Sappi equips Tony’s Chocolonely with recyclable paper-based doypack in stand-up secondary solution
13 Jan 2021 --- Dutch chocolate manufacturer Tony’s Chocolonely is adopting Sappi Guard Nature MS paper-based pouches for the secondary packaging of its “Tiny Tony’s” chocolate varieties.
The heat-sealable pouches are recyclable in paper waste streams, and PEFC and FSC certified. Moreover, the Guard Nature MS paper boasts strength, runnability and effective printability.
The paper-based pouches offer an alternative to typically unrecyclable plastic multi-layer barrier films, utilizing an integrated mineral oil barrier to keep the food inside fresh.
The pouch’s natural paper appearance is integral to Tony’s Chocolonely identity as a progressive, eco-friendly brand. “Ultimately, we want to ensure that whenever someone enjoys Tiny Tony’s, they’re making a positive contribution to the environment,” says Julia Wienk, sourcer at Tony’s Chocolonely.
Meanwhile, Sappi has unveiled plans to introduce new functional paper barrier coating technology at its speciality mill in Alfeld, Germany, expected to begin from mid-2022.
Standout solution for stand-up pouches
Tony’s Chocolonely initially packaged the Tiny Tony’s in cardboard boxes, but as demand increased, the brand sought stand-up pouches for duty-free outlets and supermarkets.
“The challenge was to find a paper that suited our requirements: a paper on which we could print with a similarly high quality and which would be strong enough to hold 20 Tiny Tony’s,” explains Wienk.
Furthermore, the new packaging solution had to meet fundamental requirements such as Tony’s Chocolonely’s strict sourcing policy. Functional properties such as heat-sealability were also essential.
In its search for the right paper-based product, the chocolate manufacturer was supported by two consulting partners: NOMI Co-Packing and Packaging Partners from the Netherlands.
NOMI Co-Packing, especially, was ideally positioned to offer insight from its direct experience with this type of stand-up pouch, also referred to as “doypack.”
The packaging consultants quickly identified Sappi as the ideal partner to produce the visually-appealing pouches – since the recyclable wrappings for Tony’s Chocolonely classic 180 g chocolate bars are made of Sappi’s 100 percent recycled, uncoated and certified paper.
Paper thickness challenges
Over eight months, Sappi closely supported the development process, providing the company with various paper samples in different grammages for testing.
Ultimately, Tony’s Chocolonely chose Guard Nature MS from Sappi’s paper-based and heat-sealable barrier-paper family for its strength, runnability and good printability.
“Finding the perfect paper-based substrate for packaging the Tiny Tony’s was a real challenge. For example, during the testing phase, some pouches tore open at the bottom,” recalls Kerstin Teichmann, market manager packaging solutions at Sappi Europe.
“Selecting the correct material thickness was, therefore, essential. Finally, we were able to narrow down the qualified substrates to Sappi Guard Nature MS with an 80 g/m² grammage.”
The first pouches developed by Tony’s Chocolonely used Sappi Guard Nature MS with a 95 g/m² grammage for the Tiny Tony’s US Halloween range and have been used ever since for this particular market.
Tony’s Chocolonely successfully tested another Sappi solution – Sappi Seal with a grammage of 67 g/m². The paper-based material features a high percentage of renewable sources and provides enhanced runnability and printability.
The chocolate manufacturer decided to permanently use the 67 g/m² option for the Tiny Tony’s product’s recently-launched retail pouches.
Sappi’s paper-based investments
In other Sappi news, the South African pulp and paper company is introducing new barrier coating technology for functional paper packaging at its specialty mill in Alfeld, Germany.
Explaining the decision, Berry Wiersum, CEO Sappi Europe said: “Expanding the use of our proprietary barrier coating technology underpins Sappi’s drive to maintain our leading position in barrier coated paper as well the commitment we have with our customers in developing innovative future-focused packaging solutions which contribute toward a sustainable future.”
The demand for paper and paperboard packaging continues to rise “dramatically” as consumers become increasingly mindful of the impact their buying choices have on the environment, Sappi indicates.
Sappi’s 2017 acquisition of Rockwell Solutions has deepened the company’s barrier paper manufacturing knowledge. Adding barrier coater capacity at Alfeld Mill further upscales its capabilities, bringing the combination of paper, dispersion and coating technology to more customers.
Sappi expects to begin commissioning new products at its Alfeld Mill from mid-2022.
By Joshua Poole
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