Nestle Australia has developed a packaging solution that allows it to deliver chocolate to most parts of Australia without impacting the product’s integrity. Created for the ecommerce arm of its KitKat Chocolatory, customers can order chocolate online and for a $15 flat rate have product delivered within two to three days.
Packaging technologist Karunia Adhiputra told PKN they spend around six months finding packaging solutions that were both recyclable and robust enough to withstand Australian summer temperatures when transporting specialty chocolate.
Ecommerce has been a localised component of the Chocolatory since it opened in 2017. The new packaging solution will allow it to distribute to most of Australia (excluding extremely hot regions). The store (in Melbourne’s CBD) offers personalised KitKats. Customers can enter their details online and its instore digital printer produces the label that is then applied to the chosen product.
Adhiputra said: “The challenge is chocolate melts and we need to make sure it is protected during transportation, whether from climate or impact during courier transport. Our chocolate can typically stay in its shape up to around twenty-two degrees.”
The solution was a winter and summer shipping solution. The winter shipper is simply a box and tissue paper. But the poor insulation qualities of cardboard meant the summer shipper needed to be much more robust, he said.
Adhiputra explained that while many in the industry is using polystyrene or wool, which do work, Nestle wanted to go “one step further” with a fully recyclable material. It has set a company-wide goal that all packaging will be reusable or recyclable by 2025. “We wanted to get it right the first time,” he said.
Nestle worked with Sealed Air on a solution fit for purpose. ‘Tempguard’ contains insulation material made up of recycled newspaper. The packaging solution also contains two frozen cooling pads, which use plastic liners that are recyclable through REDcycle. All the packaging can go into kerbside or REDcycle recycling streams.
“We trialled a few different options and while the Woolcool insulating packaging worked, it was cost prohibitive. We also tried expanded polyethylene, but its insulation was not very efficient, so we kept coming back to this paper solution."
The packaging team ran simulations in its lab on what transportation would look like for a peak summer profile. Once it was able to achieve the temperature range needed, it started working on the full packaging solution. Artwork is being finalised for the summer shipper and it will be rolled out from September once the temperature starts increasing.
The packaging also features the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL), which not only tells you which bin to use, but what needs to be done with each piece of a package to dispose of it in the best way.
For Nestle, the brand messaging is ‘Give the Planet A Break’ playing on the ‘Have a break, have a KitKat’ tagline.