
Ahead of his participation in the virtual launch event of ‘Race to Zero’, Mark Schneider, CEO Nestlé, said: “We know the challenge of climate change will not wait, so neither will we. Time is of the essence, and we need quick wins in the short term to build a better future as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Nestlé is committed to this cause. We will work with others and use our scale and expertise as well as the power of our brands to drive progress – fast. Building a more sustainable food system will be a core element of the solution to climate change, and we intend to play our part in making this happen.”
‘Race to Zero’ is also working to define the most effective pathways to zero-emission for key sectors such as energy, transport, industry, food, retail, and finance and reach key economic tipping points faster. The new pathways will drive coordinated action by investors, businesses, policymakers, and NGOs.
Nestlé has launched what it said is the first-of-its-kind, single-material pouch for its baby food products designed for the future of recycling.
In the U.S., the new pouch will be available exclusively on TheGerberStore.com for Gerber‘s Organic Banana Mango Puree beginning in May 2020. It will be 100% recyclable through Gerber‘s national recycling program with TerraCycle.
In Finland, the pouch will be available for Piltti’s Apple Pear Blueberry Raspberry widely sold in supermarkets.
Thierry Philardeau, Head of the Nutrition Strategic Business Unit, Nestlé said: “We are proud to have found a solution for the recyclability of baby food pouches. We began in the U.S. and Finland for two product variants, and we aim to gradually extend the use of single-material pouch to our baby food pouches range globally.”
This is in line with Nestlé’s commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
The newly designed-to-be-recyclable pouch is made from polypropylene (PP), a versatile form of plastic available commercially. This switch is expected to make more plastics infinitely recyclable and increase the value of the material for the recycling industry.
“This launch is an important milestone on how we execute our ambition to create a wider market for recycled plastics that are safe for food. We will continue to work with other stakeholders to ensure that the infrastructure needed to recycle matches material innovation,” added Thierry Philardeau.
Nestlé and Australian recycler iQ Renew have announced a trial which aims to see soft plastics collected from over 100,000 homes through kerbside recycling and diverted from landfill.
With increasing consumer demand for improved recycling, the trial aims to find a way to collect, sort and process soft plastics that can be broadly adopted.
iQ Renew CEO Danial Gallagher said there is an opportunity in turning soft plastic from a waste to a resource. Soft plastics not only make up 20% of the volume of Australian household landfill bins, but are also frequently found incorrectly placed in recycling bins.
“Most Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) can’t separate soft plastic from other items in household recycling, so while soft plastic can be recycled, what we lack is a robust, scalable system to collect and process it using existing kerbside collection,” Gallagher said.
“We’ve designed the trial so that at the front end, it will support householders to pre-sort their soft plastic and get it into a recycling stream, while behind the scenes, we’ll test using the sorted soft plastic as a resource in a range of different manufacturing processes,” he said.
Nestlé Australia CEO, Sandra Martinez, said Nestlé wanted to find sustainable paths to recycle packaging.
“While we are working to make all our packaging recyclable, we know that soft plastics is an area that needs greater focus and collaboration. We need to find ways to drive more recycling here,” Martinez said.
“As Nestlé plans to reduce our virgin plastic use and increase the amount of food grade recycled plastic packaging we use, we need plastic to be collected. Given the low amount of soft plastic collected from consumers today, we hope this trial can unlock the significant potential for soft plastic packaging to become a resource.”
Martinez said Nestlé also wanted to help people to recycle effectively.
“Australians are enthusiastic recyclers and want better recycling systems that take plastic packaging out of landfill. This trial will uncover how households understand soft plastics collection and answer critical questions about how it affects their in-home recycling behaviour. We have a vision for Australia to have a waste free future.”
The project will commence with a pilot of 2000 households, then plans to expand to over 100,000 households later in the year, processing around 750 tonnes of soft plastic that would otherwise be sent to landfill. Locations for the trial are currently under consideration.
Consumers’ daily lives revolve around trust. Every day, when peeling an orange, opening a can of baked beans or dining in a favourite restaurant, consumers put their trust in Australia’s food supply chain.
Behind every food and beverage product on the shelf is a supply chain journey that starts with ingredients. The Australian food manufacturing industry is an intricate maze of ingredient and packaging suppliers, most with different supply chain management solutions.
Today, sourcing ingredients without a traceability and food safety protocol invites counterfeit products onto the food chain and an increased risk of contamination. News of unsafe or spoilt food can impact business owner’s livelihoods and the industry’s broader reputation, along with disruption to consumer’s lives.
“To manage ingredient safety and increase the visibility of food ingredients and raw materials in these complex supply chains, a new initiative, the Supply Chain Improvement project, is being implemented using GS1 standards,” said GS1 Australian account director Andrew Steele. “The project’s objective is strengthening integration between the thousands of upstream supply chains in the Australian food manufacturing industry.”
An industry working group has been set up to drive the project using the GS1 global standards for product identification, data capture and data sharing. GS1’s Global Traceability Standard (GTS) is the foremost traceability framework, allowing businesses to track their products in real-time and have end-to-end visibility of the supply chain.
“The group will work to achieve consensus across the industry to improve food safety, deliver efficiencies and reduce costs,” said Steele.
Representatives from Nestlé, Ingham’s, SPC, Lion Dairy and Drinks, Sanitarium, CHR Hansen, Newly Weds Foods, FPC Food Plastics, Labelmakers, Matthews Australasia and Visy Industries make up the group.
The ability for companies to capture material movements from ‘paddock-to-plate’ provides data integrity and timeliness from receipt to delivery, with traceability back to the source. Through automation, many of the manual processes are eliminated and businesses can be proactive with inventory management and handling systems.
“As a food and beverage business it’s critical for us from a food safety perspective to be able to track ingredients all the way back to the origin,” said SPC’s national logistics manager, Christian Lecompte.
Also critical to business is the capability to support information and production flow within existing systems for integrated supply chains. The project has the capacity to eliminate waste within an organisation’s value stream, reduce non-value-added tasks and ensure cost-effective solutions for customers, leading to a ‘right-first-time’ approach for all deliveries.
“One of the things we found we could do to be more efficient was to look at opportunities to be able to electronically track all the product ingredients throughout the production cycle – how we identify a product coming into the warehouses, how we receipt goods, how we put our goods away, how we manage our inventory and how we deal with our suppliers,” said Lecompte.
The adoption of GS1 standards as the common language for the identification, data capture and data sharing will enable automation of key ingredient sourcing, and traceability between ingredient suppliers and food manufacturers. Using GS1 standards for upstream integration goes well beyond minimum standards and allows businesses to translate their internal processes and approaches into the one common language that all trading partners can use and understand, without having to translate data formats across different supply chain management systems. This is the key as Steele believes interoperability is essential to the future of data sharing.
“Establishing international standards to ensure transparency across the supply chain can help lower existing barriers to the exchange of data between suppliers, trading partners and consumers,” he said.
The Supply Chain Improvement Project has the potential to deliver many benefits to industry, including increased visibility of food ingredients and raw materials, unique identification and traceability to improve food safety, and reduced costs with automated business transactions.
Nestle Australia’s head of digital supply chain, Mandeep Sodhi pointed out the key to the project’s success. “By having consensus across the industry on how to interconnect electronically and exchange critical operational data, we can realise cost-effective solutions across the end-to-end – from manufacturers, to suppliers, to customers – everyone benefits from this improvement in standardisation,” he said.
Looking ahead, the industry working group is encouraging all upstream businesses to adopt the food safety and traceability protocol using GS1 standards.
“With an industry-wide solution in place, your trading partners will have more visibility of your products across the supply chain,” said Steele.
Néstle has announced a collaboration with Burcon and Merit, two key players in the development and production of high-quality plant proteins. This partnership will enable Nestlé to further accelerate the development of nutritious and great-tasting, plant-based meat and dairy alternatives with a favorable environmental footprint.
The partnership combines Nestlé’s expertise in the development, production and commercialization of plant-based foods and beverages with Burcon’s proprietary plant protein extraction and purification technology, while leveraging Merit’s state-of-the-art plant protein production capabilities.
“Developing nutritious and great-tasting plant-based meat and dairy alternatives requires access to tasty, nutritious and sustainable raw materials as well as proprietary manufacturing technology,” says Stefan Palzer, Nestlé Chief Technology Officer. “The partnership with Burcon and Merit will give us access to unique expertise and a new range of high-quality ingredients for plant-based food and beverages.”
Globally, Nestlé has around 300 R&D scientists, engineers and product developers located in 8 R&D centers that are dedicated to the research and development of plant-based products. To complement its internal capabilities, the company also strategically collaborates with researchers, suppliers, start-ups and various other innovation partners.
Nestlé’s plant-based product range includes pea, soy- and wheat-based burger patties, sausages, mince meat, chicken filets and various prepared dishes. The company also developed pea and oat-based dairy alternatives, almond-, coconut- and oat-based creamers, plant-based coffee mixes as well as a range of non-dairy ice creams. It also recently announced its plans to launch vegan alternatives to cheese and bacon, designed to complement its existing plant-based burger patties.
Burcon Nutrascience is a global technology company with a portfolio of patents related to composition, application, and manufacturing of novel plant-based proteins derived from pea, canola, soy, hemp, sunflower seed and various other crops.
Nestlé has announced that it will invest up to $3 billion to lead the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics and to accelerate the development of innovative sustainable packaging solutions.
Building on its 2018 commitment to make 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, Nestlé will reduce its use of virgin plastics by one third in the same period whilst working with others to advance the circular economy and endeavor to clean up plastic waste from oceans, lakes and rivers.
Food quality and safety are paramount, and packaging plays a major role in assuring this. Most plastics are difficult to recycle for food packaging, leading to a limited supply of food-grade recycled plastics. To create a market, Nestlé is therefore committed to sourcing up to two million metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics and allocating more than $2.5 billion to pay a premium for these materials between now and 2025. Nestlé will seek operational efficiencies to keep this initiative earnings neutral.
READ MORE: Néstle commits to zero net emissions by 2050
Packaging innovation, including new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions, is another key challenge on the path towards a waste-free future. In addition to its significant inhouse research through the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, the company will launch a $375 million sustainable packaging venture fund to invest in start-up companies that focus on these areas.
These two initiatives come in addition to Nestlé’s major ongoing efforts in research, sourcing and manufacturing to make its packaging recyclable or reusable and contribute to its goal to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As part of the company’s packaging commitment and to increase transparency, Nestlé will continue to outline further initiatives and provide regular progress updates.
“No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter,” said Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. “Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry. That is why in addition to minimizing plastics use and collecting waste, we want to close the loop and make more plastics infinitely recyclable. We are taking bold steps to create a wider market for food-grade recycled plastics and boost innovation in the packaging industry. We welcome others to join us on this journey.”
“We are pleased to see Nestlé commit a $3 billion investment toward creating a circular economy for plastics, alongside a reduction of its use of virgin plastic in packaging by one third by 2025. By eliminating the plastics we don’t need, innovating in areas like reuse models and new materials, and circulating the plastics we do need — also in more challenging food grade applications — we can create an economy where plastic never becomes waste. Achieving the commitments announced today will significantly contribute towards realizing this vision,” said Andrew Morlet, CEO, Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Nestlé Australia today announced the immediate recall of certain batches of Uncle Tobys Roll-Ups due to the possible presence of small metal fragments.
The affected products are being recalled because an ingredient supplier has advised Nestlé that equipment failure in their facility has led to the possible presence of small metal fragments in an ingredient supplied to Nestlé used to manufacture the products.
The products being recalled are:
Uncle Tobys Roll-Ups Passionfruit, Rainbow Berry, Rainbow Fruit Salad and Funprints Strawberry, all of which were produced between 29th June and 14th July.
General Manager Snacks, Susan Catania, said these batches have been sold in major, independent and online retailers since early December.
“If you have purchased any of these products, please do not consume it, but return it to the place of purchase for a full refund,” Catania said.
Catania confirmed that other batches and products are not affected, and that Nestlé had not received any complaints from consumers regarding metal in Uncle Tobys Roll-Ups.
“As soon as we were made aware of the issue we made contact with authorities to conduct a recall and notified all relevant retailers,” Ms Catania said.
Food products containing foreign matter may cause illness or injury to consumers. Anyone who is concerned about their health should seek medical advice.
Consumers seeking more information can contact Nestlé on 1800 152 126
When you’re one of the world’s largest confectionery brands, you’re under the microscope. We live in a time where a more discerning, informed public are not only interested in the products a company is producing, but how they are making them – where are they sourcing their ingredients? What sort of packaging are they using? What are the products nutritional health benefits?
It’s not lost on Nestlé’s Oceania director of eBusiness, strategy and marketing, Martin Brown. It’s his job to not only sell the company’s message in the local environment, but make sure it is adhering to the best practices he and other strategists have put in place.
Brown knows that the younger consumers are the ones driving the conversation – and not only in terms of whether a product tastes good or not.
“If you look at the diversity of our population and the expectations, it is the younger consumers that are shaping our industry,” said Brown. “They are shaping a couple of key forces that are really important for us to consider. One is, they make choices on brands and consumption based on beliefs. They’re very much looking at the actions of the brand – what is behind the brand – particularly with the supply chain.”
No longer is it good enough to make a great tasting product under the banner of a worldwide known and trusted brand. A lot of food and beverage companies – and those in peripheral arenas like packaging – are employing people whose sole purpose within the conglomerate’s structure is to look after sustainability and traceability. This is because companies like Nestle know that social media and other modern trends have a huge influence on purchasing decisions.
Nestlé is looking at a variety of ways of making sure that it not only provides products from sustainable sources and can be traced back to the farm, but it is also taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint.
“As a company that operates 10 factories in the region, we have plenty of scope to influence that commitment. Part of those commitments is accelerating the use of renewable energy,” said Brown. “For instance, we use the spent coffee grounds in our Gympie factory as fuel to drive the energy in that factory.
“At our Smithtown factory, which is the home of Milo, we use sawdust from the local timber industry to power 85 per cent of the energy in that plant. These are good examples of clever renewable energy sources. We’re also committed across all of those operations to have zero waste to landfill by 2020 and are pretty close to achieving that.”
Globally, Nestlé has signed up to the RE100, which is a group of companies that have pledged to use 100 per cent renewable energy. The accord means that Nestlé has agreed to zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as part of the pledge to hold to the 1.5˚C maximum temperature increase through climate change.
When it comes to another hot-button issue for consumers – recyclability – Nestlé is committed to meeting its 2025 responsibility of its packaging being reusable or recyclable. Currently, 50 per cent of the materials it uses is recyclable, while 40 per cent is partially recyclable.
“We’re going to focus first on the 10 per cent that is non-recyclable,” said Brown. “We’ve got a negative list of materials that we are removing from all of our packaging. The cardboard is fine, however not all of the substrates used in flexible packaging are recyclable.
We have multi-layers of material that are not recyclable. That’s where we need to find solutions.”
These solutions will not appear out of thin air. Investment is needed, and Nestlé doesn’t mind putting its hat in the ring when it comes to spending money to find the answers that will lead to more sustainable packaging. Brown also realises that there are other issues that need to be addressed with packaging – recyclability is but one aspect.
“This is where the science comes in with regard to coming up with new packaging solutions because they’re not available right now,” said Brown. “We’ve invested in the Nestlé Institute of Packaging to work with the science community and the rest of the packaging community to develop novel solutions that are fully recyclable and/or compostable. These will be the replacement solutions for that 10 per cent non-recyclable packaging.
“If we can come up with solutions that meet consumer expectations of quality, tamper-proof food safety, and is relevant in a category that can fully eliminate packaging, that would be a good thing. We’re trialling those solutions already.”
Another hot topic is food trends. Two that have caught the eye of Nestle’s hierarchy are confectionery products with less sugar [see box story Satisfying the Sweet Tooth], and plant-based proteins. Again, it is the younger consumer driving the issue. In the case of the latter, it is not about getting rid of meat altogether, but about replacing one or two meals a week with plant-based proteins. Brown thinks there are many reasons for the growing trend.
“There’s health reasons,” he said. “They may also connect the dots between meat and greenhouse gas emissions. Ultimately, for them, it might be about living in a more sustainable environment. With our Harvest Gourmet products, and along with the rest of the plant protein industry, we are providing alternatives that make that transition seamless in a way that is pretty surprising. We think that it is going to grow quickly as a market opportunity.”
Brown said that Nestlé is looking to develop a range of meat alternatives – from chicken breasts to mince – that will give customers versatile options for food consumption. Then there are dairy alternatives, too.
“You can expect we will bring plant-based dairy options across a range of our beverage products,” he said. “We’ve seen that it is becoming popular in the way people are adopting plant-based milks into their out of home coffee consumption. That is definitely an opportunity for in-home coffee consumption as well.”
And what about another, albeit minor, trend of insect-based proteins? Brown acknowledges that it is an idea the company might look at in the future, but there is nothing in the pipeline at the moment.
“We’re aware of insect-based proteins. They’re probably not mainstream enough for us to look at yet,” he said. “We’re blessed at being in a pretty resource-rich environment so we’re not quite yet at the insect level. It’s an imaginative solution, which is arguable very sustainable and we should never rule it out.”
Brown is confident that Nestlé is on target to not only continue meeting the needs of its traditional consumers, but also encompass new food technologies and trends that will be entering the food chain over the next 5 to 10 years. It is not only about keeping the taste great, but making sure the brand keeps its reputation.
“As we continue to offer more choice and lift the nutritional credentials of all our products, it is important to remember that any change has to be underpinned by great taste. And with that, will come trust – something that is very important to any brand like Nestlé.”
Chocolate and coffee – two items that tick all the endorphin boxes when consumed. Debating traceability of products, sustainability in packaging, and energy efficiencies during the production process are all well and good, but what’s the point if the key ingredients no longer exist? No ingredients means no products. Coffee beans and cocoa plants are grown in a narrow window of land on the equator. The main producers are in sub-Sahara African and the equatorial climate of South America. A recent article in Business Insider titled Chocolate is on track to go extinct in 40 years, concentrated on how the aforementioned strip of land is set to shrink due to climate change. Cacao plants, which product the cocoa for chocolate, need certain temperatures to grow and that is starting to change. However, that is not the main issue, because if humanity does get to reverse the more undesirable effects of climate change, there is another more urgent problem – will there be cocoa farmers to produce the crop?
It is an issue that the likes of Nestlé and Mars are taking head on. They realise without cocoa, a large portion of their business is affected. It is with this in mind that Nestlé’s Martin Brown explains why the company’s attitude towards its primary producers is holistic. The company knows that trying to buy the biggest amount of cocoa at the cheapest price possible is short-sighted. Long-term viability is needed and is something that the company champions. With more than 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa being produced on two million small farms in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, logistics can be challenging.
“The reality is that a lot of these communities are in undeveloped economies and live in challenged social spaces, so we have to help them resolve things such as unsafe work practices,” said Brown. “They’re complicated problems to solve that need total integration by the government across all industries.”
Brown said that in 2014 Nestlé was one of the first major companies in Australia to use 100 per cent sustainable cocoa. He said the company is committed to paying a premium to all farmers it buys through. The company also likes to make sure its suppliers are in compliance when it comes to eliminating unsafe child labour work practices and ensuring children go to school.
“We are also eliminating the use of unsafe pesticides,” said Brown. “We’ve built schools in farming communities to ensure that their kids are getting educated. We’ve distributed new cocoa plants. We’ve renewed the cocoa plantations to drive productivity in their farms. We’ve educated farmers on how to look after their farms better.”
A lot of actions undertaken by food conglomerates are driven by consumer expectations. However, Brown also knows that goodwill in these communities goes a long way. Because if climate change does get addressed, and the standard of living is accelerated, there are other issues that will also need addressing. Only collaboration between the farmers and businesses will solve them.
“There are a numbers of reasons why the cocoa supply has been under threat,” said Brown. “First, cacao trees are at their most productive between 2-20 years of age. If they are not renewed and the tree is not continuously replenished, productivity drops, and drops away sharply.”
Next, if the farming methods to optimise the layout of a farm – from ventilation between trees, right fertilisation methods, pruning and cropping of the trees – isn’t maintained, the productivity of the tree is reduced. Then there is the issue whereby farmers might not grow the crop anymore because they are not getting the economic outcome of it that another crop might provide.
“Another reason why you might have a compromised future with the cocoa crop is that the next generation don’t want to farm,” said Brown. “The next generation might leave farm communities because the conditions are just not good enough. They are not liveable and those meant to be taking over the farm have higher expectations of quality of life. And that should be everyone’s expectation – that the next generation gets to lead a higher quality of life or has the opportunity.”
Nestlé has announced the launch of a new range of Starbucks coffee capsules. These are the first Starbucks coffee products developed using Nespresso proprietary coffee and system technology and consistof six signature flavours that consumers can enjoy in the comfort of their own home.
This launch came after the two companies, Nestlé and Starbucks, joined forces to create aglobal coffee alliance in August last year. With the launch of the new Starbucks by Nespressorange, for the first time Kiwi coffee lovers will create the same Starbucks coffee they love froma café in their home. They will be able to access those premium and exciting coffee products from their local supermarket.
“We are committed to continuous innovation to provide Kiwis with new and exciting ways to enjoy coffee at home,” said Nestlé Oceania director of e-Business, strategy and marketing, Martin Brown. “We are proud to be working with Starbucks, a global coffee brand that shares our passion for quality coffee and craftsmanship, to offer coffee drinkers an at-home solution that meets their discerning quality expectations whilst being conveniently accessible at their local supermarket.”
The new range of Starbucks by Nespresso capsules combine Nestlé’s coffee and system know-how with the Starbucks’ coffee flavours and house blends. The range includes six signature flavours, ranging from Starbucks blends and single-origin coffees, all made from 100 per cent arabica coffee, ethically sourced from farmers in the world’s premier coffee-growing regions.
“For years, we have offered Starbucks’ famous roasts through our in-store coffee house experience,” said CEO of Starbucks New Zealand, Charles Belcher. “Through our partnership with Nestlé, we are excited to be taking the first step to open this premium experience up to all Kiwis, allowing them to make their favourite Starbucks recipes at home using their Nespresso machine.”
Nestlé is expanding its plant-based food range in the US and Switzerland.
The launches come just days after Nestlé announced its ambition to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including by offering more plant-based food and beverages.
In both countries, Nestlé is launching plant-based burgers and grounds, with ingredients and recipes customised to meet local tastes. All the products look and cook like raw beef and provide a juicy, meat-like taste and texture.
In the United States, Sweet Earth Foods has announced the launch of their newest products, the Awesome Burger and Awesome Grounds. Both deliver on the taste and texture of beef with the environmental and nutritional benefits offered by plant-based proteins.
The Awesome Burger is made with yellow pea protein, resulting in a burger that is high in protein and fiber. Sweet Earth’s Awesome Grounds will provide the same plant-based protein in a ground version that allows greater flexibility to cook various meals and sides, such as meatballs and tacos. Acquired by Nestlé in 2017, Sweet Earth has over 60 plant-based products in their portfolio.
In Switzerland, Nestlé is introducing its Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger and the new Garden Gourmet Incredible Mince. The two add to the already expanding Garden Gourmet range in Switzerland, which also includes many ‘veggie-centric’ options. The burger is made from soy and wheat protein and the mince from soy protein. Both contain natural plant extracts – beetroot, carrot, and bell pepper – and vegetable fats including chopped coconut oil.
The new Garden Gourmet Incredible Mince is just as versatile and juicy as ground beef. It is easily shapeable, making it perfect to create balls or skewers that can be seasoned to taste. It can also be crumbled up in a pan, for example to make a delicious Bolognese sauce or ‘Chili Sin Carne’.
Nestlé has announced its ambition to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It embraces the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Ahead of the U.N. Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit this month, Nestlé will sign the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ pledge.
With this announcement Nestlé is accelerating its climate change efforts. This builds on a decade of work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Over the past four years, Nestlé has aligned its objectives with science-based targets to keep the temperature increase below 2°C. The company is determined to play a leading role in tackling climate change. Over the next two years, it will lay out a time-bound plan including interim targets consistent with the 1.5°C path. Nestlé will review its progress annually to ensure it is on track.
“Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face as a society. It is also one of the greatest risks to the future of our business,” said Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO. “We are running out of time to avoid the worst effects of global warming. That is why we are setting a bolder ambition to reach a net-zero future. Deploying Nestlé’s global resources and industry know-how, we know we can make a difference at significant scale. Our journey to net zero has already started. Now, we are accelerating our efforts,” he added.
To achieve its 2050 ambition, some of the company’s specific actions include:
- Speeding up the transformation of its products in line with consumer trends and choices. Nestlé will launch more products that have a better environmental footprint and contribute to a balanced diet. This includes more plant-based food and beverage options. Nestlé will also look to reformulate its products using more climate-friendly ingredients. Consumer demand for such products is rapidly increasing, and Nestlé’s core strategy is in line with this shift. The company is also moving to alternative packaging materials.
- Scaling up initiatives in agriculture to absorb more carbon. Nestlé will strengthen its programs with farmers to restore land and limit greenhouse gas emissions. This includes improved management of its dairy supply chain. Nestlé will step up efforts to protect forests by replanting trees and enhancing biodiversity. All of these initiatives will help build resilient agricultural communities.
- Using 100% renewable electricity in Nestlé factories, warehouses, logistics and offices. A third of Nestlé factories (143) are already using 100 per cent renewable electricity. Nestlé will continue to increase the use of energy from renewable sources. This will enable suppliers to invest in new infrastructure such as wind and solar farms.
- Limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires transformational change across industries, governments and society as a whole. Nestlé will continue its advocacy for government policies to ensure all sectors move faster towards 1.5°C. Supportive legislation could help to reduce barriers to expanding renewable energy markets, incentivize innovation in the agriculture and forestry sectors to capture more carbon, and help to establish carbon pricing.