Fair Trade Chocolate, Sustainably Packaged

As secondary packaging for the “Tiny Tony’s” chocolate variations, the Dutch chocolate manufacturer Tony’s Chocolonely was looking for a heat-sealable paper-based solution. High print quality and high stability were required in equal measure.

The Dutch brand Tony’s Chocolonely produces and sells chocolate bars in strict compliance with Fairtrade principles and strictly rejects exploitative practices. However, the company, which was founded in 2005 by Dutch investigative journalists, has high standards not only in terms of production methods. Tony’s Chocolonely also has a clear idea of the material in which its products should be packaged. Foil should be avoided as a basic material. This also applied to the development of secondary packaging for the recently launched “Tiny Tony’s” portfolio extension: for retail distribution in various international markets, 20 small 9-gram chocolate bars each were to be secondary packaged in a stand-up pouch.

New stand-up pouches

“We started by packing the Tiny Tony’s in cardboard boxes, but as demand increased we also wanted to pack them in stand-up pouches for duty free outlets and in supermarkets,” says Julia Wienk, sourcer at Tony’s Chocolonely, describing the initial situation. The challenge, she says, was to find a paper that could be printed on with a similarly high quality – and that was strong enough to hold 20 “Tiny Tony’s.” Functional properties such as heat-sealability also had to be ensured.

In the search for the right paper-based material, the chocolate maker was assisted by two consulting partners: Nomi Co-Packing and Packaging Partners BV of the Netherlands. In turn, the packaging consultants chose Sappi as their partner for the production of the pouches. Over a period of eight months, Sappi closely followed the process. “ Finding the perfect paper-based substrate for packaging the ‘Tiny Tony’s’ was a real challenge,” recalls Kerstin Teichmann, Market Manager Packaging Solutions at Sappi Europe. For example, she says, some pouches tored open at the bottom during the test phase.

Sappi Guard Nature MS as the solution

“Finally, we were able to narrow down the qualified substrates to Sappi Guard Nature MS with a grammage of 80 g/m² as suitable.” Sappi’s heat-sealable Guard Nature MS paper is specifically tailored to the needs of the food industry, the company points out. The sustainable alternative to multilayer barrier films offers an integrated mineral oil barrier that keeps food safe. The packaging material can be recycled in the paper waste stream.

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