innovation This new range of pods should be released in France next spring
Nespresso launches compostable paper-based pods. Drawing. — ROMAIN DOUCELIN/SIPA
A new breakthrough for the environment. Nespresso, the subsidiary of the Swiss giant Nestlé in the cafe, launches into its turn in the race for compostable pods in response to its competitors who are trying to gain shares of this juicy market; by betting on the zero waste card. The brand represented by the American actor George Clooney will launch coffee pods. paper base that can be composted at any time. the house “first in France and Switzerland in 2023” and then in other markets in 2024” its managing director, Guillaume Le Cunff.
Like the capsules announced ten days ago by Nescafé Dolce Gusto – another brand from Nestlé – they are provided with a thin film of biopolymer, also compostable, in order to preserve the freshness of the coffee. At the helm of Nespresso since 2020, Guillaume Le Cunff specifies that these new capsules, which can be used on current machines, will not replace aluminum pods but will provide “ an alternative” coffee lovers who prefer to compost their pods rather than bring them back to the recycling point or to the shops.
“The objective, that’ ;is to give the choice”
“It’s a complement. The objective is to give the choice”, explains Guillaume Le Cunff, while specifying that this new capsule required three years of research. “We had to create coffees that work with this packaging. While the engineers worked on the packaging, our coffee experts were developing new coffees, working on roasting and grinding,” he recalls, pointing out that it’t took 28 prototypes before finding the solution.
Other brands have already launched in the composting, to like the American Keurig, which has developed a capsule made of polypropylene, a plastic that can be recycled in certain waste treatment points, and which is easy to dispose of. open to empty it and compost the coffee. The Swiss supermarket chain Migros has on its side unveiled in September pods without any packaging, in the shape of a ball, covered with a thin film of seaweed base. Compostable in the garden, however, they require a new machine. Migros has very strong ambitions for these compostable pods, launched in Switzerland but also in France, one of the largest Nespresso markets, before attacking the market next year. German.
To seduce consumers, Migros puts forward environmental arguments, claiming that traditional coffee pods generate around 100,000 tonnes of waste annually, many of which end up in 100,000 tons. the trash without being recycled. “Nespresso remains the leader in the coffee segment; portioned. However, there is more competition,” Jon Cox, analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux. With a turnover of 6.4 billion Swiss francs (an equivalent amount in euros) in 2021, Nespresso is the second largest coffee brand. in the world behind Nescafé, and the first in Western Europe, according to Euromonitor International.
“A small progress ;s”
Launched in 1986, Nespresso pods revolutionized coffee consumption in Europe by making it possible to prepare an express to residence. Its success had quickly fueled the the lusts and given; place at fierce battles in the courts to try to prevent the arrival of capsules compatible with its machines. If the competition was then made on price, environmental organizations are watching this new battle over compostable products with caution.
For Florian Kasser, consumption and circular economy expert at Greenpeace Switzerland, compostable alternatives are “a small step forward”. But “the problem with these innovations is that they give the impression that you can drink coffee from anywhere. without any environmental problems,' he argued. because like meat or dairy products, coffee is one of the foodstuffs that have “a very bad ecological footprint” which one should rather seek “””””” reduce consumption”.
Larissa Copello, consumer manager at NGO Zero Waste (Zero waste), also fears that “consumers will infer wrong that if “it composts in my garden, it may also degrade in nature”” with the risk of wild litter, she warns. With the launch of these new capsules, Nespresso will create an interest group called Union of Compostable Actors, bringing together public bodies, companies, NGOs and waste collection operators to raise consumer awareness about composting, wanted to specify its managing director.