Kraft Heinz Mac & Cheese develops first microwavable fiber-based cup for 2021 launch
22 Jan 2021 --- Kraft Mac & Cheese is developing and testing the brand’s first-ever recyclable fiber-based microwavable cup.
The classic American brand will introduce a new Kraft Mac & Cheese Shapes variety later in 2021 using the cup design.
“We know consumers are looking for more sustainable packaging options without sacrificing the convenience or taste they love from Kraft Mac & Cheese,” Matt Carpenter, marketing director at Kraft Heinz, tells PackagingInsights.
“In our journey to develop and test the brand’s first-ever recyclable fiber-based microwavable cup, we collected critical feedback from consumers. Upon testing completion, we will continue to gather consumer feedback.”
The shelf life for the fiber-based microwavable cup is the same as the original microwavable cup, adds Carpenter.
A compostable cup
The fiber-based microwavable cup currently being trialed is microwave safe and eliminates the plastic label through new direct print technology.
Kraft Heinz says the new design is motivated by swapping unrecyclable plastic for recyclable fiber to eliminate fossil-based plastic. The new solution is also compostable in industrial composting facilities.
The brand is working with outside partners to certify and incorporate the appropriate recycling labeling to help consumers understand the packaging’s intended post-use disposal route.
The compostable and recyclable cup supports Kraft Heinz’s journey toward responsible, sustainable practices, including a commitment that aims to make 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.
The Kraft Mac & Cheese product contains no artificial preservatives, flavors or dyes.
Plastic out, paper in
As the plastic out, paper in trend gathers pace, fiber-based microwaveable solutions are becoming more available. For example, US-based Mantrose-Haeuser Co. is expanding its line of certified compostable barrier coatings for environmentally sustainable food packaging, dubbed VerdeCoat.
The VerdeCoat range of water-based coatings can be applied to flat stock such as paper and paperboard, as well as 3D molded fiber or molded starch substrates in the forms of trays, bowls, lidding, frozen food and microwaveable food packaging, cups, and plates.
In the UK, potato chips brand Pringles is on the hunt for a recyclable alternative to its “recycler’s nightmare” packaging, which consists of a complex construction of foil-lined cardboard sleeve, plastic cap, metal base, and metal tear-off lid.
Pringles is currently trialing a new recyclable paper can in partnership with supermarket giant Tesco.
Meanwhile, European fiber-based packaging heavyweights Huhtamaki and Stora Enso are welcoming new scientific evidence finding paper-based single-use products more environmentally responsible than reusable tableware in quickservice restaurants.
The Life Cycle Assessment conducted by Ramboll and released by the European Paper Packaging Association (EPPA) suggests these advantages are primarily driven by the carbon emissions related to the amount of energy required to wash the tableware and freshwater used in the washing process in a multi-use system.
By Joshua Poole
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