Behind the scenes: How Nestlé created its recyclable paper packaging solution

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nestlé Packaging Recyclable materials

A technical breakthrough this week in confectionery packaging will see Nestlé’s ‘YES!’ snack bar range wrapped in recyclable paper for the first time. ConfectioneryNews visited its confectionery R&D centre in York to talk to the team involved in the breakthrough.

The goal in launching Nestlé’s YES! Bar, was to do something different, said Cheryl Allen, marketing manager for the newly launched brand. The confectionery giant certainly achieved its aim by developing its latest range from zero to market in 12 months – and then adding a technical breakthrough in confectionery packaging by wrapping the snack bar in recyclable paper for the first time​.

The bar was launched in 2018, but the team at Nestlé’s global confectionery R&D centre in York had also been working on a way to use a recyclable paper wrapper in a high-speed ‘flow wrap cold seal’ packaging line, which it announced to the world this week.

Nestle claims it ‘represents a world first’ for a process that, in the past, was only suitable for plastic films and laminates.

The new wrappers will be rolled out in stores across Europe this month and is part of the company’s ambition to make all of its packaging either recyclable or reusable by 2025.

It was a big task​,” Allen told ConfectioneryNews, “but the R&D team rose to the challenge. Normally it would take five years to achieve something like this​.”

Nestlé’s global confectionery R&D centre in York
Nestlé’s global confectionery R&D centre in York

The YES! bar was invented in the UK at the same York R&D center as the new paper wrapper. The range has been developed to use diverse ingredients that you might not expect to find in an ordinary fruit or nut bar and are high in fibre with the lemon, quinoa and chilli bar being a source of fibre. The full range is also gluten free and suitable for vegetarians while both fruit and vegetable bars are also suitable for vegans.

During a visit to the York R&D Campus by ConfectioneryNews to meet the team responsible for the breakthrough, Jas Scott de Martinville, global confectionery R&D lead for Nestlé, said: “One of the things we have started to do in the last two years is the way we are working differently to accelerate our innovation​.

So today, for us, to launch something after 12 months is becoming more the norm. Specific to the YES! bar, in about 10 months, we’ve been able to bring it to life, we were able to hit our targets with 97% accuracy … it’s very difficult to run paper at high speed, obviously it doesn’t behave like plastic … we’ve been able to produce our YES! Bars at 300 bars a minute, the standard speed of a bar wrapped in plastics, which is one of the breakthroughs made by the team here in York​.”

  • Take a look at our video to discover more on the packaging breakthrough.

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