Historically, Heinz sauce bottles used a flexible silicone valve to deliver a consistent portion of sauce per squeeze, but this was -often challenging to recycle. Together with Berry Global Heinz has now switched to a mono-material cap, manufactured in PP. This means it meets requirements for recyclability.
The project has been eight years, 45 prototypes and more than 185,000 hours in development, to ensure the optimum balance between functionality and sustainability. Berry was involved through the design and production process, from concept to the creation of the series tools in Berry’s in-house tool shop, as well as the development of the assembly equipment for industrial production.
Heinz followed a rigorous testing procedure to make sure the cap met the highest quality standards. An extended consumer survey confirmed that the new concept would be well received by the public, as it dispenses the same perfect amount of sauce every time without affecting the squeezability.
In fact, the study found that the new cap design helps consumers squeeze more ketchup out of the bottle when it is nearly empty – a testament to Berry’s ability to look holistically at the overall solution to improve the cap’s performance alongside its recyclability.
The concept won Rigid Pack of the Year for Kraft Heinz at the 2023 UK Packaging Awards.
Matthias Hammersen, Sales Director – Food Market at Berry Global, commented: “Heinz set us the kind of challenge that suits us and our development departments best: to reconstruct the design of the cap to make it fully recyclable, without affecting the performance that millions of consumers know and love. We’re delighted that the finished result exceeds our initial expectations and actually improves the consumer experience.”
The caps are being rolled out UK-wide on 400ml and bigger top-down bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, including 50% Less Sugar and Salt varieties. In the future, the cap will also be rolled out across more of the Heinz sauces range in the U.K. and Europe.
Heinz claims the move to the recyclable cap will save a potential 300 million plastic lids from being sent to landfill every year globally.
Jojo de Noronha, President of Kraft Heinz Northern Europe, said: “We know our consumers care about their impact on the environment and so do we, which is why we’re delighted to see our innovative, more sustainable caps on Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottles across the UK. Although a small change, this makes it easy for the millions of Heinz lovers across the country to recycle their whole squeezy bottle at once – a small action with big potential for impact.”