Last updateFri, 22 Sep 2023 3am

Focus on sustainability: chocolate start-up nucao is a pioneer in the use of primary chocolate packaging made of paper from Koehler Paper

Up-and-coming chocolate start-up packs products exclusively with sustainable packaging materials
Koehler NexPlus® Advanced" barrier paper innovation meets demand for sustainable primary packaging for the food industry
Change from plastic to paper packaging possible without major investment

The chocolate start-up nucao from Leipzig is sustainably turning the chocolate market upside down: founded in 2016, the company is now a pioneer for sustainable chocolate. Since the end of 2022, nucao has been the first chocolate manufacturer on the market to use primary packaging made of paper for its chocolate products "nucao fruits" and "nucao nuts". Koehler Paper's flexible packaging paper Koeh- ler NexPlus® Advanced has an excellent oxygen, mineral oil and fat barrier, which is necessary for direct contact with chocolate and nuts. With this step, nucao is addressing a key consumer demand for more sustainability and is also taking a pioneering role in the chocolate market with the packaging of its products.
Nucao focuses on sustainable products and sustainable packaging
nucao's products are vegan and made from organic ingredients and fair trade cocoa from organic farming, and they are also packaged in an environmentally friendly way. Every product sold also supports reforestation projects in Nepal and Madagascar. The B Corp-certified start-up donates 3% of its turnover to the reforestation partner Eden Reforestation Projects. So far, 14 million trees have already been planted. The young company is thus setting a new standard on the chocolate shelf.
On its mission to make chocolate as sustainable as possible, the start-up also relies on sustainable packaging solutions. Since the end of 2022, the new chocolate-covered fruits and nuts have been packed in flexible packaging paper from Koehler Paper. With its primary packaging made of 100% paper, nucao is the first provider in the chocolate market. Christoph Wachter, Division Manager of Flexible Packaging Papers at Koehler Paper, says: "We are delighted that nucao is relying on our innovative barrier paper for its chocolate-covered fruits and nuts. This makes nucao a pioneer in its market." At the end of September 2022, Koehler Paper presented the first mock-ups of a 100 g chocolate bar with the product innovation at the FachPack trade fair in Nuremberg.
Innovation Koehler NexPlus® Advanced sets new standards
At the beginning of 2021, Koehler Paper launched Koehler NexPlus® Seal, a secondary packaging that has since been used by numerous brand manufacturers. The latest innovation, Koehler NexPlus® Advanced, is the consistent further development of Koehler Paper's barrier concept to replace plastic as a packaging material where this makes sense. With its oxygen, mineral oil and grease barrier, Koehler NexPlus® Advanced is ideally suited for direct food contact. It has very good printability in gravure, flexo and digital printing, which is important for product communication to the end consumer. Compared to conventional plastic packaging, flexible paper packaging significantly reduces the carbon footprint and also provides a positive image transfer to the product and company brand.
The packaging of nucao "Fruits & Nuts" is made of 100% paper with Koehler NexPlus® Advanced and can be recycled after use. The recycling process for paper is well established in Europe, which is why multiple reuse of the paper fibre is guaranteed in terms of the circular economy.
Changeover to paper packaging possible without major investment for brand owners and packers
Consumers' desire for more sustainability in consumer goods is clear. According to studies and surveys, a majority of consumers in Europe prefer food whose packaging contains as little or no plastic as possible. Many also want to accept higher sales prices for this. Mathias Schwarz, Sustainable Packaging Engineer at nucao, says about the qualification process of Koehler NexPlus® Advanced for use at nucao: "We decided to use Koehler NexPlus® Advanced 75 g after extensive tests. In addition to product protection, which was assessed via storage tests with subsequent sensory evaluation, recyclability in the paper recycling stream was an important factor. It was also important for us that the environmental service provider Interseroh rated the product with 19 out of 20 points."
In most cases, brand manufacturers and packers do not have to reckon with significant investment costs when switching to recyclable paper packaging. Christoph Wachter adds: "It is often sufficient to adjust a few parameters on existing packaging machines, for example to optimise sealing tem- peratures or sealing times. But these are all measures that are manageable."



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