Kraft Sheds 150 Million Pounds From Products, Meets Packaging Goal 2 Years Early

Kraft Sheds 150 Million Pounds From Products, Meets Packaging Goal 2 Years Early

Cakesters - courtesy Kraft Foods

Kraft Foods has met its goal to reduce its packaging by 150 million pounds two years ahead of schedule with a variety of lightweighting and material replacement efforts.

In 2005, Kraft set its packaging goal, hoping to achieve it by 2011 along with other goals covering energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, waste creation and water use.

The company developed a tool, the Packaging Eco-Calculator, to help develop efficient and optimized packaging, and by 2008 Kraft had cut its packaging by 116 million pounds. A number of packaging redesigns in the last year helped put it over its goal.

Some of the packaging changes include:

  • Oscar Mayer Deli Creations packaging in the U.S. was redesigned with 30 percent less paperboard, making it smaller and taking up less shelf space. The change is expected to cut out 1.2 million pounds of paperboard a year.
  • The packaging for Oreo Cakesters was reduced by 12 percent and now uses 100 percent recycled paperboard.
  • Packaging layers were removed from Milka chocolate bars in Europe (a change that will also be used in Latin America), cutting the product's weight by 60 percent less weight and eliminating 5.7 million pounds of packaging a year.
  • A redesign of Kraft salad dressing bottles in Australia is expected to reduce their packaging by 100,000 pounds of plastic a year.
  • A redesign to the zipper on Kraft Natural Cheese bags has eliminated more than 1 million pounds of material a year.

In addition to reducing materials, Kraft has chosen different material for some products. In North America, the steel coffee cans for Maxwell House, Yuban and Nabob have been replaced with composite paperboard, which weights 30 percent less, contains 50 percent recycled content and reduces packaging needs by 8.5 million pounds a year. Kenco coffee in the U.K. is now being sold in refill bags, which use 97 percent less packaging by weight than previous glass jars.

Images courtesy Kraft Foods