SWITZERLAND – Nestlé is piloting reusable and refillable dispensers for soluble coffee and petcare as part of its efforts to reduce single-use packaging and the food and beverage company’s overall commitment to phase out all plastics that are not recyclable or are hard to recycle for all its products worldwide by 2025.

Nestlé’s concept involves the use of in-store dispensers to offer consumers a shopping experience that is free of single-use packaging, along with flexibility and variety of product choice.

The Swiss multinational said that consumers will bring reusable containers to purchase different types of Purina cat food and Nescafé soluble coffee. The model also allows consumers to digitally access product information that is typically found on packaging, such as ingredients, nutritional values and shelf life.

Working in collaboration with the start-up MIWA, Nestlé recently piloted the reusable and refillable dispensers in three Nestlé shops located in Rorschach, Orbe and La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland.

During the four-month trial period, Nestlé said that the dispensers were well received by consumers and the company was able to gain valuable insights including the user-friendliness.

To further assess the dispensers’ effectiveness in preventing packaging waste along the supply chain, the Nescafé and Milo brands owner said that the dispensers are now being rolled out across more locations in the next few months.

Hélène Lanctuit, R&D Packaging Lead at Nestlé, says: “Packaging plays a key role in maintaining food safety during a product’s shelf life. This means that whenever new packaging systems are explored we need to ensure that our products can be delivered to consumers in a safe and hygienic manner.

“These dispensers are novel because they incorporate smart technology which allows us to ensure product safety, and also guarantee the freshness and traceability of our products.”

The development of innovative, alternative delivery systems such as bulk, reuse and refill options are a key focus area for Nestlé across several product categories.

The company has already announced a pilot test for Refill Plus, a water dispenser using state-of-the-art technology, which allows consumers to personalize their water with sixty-four flavor combinations.

In partnership with Terracycle, Nestlé is also rolling out Loop, a subscription home delivery service in the US and will also introduce it soon in France. Additionally, the company has launched mini dispensers for Nescafé and Milo for the out-of-home segment in many countries around the world.

These innovative systems are part of a broader set of actions to reduce single-use packaging. Building on its commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, Nestlé has also set a goal to reduce the use of virgin plastics by one third during the same time period.

Bernard Meunier, CEO of Nestlé Purina Petcare EMENA, says: “At Purina, our teams are focused on designing our products and packaging for a more sustainable future. This pilot marks an important step forward in our efforts towards waste reduction and we are proud to play a leading role in testing these innovative dispensers. Offering pet owners the option of using safe reusable and refillable dispensers in-store can help us improve our environmental impact while still providing great quality nutrition for pets.”

Philipp Navratil, Global Head of Beverage Strategic Business Unit at Nestlé, Senior Vice-President, says: “As part of Nescafé’s packaging transformation journey, we have been working hard to rethink how we design our packaging for better environmental impact.

“We are excited to work on a refilling option made possible by our in-store dispensing system for our consumers who want to enjoy their Nescafé experience at home.”

Meanwhile, the company has also joined over 150 corporations to call for a net-zero recovery from COVID-19. By joining the initiative, supportive companies reaffirm their own science-based commitments to achieving net-zero carbon emissions. They also call