Nescafé Dolce Gusto brings barista experience home to consumers in compostable pods system
10 Nov 2022 --- Nescafé Dolce Gusto has rolled out a hot beverage machine concept pegged as a “coffee shop at home,” branded Neo. The system’s proprietary technology and home-compostable pods are dubbed the brand’s “most sustainable system to date.”
With the ability to connect the machine to a smartphone, consumers can personalize their coffee preparation at a distance.
Neo’s new range of coffee pods are paper-based, home compostable and use 70% less packaging by weight than current capsules, claims Nescafé.
The new proprietary and patented coffee system was refined over five years at Nestlé’s R&D Center for Systems in Switzerland. The company’s proprietary SmartBrew technology combines three brewing methods for espressos, coffeeshop-like americanos and drip-style coffees, in one single machine, at the touch of a button.
“In a time of rapid change, we see increasing expectations about coffee variety, versatility, personalization and sustainability, with no compromise on quality and taste,” says Arnaud Deschamps, head of Nescafé Dolce Gusto.
“Every aspect of Neo has been carefully considered – the machine technology, the user interface, the coffee and our first home-compostable paper-based pods.”
Neo automatically recognizes the pod, adapting the brewing method to each selected coffee.
Neo’s paper-based pods are certified for composting, both home and industrial, by TÜV Austria, an international certification body.
These new pods are made from 1 g of paper certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) suppliers with a compostable biopolymer lining – thinner than a human hair – to help protect coffee quality and freshness from oxidation.
“Whenever we develop a new system, we need to harmonize its three key elements for the perfect in-cup result: the product, its packaging and the machine,” says Julia Lauricella, head of Nescafé’s Global R&D Center for Systems and Coffee Machines.
“We carefully select the coffee, and together with the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, choose and design the packaging to protect it, and develop the machine to ensure the perfect synergy during extraction.”
The teams that created Neo tested over 200 novel material structures when crafting the paper-based pod. “Our proprietary SmartBrew system tunes the extraction parameters for each beverage, and you can even personalize your cup through the connected application,” explains Julia.
Nescafé Dolce Gusto's loyalty program offers rewards and personal recommendations adapted to the consumer’sconsumers profile each time a coffee is prepared.
The coffee machine itself is made of 50% recycled plastic (for non-food contact parts) with the thermoblock (which heats the water) made of 85% recycled aluminum. It is designed to be more convenient to dismantle and repair, with an A++ energy class rating, and a switch-off eco-mode.
Nescafé’s latest launch aligns with the broader industry activities of packaging suppliers rolling out new iterations of coffee capsules, as consumers grow more wary about their impact on the environment.
The brand recently partnered with LyondellBasell and Greiner Packaging to produce coffee capsules from polymers based on advanced recycled post-consumer material. These polymers, branded CirculenRevive, are made using a chemical recycling process that converts plastic waste into feedstock for new polymers using a mass balance approach.
Also, Gordon Street Coffee launched Nespresso-compatible home compostable capsules made of Solinatra, a biomaterial that breaks down as fast as a banana.
Among other moves to scale greener capsules, Greiner Packaging developed a solution made from compostable polymers to help consumers dispose of used coffee capsules in their own backyard. The company entered a bid for TÜV certification in Austria and Belgium, which would officially credit the solution as home compostable.
Expanding into new markets
Neo is launching in Brazil this year with plans to expand to more countries over time. The new paper-based capsules are entirely produced in Nescafé Dolce Gusto's factory in Montes Claros, Brazil.
Montes Claros is the first Nestlé factory to receive Nestlé's internal sustainability certification “Triple Zero” for three dimensions: water, waste creation and greenhouse gas emissions. Nestlé will invest more than CHF 50 million (R$300 million) in Brazil's Montes Claros factory to support the Neo launch.
Nestlé has already indicated plans to channel over one billion Swiss francs (US$1.01 billion) by 2030 into its Nescafé Plan 2030, which also comprises moves to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
By Benjamin Ferrer
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