How might Nestlé strategize for the global expansion of its sustainability initiatives: marketing management Assignment, IIU, Malaysia

University INTI International University (IIU)
Subject Marketing management Assignment

In a bid to make its iconic KitKat chocolate bars and Quality Street chocolates more environmentally friendly, Nestlé has taken a significant step towards sustainable packaging. The company’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint is evident in these changes, which align with its broader goal of making 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. This article explores Nestlé’s recent packaging initiatives and their implications for the environment, consumers, and the company’s sustainability goals.

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One of the standout changes made by Nestlé is the transformation of Quality Street’s packaging. The double layer of foil and cellulose, previously used to wrap these beloved chocolates, has been replaced with an eco-friendlier paper wrap. This shift is expected to eliminate over three billion pieces of packaging from Nestlé’s supply chain, marking a significant reduction in waste and environmental impact. For KitKat, Nestlé is introducing wrappers made with 80% recycled plastic.

These innovative wrappers can be recycled at more than 5,000 supermarkets across the UK and through household recycling in Ireland. Nestlé proudly claims that KitKat will now feature “the highest proportion of recycled food-grade plastic of any major UK and Ireland confectionery brand.” This initiative not only contributes to reducing plastic waste but also encourages recycling at the consumer level. Nestlé’s recent packaging changes didn’t happen overnight.

They are the result of dedicated research and development efforts by packaging specialists at Nestlé’s confectionery R&D centre in York, UK. The journey involved multiple iterations and careful considerations to ensure that the new materials used for packaging meet safety and quality standards. One of the critical challenges in making these changes was ensuring that the packaging materials did not compromise the quality or safety of the products.

Nestlé’s innovative approach included the development of a vegetable-based coating for the paper used in Quality Street wrappers. This coating prevents any unwanted migration of substances from the product to the packaging. It’s important to note the distinction between the two initiatives. Quality Street’s new paper packaging is recyclable, while KitKat’s shift involves using recycled plastic. Currently, recycled paper cannot be used for food-grade packaging, making virgin paper a more suitable choice for Quality Street.

However, the KitKat initiative encourages consumers to recycle their wrappers, promoting the idea of recycling plastics at collection points in stores. These changes come with positive environmental outcomes. Nestlé conducted life-cycle assessments, demonstrating a reduced carbon footprint for both KitKat and Quality Street packaging. The new KitKat wrappers are expected to reduce the carbon footprint of two-finger packaging by approximately 20%. Quality Street’s new wrappers represent half the carbon footprint of the foil and cellulose wrappers they replace. Nestlé’s commitment to sustainability aligns with consumer preferences and industry trends.

Studies have shown that consumers are increasingly concerned about packaging, waste, and recycling. Making Quality Street widely recyclable makes it more relevant to environmentally conscious consumers. While there’s hope that these sustainability initiatives will attract new customers, it’s too early to gauge their full impact. Nestlé’s sustainability initiatives, including these packaging changes, have the potential for global expansion. Quality Street has one global production location, making it feasible for export markets.

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KitKat’s new wrappers are set to be adopted across Europe, reflecting Nestlé’s broader commitment to sustainability goals. As concerns about the cost-of-living rise, there is uncertainty about whether sustainability will remain a top priority for consumers. However, sustainable solutions need not be more expensive. They can provide better value and even save consumers money in the long run.

Nestlé’s unwavering commitment to sustainability ensures that these initiatives do not result in additional costs to consumers. Nestlé’s recent packaging initiatives for KitKat and Quality Street chocolates represent a significant stride toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. These changes not only reduce environmental impact but also align with consumer preferences for sustainable packaging solutions.

As Nestlé continues to innovate and invest in sustainability, it sets an example for the industry and demonstrates that environmental responsibility can go hand in hand with business success.

Answer the following questions based on the case study:

1. How might Nestlé strategize for the global expansion of its sustainability initiatives, particularly the packaging changes discussed in the case study Develop a comprehensive plan that considers potential challenges and opportunities across various international markets.

2. Based on the provided case study about Nestlé’s efforts to make KitKat more environmentally friendly through packaging changes, illustrates and analyse KitKat’s value chain in the context of sustainability and environmental impact. (make sure the value chain is drawn).

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