Sustainable packaging: Hershey moves to display-ready cases

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Hershey’s new packaging used 3.12 million fewer pounds of corrugate in 2016.  Photo: Hershey
Hershey’s new packaging used 3.12 million fewer pounds of corrugate in 2016. Photo: Hershey

Related tags Greenhouse gas Climate change Hershey

Hershey has redesigned display-ready cases for all its packaged chocolate candy brands, including Kisses Milk Chocolate.

This approach is meant to make Hershey packaging simpler, less cumbersome to ship and easier for retailers to unload and position in the store, Hershey’s director of disruptive supply chain, Greg Gressel, said.

Some of the simple packaging features include a one-piece design with no cover packaging, an easy-open window without perforation, elimination of the center divider for better presentation, and an enhanced print and digital design.

32% less corrugate

Gressel said Hershey came up with the design in 2016, and tested it first at Walmart during the Halloween and holiday seasons.

Hershey Sustainability
Source: Hershey

“As a result, Walmart found that associates need approximately 62% less time to open and set up these new cases,”​ he said. “Associates also no longer needed knives to open the perforated cases, making worker safety an added benefit to our packaging approach.”

The display-ready packaging also used 3.12 million fewer pounds of corrugate (31% less) during the 2016 holiday seasons compared to 2015, Gressel added.

"Minimizing the environmental impact of Hershey’s operations, addressing the challenges of climate change and prioritizing the health and safety of our employees is crucial to us,"​ Greg Gressel, director of disruptive supply chain at Hershey, said. 
Greg Gressel
Greg Gressel. Photo: Hershey

All corrugated cardboard Hershey uses is made from 100% recyclable materials, ​he said.

'25 by 25’ sustainability goals

Hershey joined over 150 companies, including Mondelēz, Nestlé, and Pepsi, in signing the American Business Act on Climate Pledge​ in 2015 to minimize the environmental impact of their operations.

As part of the pledge, Hershey put forth a set of sustainability goals for the next 10 years in 2016, also known as “25 by 25”​ goals, Gressel said.

“These goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste and packaging by 25% by 2025,”​ he said. “Since 2014, Hershey has saved more than 9.2 million pounds of packaging material, putting us about 37% of the way toward our goal.”

The creation of display friendly packaging wasthe driver of Hershey's shift toward sustainable packaging, Gressel added.

He said Hershey will continue its sustainable packaging efforts, and it is aiming to reduce materials by 13 million pounds by the end of 2017. 

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