Enterprise Europe Network - Nederland

TR20220504008 – Dutch supplier of vending machines is looking for sustainable packaging for coffee and tea 

Short summary

The company wishes to distribute their coffee and tea products in a more sustainable packaging, taking quality and food safety guidelines into account. The company is offering 24/7 access to the best selection of tasty, high-quality and sustainable coffee and tea in combination with nutritious soft drinks and snacks. The company believes that people get more out of life if they eat and drink well. They offer a complete coffee experience with a focus on sustainable impact, quality and vitality.

Full description

The company has the ambition to offer a zero waste coffee and tea experience by 2025. In order to achieve this, they wish to make their packaging more sustainable. They aim: replace their current product packaging by a more sustainable/recyclable packaging without losing its barrier-properties and maintaining ease of use.


This innovation is needed as coffee and tea packages are residual waste. The products are packaged in a material of composite plastics and sometimes vapor-deposited aluminum. The company wishes a plastic free/non-disposable alternative for coffee and tea products. In this way they increase the potential to recycle a lot of packaging every year.



– Current material for packaging contains more layers and is hard to dispose correctly

– Requested high barrier attributes vs. aluminum- or other existing plastic coating alternatives, e.g. valve for degassing coffee, shelf-life extension iot prevent higher costs and waste

– Waste processors do not accept compostable alternatives

– Higher operating effort and inefficient waste processing costs for relatively small separate waste streams

– Higher prices and costs are difficult to push back in their higher volume markets

– The company is committed to reducing (single-use) plastic in the whole supply chain, therefore plastic solutions are not desirable

– Printing on packaging material is needed as packaging and printing is sometimes outsourced


This technology request is part of an innovation challenge and is published on an open innovation platform from 02/05/2022 and will close on 12/06/2022. If an organization does express interest in collaboration with this company before closing date, it will be guided through this open innovation platform and will be introduced to its moderator and the company’s experts. Mind that posts on this platform are not confidential.

Next step is that the company will select the SMEs with whom they would like to cooperate in the development of the solution.

Advantages and innovation

  • An exciting assignment in which you could help them become more sustainable and bring packaging into the world that makes hopefully not just them, but also their customers very happy.
  • A chance of making real impact with regards to sustainability due to high volumes: approx. 1,2 mio kg coffee and 30 mio tea bags a year. Currently none of their coffee and tea packaging can be recycled. You can help them work on this!
  • Eventually they might wish plastic free or non-disposable alternatives for the whole product assortment.
  • Exchange of knowledge
  • A possible long term business relationship with the CSR frontrunner in the Dutch coffee and tea market

Expected role of the partner: The Dutch company offers a commercial agreement with technical assistance to potential partners with knowledge of waste removal equipment within marine-, and water environments and network connections to ports, harbours, local government and/or other relevant organisations.

The partner will act as a distributor and will be responsible for sales and technical implementation, maintenance and client relations.

Technical Specification of Expertise sought:

  • Product development and innovation
  • Packaging development and technology
  • Material technology
  • Food technology
  • Packaging experts
  • Circular economy
  • Sustainability
  • Creative thinking

Type of partner:

The client expects a demonstrable sustainable material-/packaging solution which meets all their desired requirements and functionalities, without it losing barrier-properties such as food safety and quality of the product.

They have not found a suitable mono material yet. Can you help them find a new sustainable material that doesn’t contain plastics? They hereby invite all companies to think along with them for ideas on how to improve the packaging materials within the Dutch coffee and tea industry and internationally for their mother company. They would like to hear both mature as green ideas, all is welcome.

Targeted countries:

All countries


Contact for further information: Ellen@Horizonflevoland.nl

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