Nestle Prepared Foods Company, Solon, Ohio, said its Stouffer's brand will adopt new paperboard packaging for "family" and "large family" size frozen multi-serve entrees.

"Our company is always searching for efficiencies and ways to reduce our impact on the environment," said Nestle Prepared Foods President & CEO Angelo Iantosca. "One area we've explored is converting CPET, or plastic, trays to paperboard. We tested paperboard packaging with the launch of our three Stouffer's Easy Express items earlier this year.

"Not only was the launch of the Easy Express line successful in delivering convenient, quality meals to moms in 20 minutes or less, but the tray material performed well, meeting our strict standards in the areas of product safety and quality. Based on that success, we've decided that we will use the paperboard tray across the Stouffer's family size business."

Iantosca notes that this is not the first change in packaging the company has made.

"We've been adapting tray and package sizes for several years. In fact, we've challenged our team to explore new materials and innovative packaging solutions with the aim of becoming the category leader in efficient packaging," he said.

Iantosca continues, "For example, we've 'right-sized' the CPET trays we continue to use, and in doing so, were able to make a modest change to the corresponding carton size. This in turn led to more efficient case and pallet configurations. The reductions in corrugate consumption, paperboard used in our cartons, CPET in our trays and PET in the film covering totaled 2,754 tons per year."

"But our improvements did not just impact packaging consumption," he continued. "Our packaging redesign, coupled with an initiative to optimize the number of cases we can fit onto a pallet, helped us reduce diesel fuel consumption by 206,443 gallons annually and wood pallet usage by 4.7 million pounds."