The food company is testing whether selling without packaging is a future model now in Switzerland. The pilot project is running on soluble coffee under the “Nescafé” brand and pet food under the “Purina ONE” brand.
Switzerland is the first market for the Nestlé Group where previously packaged products, such as soluble coffee, are now offered unpackaged for self-bottling. In mid-May 2020, it was possible to sell them without packaging in three Nestlé shops in Switzerland, in Rorschach, Orbe and La Tour-de-Peilz. The system is to be extended to 15 Nestlé shops in the course of the year.
According to the company, intelligent technology integrated into the store shelves allows consumers to fill products safely and hygienically and to reuse their own containers. In the pilot project, Nescafé soluble coffee and Purina ONE pet food are available in bulk.
No physical contact
The dispensers built into so-called “smart shelves” are designed to ensure product quality and hygiene thanks to a sealing process. Nestlé stresses that neither employees nor customers come into physical contact with the products during filling and bottling. Furthermore, the products are always protected from environmental influences. Information on nutritional value or shelf-life can be digitally retrieved using QR codes on the sales label. The project is part of the company’s sustainability strategy.
One of its aims is to develop packaging-free solutions and make all packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. In addition to greater sustainability, the system should also enable a “more individual product selection”. Consumers can choose between different product variants, which can be filled in any quantity according to their needs. A short video provides an insight into the concept.