Danone and Nestlé Waters, the world’s two largest bottled water companies, have joined forces with Origin Materials, a startup based in Sacramento, California, to form the NaturALL Bottle Alliance. Together, the three partners aim to develop and launch at commercial scale a PET plastic bottle made from bio-based material (i.e. 100% sustainable and renewable resources). The project uses biomass feedstocks, such as previously used cardboard and sawdust, so it does not divert resources or land from food production for human or animal consumption. The technology represents a scientific breakthrough for the sector, and the Alliance aims to make it available to the entire food and beverage industry.
Teaming up to accelerate development of 100% bio-based bottles
For decades, both Nestlé Waters and Danone have been committed to sustainable business practices, notably by continuously improving their environmental performances and promoting the development of a circular economy. A large part of these efforts has focused on developing innovative packaging solutions that are recyclable and made with renewable resources, as well as the promotion of recycling. After identifying the unique approach of Origin Materials separately, the two companies decided to team up to accelerate development of this promising technology.
“Our goal is to establish a circular economy for packaging by sourcing sustainable materials and creating a second life for all plastics,” declared Frederic Jouin, head of R&D for plastic materials at Danone. “We believe it’s possible to replace traditional fossil materials with bio-based packaging materials. By teaming up and bringing together our complementary expertise and resources, the Alliance can move faster in developing 100% renewable and recyclable PET plastic at commercial scale.”
Danone and Nestlé Waters are providing expertise and teams, as well as financial support, to help Origin Materials make this technology available to the entire food and beverage industry in record time.
This next-generation PET will be as light in weight, transparent, recyclable and protective of the product as today’s PET, while being better for the planet. The exclusive use of renewable feedstocks which do not divert resources or land from food production is the Alliance’s main focus area. The R&D will focus initially on cardboard, sawdust and wood chips but other biomass materials, such as rice hulls, straw and agricultural residue could be explored.
“Current technology on the market makes it possible to have 30% bio-PET,” noted John Bissell, Chief Executive Officer of Origin Materials. “Our breakthrough technology aims to reach 100% bio-based bottles at commercial scale. With the help of our Alliance partners, Origin Materials will be able to scale up a technology which has already been proven at the pilot level.”
A packaging revolution for all
The NaturALL Bottle Alliance partners consider that everyone should benefit from this new material, so the technology will be accessible for the entire beverage industry. This unique approach demonstrates the allies’ commitment to open innovation and sustainable business.
“It’s incredible to think that, in the near future, the industry will be able to use a renewably sourced packaging material, which does not compete with food production and contributes to a better planet,” commented Klaus Hartwig, Head of R&D for Nestlé Waters. “It therefore made perfect sense for us to join forces through this Alliance to develop this innovative technology in a large scale and in the shortest time period possible. This is an exciting journey and we are proud to be part of it.”
A packaging revolution in record time
Origin Materials has already produced samples of 80% bio-based PET in its pilot plant in Sacramento. Construction of a “pioneer plant” will begin in 2017, with production of the first samples of 60+% bio-based PET to start in 2018. The initial volume goal for this first step is to bring 5,000 metric tons of bio-based PET to the market. Thanks to their complementary skills and shared vision, the NaturALL Bottle Alliance aims to develop the process for producing at least 75% bio-based PET plastic bottles at commercial scale as early as in 2020, scaling up to 95% in 2022. The partners will continue to conduct research to increase the level of bio-based content, with the objective of reaching 100%.
Source: Medium.com / Nestleusa.com
Best practices to remain sustainable in the Food Industry
Best Practices with Edible Insects Novel Food Law
Exporting food has an environmental cost so is it really impossible to remain sustainable while consuming it? What are the best practices then ?
My last interview with Risteco’s co-funder Isabelle Lacourt and Thanaphum Muang-Ieam, a Thai edible insects entrepreneur were edifying.
Environmental cost of international export, especially between different continents seem fundamentally not sustainable.
Eating bananas from Australia would generate about 1.4 ton of CO2 since planes pollute 3 times more than cars. Moreover, that would deprive local farmers of jobs. Furthermore, consuming exotic food would promote an irresponsible consumption way.
So, should we stop eating bananas ?
On the 26th of october a conference involving the European Commission and the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) evokating edible insects future legislation took place in Bangkok. This novel food law should enter into force by 2018 to make edible insects business legal into the European Union. According to the regulatory expert of the Public Federal Service of Public Health in Brussels, edible insects from Asia and other continents might be legalized if they respect specific conditions.
However, we can expect these Asiatic insects to be sold at a lower price than the european one. As a result, we could expect those bugs to be the main consumers choice in the coming years.
Then are edible insects still going to be a sustainable food?
“Exporting is not always a bad thing” Isabelle Lacourt, cofounder of Ritseco says . It actually depends on the conditions the products have been made through. For instance, lambs from New Zealand actually revealed that exported food was sometimes healthier than the french ones.
In Thailand firms dealing with edible insects prepare to get into the European Market. They plan to produce this future food by huge amount. Is that wrong?
“Producing at a high scale is necessary in order to be profitable otherwise it is too expensive” Thanaphum Muang-Ieam co-funder of Global Bugs, answers.
Therefore the best practices to remain sustainable are:
Increase your production to get into global markets
Reducing your crickets breeding space
Develop a local farmer learning and support model
Anticipate future sustainable development hurdles
” It is wrong to make huge firms based on a vertical integration process. We need to separate the different supply chain activities to reach a better quality food »Dr. Yupa Hanboonsong said.
« Mass production is never conducive to biodiversity » Isabelle Lacourt added. Indeed, single supplier, concentration & production cost’ permanent reduction work are not sustainable.
Promoting sustainable food is a great opportunity to provide billions of people with high quality food standards. It should not be seen only as a business opportunity. If business is the key point of any sustainable activities, long-term effects of any opportunist approach might lead to a poor food quality.
Discover my three months edible insects’ investigation and best practices here.
Sustainable food topic was an essential part of the 2016th SIAL edition. Organic, vegan, local products or food safety are topics that have been mostly evoked during the worldwide known food professional trade.
Here is the Top 5 of the Sustainable Food Topics at SIAL this year:
1. Edible insects
Containing a 75% protein value while its environmental cost is at least by 25 times lower than the traditional cattle one. Edible insects were probably the most interesting sustainable food example.
Micronutris is already offering various products lines like Getsharp for sportives or Microdelices for open-minded & healthy diets oriented people.
HPE ingredients made from snail include healing properties since they are offering enzymatic nutrients belonging efficient digestive & hypertension reduction properties.
Jimini’s offers youngsters fun dried crickets appetizers using an attractive packaging.
Containing a very high protein amount and anti-acne properties as well, Microalgae is an environmentally friendly superfood including 65% of proteins. Just like edible insects, microalgae might be able to feed large scale population in the following years.
Algama launched its « Springwave » beverage made from spirulina.
Foodalgues is a crowdfunding project aiming at developing a website raising awareness and sharing cooking recipes around this topic.
3. Vegetarian food
Stopping using food from animals origin by warranting a regular nutritive amount is the challenge we need to face in order to be able to feed more than 9 bilions people by 2050 without destroying the environment.
Lifefood is a vegan & raw nutrients based food avoiding traditional cooking methods that sometime take off vitamins from food.
Sojami uses lactofermentation for its tofu-based products. It is meanwhile healthier and more environmentally friendly.
CookedBy is offering its consumers the opportunity to keep eating through its new organic & vegetarian products line called « cuisine végétale bio ».
4. Sugar-free products
Sugar consumption is addictive, unhealthy and developing an unsustainable way to consume. More and more brands are developing today sugar-free products.
Milzu targets children whose usual breakfast cereals are mainly made up of 60% sugar. It developed an unique packaging. They don’t use sugar and prefer rye flour instead of industrial white one.
Apifruit is offering tasty natural fruits and sugar-free individual portions cooked with stamp in order to keep vitamins. A healthy snack for all kind of people.
Intermarché developed a « #sucresdetox » program including a package of 4 chocolate yogurts belonging different sugar portions. The aim is to make the consumer aware of the excessive sugar amount in dairy products and encourage him to get use to lower-sugar products taste.
5. Sustainable production
Traditional and local productions methods are highly valuable in the environmentally friendly food business trend. We met firms making their own production more sustainable.
Naturelo familial firm is providing businesses and end-users with gluten-free corn and chickpeas flours. They recently created a sustainable technological method using 80% less water than traditional corn flours. They are currently working at using the same technological process with the other flours they produce.
RemedWay is an Estonian family business using the same traditional production ways since 23 years using only olive oil, honey instead of sugar and buckwheat flour to offer gluten-free products. Nutrients are vegan, locals and don’t have any preservatives.
If healthy and environmentally friendly food businesses initiatives were great to discover, too few of them were focusing on Food Waste.
About a third of the food we eat goes to waste, amounting to nearly 1.3 billion tons per year globally.
Representing an estimated cost of nearly $1 trillion. The situation is ethically and economically unacceptable, and pressure is mounting for the food sector to tackle the issue. While retailers consider waste as a fact of life, the truth is that waste is often the result of choices being made. By managing the right balance between waste, on-shelf product freshness and availability, retailers can and should control waste. They can also drive efficiency and improve profits while increasing customer’s satisfaction with fresh categories, according to a recent study. However, eliminating waste entirely is not an option anymore. Even if achieving zero waste would be unrealistic; it would require a dramatic reduction in the availability of products and place, and it will also limit the consumers’ choices. That said, the opportunity to cut waste is very significant. If pursued wisely and it could result in a huge upside for producers, retailers and consumers. That is why some solutions like byproduct are conceivables.
Coproduct/byproduct: solutions to reduce the waste
What is a coproduct? What does it mean? According to the Business Dictionary “Product manufactured along with a different product, in a process in which both are required in the production of another product. In comparison, a by-product is usually an undesirable product”.
In other words, a coproduct is a material, intentional and unavoidable, created during the same manufacturing process and at the same time as the main product. The final product and coproduct must both respect specifications and technical characteristics. At the end of the process, each is capable of being used directly for a particular purpose.
On the other hand, the definition of a byproduct is: “Output other than the principal product(s) of an industrial process, such as sawdust or woodchips generated in processing lumber. Unlike joint-products, byproducts have low value in comparison with the principal product(s) and may be discarded or sold either in their original state, or after further processing.”
A byproduct is a secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction.
Resources with a high value
USA – Coproduct: Seeds with ethanol
When processors use the starch in corn to produce ethanol, they turn about one-third of their processed corn volume into coproducts that contain protein, fat and fiber.
As ethanol production surged between 2000 and 2010, the supply of distillers grains and other ethanol coproducts soared. Feed manufacturers and animal producers reformulated rations, which had relied heavily on corn and soybean meal, to use the ingredients. Exports of dried distillers grains with soluble (DDGS) jumped from 1 million tons in 2006 to more than 11 million tons in 2014, says the U.S. Grains Council.
Byproduct: Vegetables transforming into pet food
In the sector of fruits & vegetables, coproduct recovery is also running for a few years. The tomato industry, 2nd most important worldwide production after the potato, generates a lot of recyclable waste: pomace, peels, and seeds. Their main way of recovery is the drying and / or silage to reduce their water content. Thus they can be used in the feeding of ruminants and pigs, but also in composting, spreading and industrial application after extraction of nutritionally noble ingredients (lycopene and carotenoids). Generally the fruits & vegetables industry recovered 3/4 of their animal to the pet food.
Byproduct: Cotton becomes packaging or wall paper
Some parts of the cotton plant that would otherwise be considered trash have novel uses. Ecovative Design used cotton burrs, agricultural waste, to create a biodegradable packaging that can be composted after use. The Hydromulch which helps control soil erosion is also made from by-products of the ginning process. Cotton byproducts are in everything from ice cream to wall paper, from hot dog casings to baseballs—not to mention lots of things we use at home, like cotton swabs, wipes, and even disposable diapers.
Examples of byproduct and coproduct valuation are everywhere (See also ugly fruits). This process is primordial for the companies to increase their turnover because it reduces significantly the looses. Moreover it is really important for the environment and the footprint. Consumers have to take care of it and realize that the product recovery is the future.
Sources: Business Dictionary / Food-development / Brinknews / Iowafarmertoday / cottontoday
Green laundry detergents are not a market niche
P&G launched Tide Purclean a green laundry detergent who has a bio based formula. The product was launched in May for the only US market. The company claims a same cleaning effect of the non-bio formula. It has been certified as USDA Certified Biobased label. Moreover, following the product initial success a new scent will soon be launched.
“A biobased detergent excludes fuels, heating oil or electricity produced from biomass”
Today the most used detergents on the market use a consistent amount of petroleum and chemical ingredients. Those products without usage of proper filtration systems, such as Acquafresco technology, pollute irreparably the world water supply. Biobased products instead help us reduce our consumption of petroleum by focusing instead on renewable resources.
Tide Purclean is a green detergent. It is produced using 100% renewable energy and in a zero waste manufacturing facility. The bottle is completely recyclable. It is formulated to perform in cold water conditions to help save energy and is designed free of dyes, chlorine, phosphates or optical brighteners.
This green laundry detergent is the leading one in the bio-based segment and currently the most sustainable laundry detergent out in the market. However, is only 65% bio based. This means that still 35% of the ingredients come from petroleum and chemicals added in the formula. P&G has made a big step in the right direction but still a lot can be made by creating a detergent without any pollutants.
“Finally an environmentally friendly detergent that works” (Amazon customer)
There are already several companies moving towards the creation of a natural detergent. Green laundry detergents is a very fast-growing niche, driven by more and more sustainable consumers. However, still lots of investments need to be done in order to discover the right formula that will guarantee a better sustainable footprint together with an outstanding cleaning effect.
Special occasions provide brands an opportunity to innovate and drive incredible sales performance.
In the increasingly saturated markets, brand need to differentiate. Therefore in this context, seasonal packaging is highly effective: The launch of a limited edition packaging can ensure a sales increase around +30% based on shopper insights.
Although democratized it can be efficient as it allows brands to reaffirm their iconic status, especially with private labels, which are lately losing speed. For business, limited edition could also be an important ammo during the negotiation with the retailer, allowing exclusivity in store.
Bringing a seasonal packaging to brands, whatever the level range; increase its visibility and encourage impulse buying; and create a bond with the consumer. All relayed by a launching device, via the media, press relations and social networks.
Technology Integration: Customization, connectivity, scalability and 3D
Support of technologies such as augmented reality (using a 3D environment), RFID (See our top 15 digital innovations) or flash code, interactivity between the connected consumer and the product can be assured. But not only, has this interaction also creates emotion and fun, including for children, a target that does not neglect the mass-market brands.
This movement of connectivity include also the revolution initiated with the technique of digital printing, key for customization and connected paper, like the one developed by ArjoWiggins presented this year in Pack & Gift.
In contrast to this “digitally” seasonal packaging, another strong trend is emerging, the packaging narration: Here, the packaging is highlighted and subject of narration, enhancing designs and beautiful materials, The artworks setting finds here its true nature: “A beautiful object”. Not to mention the other trend of the moment, older but still alive: the collector’s pack, valuables, real investment and augmenting loyalty.
The naked packaging: Back to the roots
The idea is to purify the packaging, make it transparent to the extreme. The product’s content must be seen as shopper now want simplicity over density. The goal is to reveal the naturalness of the product, its freshness like Evian which gets the rid of Plastic Overwrap on their Pack.
“Why this return to the roots?” Perhaps for fear of packaging killing the packaging, say the experts. The risk of saturation is potential as packaging innovations became quite standardized.
Environmental and convenient packaging widely appreciated
Therefore two other trends emerged. The “green” packaging which is anti-waste or edible for wildlife like the six-pack rings, (made from wheat and barley) from the brewery Saltwater. Then the nomadic packaging, easy to open, resistant to transportation and smart like Cristaline and its latest packaging innovation the cap “snap click”.
Packaging will be your smartphone. It will carry the brand’s interactivity, with the store as a relay.