Erlanger, KY — Perfetti Van Melle USA, Inc. will offer its Mentos Pure Fresh Gum in recyclable paperboard bottle packaging in the U.S. market beginning in the first half of 2022. The company says the packaging builds on its commitment to environmental responsibility and comes in response to consumer demand for sustainable options.
“This is part of our social mission,” says Craig Cuchra, Perfetti Van Melle North America vice-president of marketing. “We recognize we have a social and an environmental responsibility and this fits in with that.” He adds that the company will continue to work toward offering more of its products in recyclable packaging.
According to Perfetti Van Melle, this is the first gum product from a major global confectioner in this packaging format, which is 90 percent paperboard and certified recyclable. “We understand that consumers are looking for this,” Cuchra says, pointing out that the pandemic has heightened awareness of sustainable products.
The packaging, which is debuting to the trade next week during the 2021 Sweets & Snacks Expo, will be an option for retailers, Cuchra says. “This is not a wholesale swap,” he confirms. “We understand that consumers are looking for this but we also know that it might not fit into every retailers’ strategic plan.”
While he wouldn’t disclose numbers, Cuchra says this packaging represents the largest investment the company has made to date in technology, adding the packs have been in development for at least a year. But he says Perfetti Van Melle has chosen not to pass on any of these costs to consumers, with 80-piece packs carrying an SRP of $4.99.
He tells Candy & Snack TODAY the launch will include a substantial investment in consumer advertising and outreach. “We understand there is an education component regarding the recyclability and how the package works,” he says. “This is new technology to us and to consumers and we want to see consumer and retailer acceptance.”
He adds that the messaging will also focus on the fact the packs are designed to maintain the quality of the product that consumers expect.
Perfetti Van Melle Chief Sustainability Officer Andrew Boyd states: “The new Mentos Pure Fresh paperboard bottle is an exciting step in our commitment to environmental responsibility. We will carefully monitor the consumer response to help guide ongoing packaging innovation and to deliver our plastics goals.”
Cuchra notes that while the packaging is debuting in the U.S., the company has plans to expand it into other global markets.
The bottles are made using technology specifically tailored for Mentos gum through a partnership with AR Packaging Systems AB, which developed the bottles specifically to ensure Mentos maintained its standards for product safety and freshness.
Cuchra tells Candy & Snack TODAY the graphics on the bottles illustrate how the packs open and close, as well as details on recycling and the how2recycle.info website address where consumers can go for further details. “Consumers can use their typical curbside services or local drop-off programs to recycle the containers,” he adds.