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How Kellogg’s, Berry Global and Dow Solved a Packaging Dilemma

A cross-team collaboration successfully created new packaging for the Bear Naked granola brand, designed for recyclability and sustainable-barrier packaging.

Bear Naked
Bear Naked

Presenting at the Innovation Stage at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, Ashley Leidolf and Holly Dinnill of Dow, Shannon Moore of Kashi, and Paul Wolak of Berry Global explained how a cross-team collaboration between brand and suppliers made Bear Naked’s packaging more recyclable and sustainable.

When the brand was launched in 2002, Bear Naked chose not to use bag-in-box, becoming the first granola brand to be offered in a pouch. Sustainability was important to the brand owners, so the packaging changed from 2008 to 2018 and was offered in a Terracycle pouch – it was the #1 selling brand with 500,000 units recycled.

Shannon Moore, Lead Packaging Engineer at Kashi, said that a few years ago the brand owner came to her and asked what it would take to “go beyond” Terracycle and get to curbside or store-drop recycling. Because recycling is also important to the brand’s consumers (most of whom are under the age of 40), Moore said that the number one customer comment has been “How do I recycle this bag?”

When the decision was made to change to a more sustainable packaging, Moore said the brand wanted to keep the same look for the consumers, so it was important to maintain the production speed and clarity of the package to keep the print enhancements such as surface matte. The brand was having trouble finding a good solution for a hermetically sealed bag, which is necessary due to the number of whole nuts and dried fruit in the product. Kellogg and Dow already had a partnership in place, so Moore engaged the internal team to find a solution by working with Dow, and she said the project was able to move forward more quickly by working together as a team. “The first thing we did as a team,” said Moore, is walk them through our entire manufacturing network, to see how we operated, so that each supplier could work together.”

Paul Wolak, Senior Technical Director at Berry Global said that when working on the project and taking shelf life into consideration – “we focused on how to deliver a better moisture barrier and better oxygen barrier as a starting place.” The team landed on a mono-material recycle-ready 9-layer structure that satisfied all of the necessary properties.

Said Holly Dinnill, Marketing Director at Dow and the moderator of the presentation, “What we’ve created here as a team is really a multi value-chain effort to create a package that can be fully recyclable and be used with cases that need barrier.”

The brand is on a mission from the top down to comply with 2025 recyclability goals and is now 6 years ahead of schedule to comply. To learn more about the How2Recycle program, click here. To see a previous Show Daily article about this packaging, click here.

Make plans to visit PACK EXPO East in Philadelphia, March 3-5, to see on-trend packaging machinery and materials, and sustainable solutions.

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