BRAZIL – Nestlé has invested more than EUR50m (US$51.43m) in its factory in Montes Claros in Brazil, to enable the company to build capacity that will help in the manufacturing of new pods for the Neo system.

The Swiss multinational conglomerate has launched Nescafé Dolce Gusto Neo – a new at-home coffee machine that uses paper-based and home-compostable coffee pods.

The Nescafé Dolce Gusto Neo machine is made from 50% recycled plastic (in non-food contact parts) and the thermal heating element contains 85% recycled aluminum.

Julia Lauricella, the group’s head of global R&D for systems and coffee machines, said the company had designed Neo to have ten years of “repairability” and had included features such as an eco-switch offsetting to make the device more sustainable.

Among the other new features of Neo is Nestlé’s patented SmartBrew technology, which enables the machine to read the code printed on the lid of each pod and adjust its settings accordingly.

The technology also enables the machine to automatically recognizes the pod, adapting the brewing method to each selected coffee.

The company’s proprietary SmartBrew technology combines three brewing methods for espressos, coffeeshop-like americanos, and drip-style coffees, in one single machine, at the touch of a button.

The machine can also be controlled and the user experience customized via the Neo smartphone app, which enables users to adjust the temperature and serving size of their coffee.

The app also links automatically with Nescafé Dolce Gusto’s loyalty program and online troubleshooting services.

Arnaud Deschamps, head of Nescafé Dolce Gusto, said: “In a time of rapid change, we see increasing expectations about coffee variety, versatility, personalization, and sustainability, with no compromise on quality and taste.”

“Every aspect of Neo has been carefully considered – the machine technology, the user interface, the coffee, and our first home-compostable paper-based pods.”

According to Nestlé, Neo’s paper-based pods are certified for composting, both home and industrial, by TÜV Austria, an international certification body.

They are made from 1g of paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) suppliers with a compostable biopolymer lining – thinner than human hair – to help protect Nescafé Dolce Gusto’s Neo coffee quality and freshness from oxidation, the company added.

The pods decompose within three months in industrial compost settings and within six months when composted at home.

In addition, the Nestlé first, Neo’s new range of coffee pods are paper-based, home compostable, and use 70% less packaging (by weight) than current capsules.

The Nescafé coffee brand owner noted the new Neo system will be launched in Brazil next month at an SRP of EUR179 (US$170), with the paper-based pods costing around EUR0.50 each.

Nestlé also has plans to roll out the machine and pods to other unspecified markets in the future.

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