Nestlé research sees recyclable paper packaging used for snack bar

A technical breakthrough in confectionery packaging will see Nestlé’s ‘YES!’ snack bar range wrapped in recyclable paper for the first time.

UK based experts, working at Nestlé’s confectionery R&D centre in York, have found a way to use a recyclable paper wrapper in a high-speed ‘flow wrap cold seal’ packaging line. It represents a world first for a process that, in the past, was only suitable for plastic films and laminates.

Nestlé’s ‘YES!’ range of fruit-based and nut-based bars will become the first brand to convert to the new recyclable paper wrapper to be rolled out from this month.

Stefano Agostini, CEO for Nestlé in the UK and Ireland said: “YES! represents exactly what more and more people are demanding from manufacturers like Nestlé now and for the future. Last year we introduced YES! as an entirely new brand using wholesome ingredients and offering a healthier snacking option of tasty fruit and nut bars.

“Now we’ve turned our attention to the wrapper so that the packaging is sustainable and easy to recycle. It’s an important step as we work to make all of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.”

YES! bar wrappers will now carry the message “carefully wrapped in paper” to reflect the work that has been done in adapting production lines to handle the new packaging more gently during the manufacturing process.

The new packaging is made of a coated paper that is widely recyclable with other paper. The paper itself comes from sustainable sources, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.

The innovation has been a significant project for Nestlé’s global confectionery R&D centre in York and a small team have worked independently and creatively to focus on finding the breakthrough required.

Jas Scott de Martinville, Global Confectionery R&D lead for Nestlé, said, “This launch is the result of a lot of hard work at speed with our R&D teams delivering a recyclable paper solution for our YES! bars in less than 10 months. It is an incredible achievement and one that we are all very proud of.”

The challenge for experts was to find a way to use paper on high speed production lines that have been designed for more durable plastic or laminate packaging. The new wrapper then had to be tested extensively to make sure it would keep YES! bars in perfect condition during production, transport and storage.

Nestlé is introducing three new flavours of YES! bar to coincide with introduction of the new paper wrapper. Delicious Dark Choc, Banana & Pecan; Luscious Raspberry & Chia Seeds and Heavenly Pineapple & Coconut and will join existing favourites like Tempting Dark Choc, Sea Salt & Almond and Sumptuous Cranberry and Dark Chocolate.

Each YES! nut bar is vegetarian, high in fibre, and a source of protein. The fruit bars are vegan, gluten free, lactose free, high in fibre, have no added sugar and contribute to one of your five a day.

With the new paper wrapper and a wider range of flavours, YES! is now being launched in more countries. It will now be available in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. More countries in Europe and beyond will follow soon.