BYOC cereal: Nestle Indonesia taps refillable dispenser tech for Milo and Koko Krunch to beat climate-related packaging challenges
The F&B giant has placed a great deal of effort in sustainability-related innovations and initiatives, including its dedicated Nestle Institute of Packaging Sciences and its commitment to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
That said, Nestle has also long been transparent about its many challenges when it comes to developing suitable alternatives to plastic packaging particularly for the Asian region where hot and humid weather has been a major limiting factor to its efforts.
“It’s much more challenging to bring [paper packaging] solutions to tropical markets such as Indonesia [as the] climate is more humid and less mild [compared] to European markets such as France,” Nestle CTO Stefan Palzer told FoodNavigator-Asia previously.
“There needs to be better barrier properties and also [more work done] on the reusable secondary (exterior) packaging aspects to protect the food product along its journey to the consumer as well as to ensure food safety and quality.”
Although Nestle has not as yet announced a suitable packaging alternative for plastic in Asian markets at this time, the new Indonesia scheme allows consumers to ‘bring-your-own-container’ (BYOC) to purchase their Milo powder or Koko Krunch cereal, reducing the packaging waste as a result.
“Nestle Indonesia is conducting a pilot study on refillable packaging with cereals under the Milo and Koko Krunch brand over four to six months, with refill vending machines to be placed in South Jakarta and Tangerang starting March 15 this year,” Nestle Indonesia President Director Samer Shedid told us.
“This is the second sustainable refillable packaging project that Nestle Indonesia has done locally – the first was in 2021 where consumers could purchase Milo, Dancow and Koko Krunch products from tricycle carts fitted with refillable dispensing systems.
“This year’s project is being conducted together with our collaborative partner Qyos [which is utilizing] their expertise to ensure that the machines maintain the safety and freshness of products across the supply chain whilst [also] considering the hot and humid climate conditions in Indonesia.”
The Milo products will be available in weights of 100g to 1kg, and Koko Krunch from 50g to 350g. Consumers have the option of buying reusable food containers available on-site, or bringing their own containers as long as these are airtight, clean, dry, free of odours and never been used to contain non-food and beverage items.
Pilots for learnings
One of the firm’s main goals is to learn more about consumer acceptance of such refillable packaging technologies, given that not all consumers are open to carrying their own containers around.
“This [is] also an opportunity for us to explore circular supply chains supported by refillable packaging technology solutions for food and beverages [and a] learning experience for us to understand the needs and appropriate context of what the Indonesian market needs,” Nestle Indonesia Director of Sustainability Prawitya Soemadijo added in a formal statement.
“The hope is that that the presence of these Nestlé x Qyos refill machines can encourage changes in consumer behavior to support environmental sustainability through reducing the use of packaging."
The firm is also trialling various other sustainable packaging options in the APAC region such as a recent paper packaging for KitKat in Australia.