Leading instant hot snack brand Pot Noodle has started trialling a new recyclable paper pot, made with FSC-certified paper, in the UK.
Launched at Tesco, with an initial stock of 500,000 of the brand’s most popular flavour, Chicken & Mushroom, the new design marks the biggest innovation in its packaging since the brand launched over 40 years ago.
The brand aims to switch the full Pot Noodle range to paper pots if the shopper feedback is positive during the trial. The move could remove 4,000 tonnes of virgin plastic each year.
“Pot Noodle has been a much-loved British brand for over 40 years, and while our great taste will never change, we’re always challenging ways to make our products and packaging better,” Andre Burger, General Manager Foods (Nutrition) at Unilever UK & Ireland, said.
“From material development and testing through to new manufacturing processes and capabilities, big packaging innovations require the investment of time and expertise across many teams and partners. There have been plenty of challenges along the way, but we are committed to reducing the plastic in our packaging and to a paper-based future for our pots, without compromising on the Pot Noodle experience our shoppers know and love. We are now excited to learn from this initial trial with the ambition of bringing our paper pots to more shoppers across the UK soon.”
The innovation process to develop and refine the paper pot – which took over three years – was led by the R&D teams at Hive, Unilever’s Global Foods Innovation Centre in the Netherlands, working closely with packaging experts in the UK.
The new pots can be recycled at home with other cardboard and paper and include on-pack recycling labels to provide clear guidance to UK shoppers on how to dispose of the packaging. A single layer of ultra-thin plastic film is used to provide barrier protection, which ensures ingredients remain fresh and protects the paper when water is added but doesn’t inhibit the recyclability of the pot.