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Chocolatier nucao bets on paper packaging

Switching from plastic packaging to paper packaging does not require any significant investment. Photo Group Koehler
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Oberkirch/Germany – Nucao, a chocolate start-up based in Leipzig, is betting on sustainable chocolate. Founded in 2016, nucao is the first chocolate manufacturer in the market to adopt paper primary packaging and has been using it for its “nucao fruit” and “nucao nut” chocolate products since the end of 2022.

Koehler Paper’s Koehler NexPlus Advanced flexible wrapping paper that nucao has chosen has a barrier against oxygen, mineral oil and grease, necessary for applications where there is direct contact with chocolate and nuts.

This shift to paper packaging allows nucao to meet key consumer demand for greater sustainability and lead the way in the chocolate market with the way it chooses to package its products, the company said in a statement. Press release.

Sustainable products and packaging

Nucao’s products are vegan and made from organic ingredients and fair trade and ecologically grown cocoa. Their packaging is also environmentally friendly. Each product sold helps support reforestation projects in Nepal and Madagascar. The start-up labeled B Corp donates 3% of its turnover to its reforestation partner Eden Reforestation Projects. 14 million trees have been planted to date.

His mission to make chocolate as sustainable as possible led him to choose sustainable packaging solutions. New chocolate-covered fruit and nut products have been packaged in Koehler Paper’s flexible wrapping paper since late 2022, making nucao the first supplier to the chocolate market to use paper-only primary packaging.

Christoph Wachter, Business Manager Flexible Packaging Paper at Koehler Paper, said: “We are delighted that nucao is relying on our innovative barrier paper for its chocolate covered fruit and nut products and that nucao is leading the way in its market. with that move.” Koehler Paper presented its first mock-ups for a 100g chocolate bar using its innovative new product at the FachPack trade show in Nuremberg, Germany in late September 2022.

Koehler NexPlus Advanced

In early 2021, Koehler Paper launched a new secondary packaging with Koehler NexPlus Seal on the market, which has since been used by many brand owners. Koehler’s latest innovation, NexPlus Advanced, is an evolution of Koehler Paper’s barrier concept, with the aim of replacing plastic as a packaging material, where available.

The oxygen, mineral oil and grease barrier of Koehler NexPlus Advanced makes it ideal for direct food contact. It also has good printing properties in gravure, flexography and digital printing, which is important when it comes to communicating the product with the end consumer. Compared to traditional plastic packaging, flexible paper packaging significantly reduces the carbon footprint and provides a positive image transfer to the product and company brand.

The Koehler NexPlus Advanced packaging used for nucao fruit and nuts means it is 100% made from paper and can be placed in paper recycling after use. The paper recycling process is well established in Europe, therefore the multiple reuse of paper fibers is guaranteed in compliance with the concept of circular economy.

Switch to paper packaging

Consumer demand for greater sustainability in consumer products is unequivocal. According to studies and surveys, the majority of consumers in Europe prefer to buy food in packaging with little or no plastic. Many of them are willing to pay a higher price for this privilege.

Mathias Schwarz, Sustainable Packaging Engineer at nucao, describes the qualification process followed by Koehler NexPlus Advanced for use at nucao as follows: “We decided on Koehler NexPlus Advanced 75g after extensive testing. In addition to product protection, which was assessed using storage tests followed by sensory analysis, the fact that the paper could be recycled in paper recycling was an important factor. Another important point for us was its score of 19 points out of a possible 20 from the environmental service provider Interseroh.

Brand manufacturers and packaging companies that want to switch to recyclable paper packaging often have to absorb significant investment costs. Christoph Wachter adds: “In many cases, it is sufficient to adjust a few parameters on existing packaging machines to optimize sealing temperatures or sealing times, for example. But these are all simple measures.

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