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Brief Published: 5 Sep 2019

KitKat Japan’s Origami Packaging Reduces Plastic


To reduce plastic waste, Nestlé Japan is replacing its plastic KitKat wrappers with a paper version that can be reused for origami or writing messages. To encourage this outcome, the updated packaging will come with instructions on how to make an origami paper crane.

The water-resistant paper is fully recyclable and has been certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

Proving that small changes can make a big impact, the initiative is predicted to save around 380 tonnes of plastic packaging annually, reports food and drink website FoodNavigator-Asia. Validating this optimistic stance, UK newspaper The Independent says that Japan boasts the largest market for KitKat chocolates worldwide, with four million KitKat Minis sold daily.

This packaging solution is applicable to a variety of categories, particularly beauty and personal care, and its second-life functionality will win scores of fans. See Packaging Futures 19/20: The Human-Centric Approach for more on this design strategy.

Meanwhile, from a product innovation perspective, Nestlé Japan is on a roll: it recently unveiled the world's first chocolate bar made using no added refined sugars. It has also launched its popular Green Tea Matcha KitKat in the UK. This savvy distribution move reflects the wider global trend of flavour migration that is reshaping worldwide palates.

We are seeing more exotic, ethnic and spicier taste sensations strike global appeal. See Gen Z Rewrites Food Culture for more on this development.