US and Portugal based, kencko, has chosen renewable and compostable NatureFlex™ films to use within its sachet packaging for freeze-dried smoothie mixes.
With a passion for foodtech, sustainability, and wellness, Founder and CEO of kencko, Tomás Froes, developed the first iteration of the smoothie mix after being diagnosed with acute gastritis, and looking for a convenient and affordable way to carry healthy fruits and vegetables with him at all times. With social responsibility and sustainability in mind, Tomás and his co-founder, Ricardo Vice Santos are offering something unique to consumers by providing kencko’s convenient, nutritious, low-waste smoothies as a monthly subscription service, supported by free nutrition coaching.
They have matched their unique product with compostable packaging. The kencko sachet, manufactured by sustainable packaging converter Bio4Pack, includes a layer of NatureFlex from Futamura, laminated to another biofilm. NatureFlex™ films are produced from sustainable wood pulp harvested from responsibly managed plantations and are certified to both EU (EN13432) and US (ASTM D6400) composting standards. In addition to industrial composting, NatureFlex has also reached the TŰV Austria OK Compost Home standard required for backyard composting. NatureFlex offers an excellent barrier to aroma, gas, and moisture.
The final pack is currently certified for industrial composting. However, as they strive to continuously improve and offer a better product for the consumer and the planet, kencko and its suppliers are working together to produce a home compostable sachet soon.
Patrick Gerritsen, Founder & CEO of Bio4Pack said, ‘It’s a privilege working with a company such as kencko. In 3 years’ time we have grown from scratch to the numbers we have nowadays. We are constantly in the process of optimising our product portfolio: mainly thanks to kencko, we will invest in a new laminating machine to realise a certified home compostable multilayer film.’
Lucy Greeves, Director of Brand at kencko said, ‘As a Certified B Corporation1, it is really important to us to make sure that not only our product is ethical and sustainable, but the packaging is too. NatureFlex was the obvious sustainable packaging choice for us; it’s a functional and viable alternative to conventional plastic film.’
The fruits and vegetables used in the powders are freeze dried to preserve nutrients. By doing this, kencko has tackled two problems in one go. The resulting powder, having had all water removed, is much lighter and logistically easier to transport. At the same time, it reduces the risk of spoilage compared to fresh produce. Americans throw away an estimated 58,500 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables every day2 – equivalent to 130 fully loaded jumbo jets3. Per person, that’s 164g of waste per day – about the same amount of produce that’s saved by one kencko smoothie.
Due to the inherent properties of the freeze-dried powders, they are extremely hydrophilic. It is, therefore, essential that the packaging protects the product from moisture. The biolaminate sachet keeps the product dry and safe from contamination, whilst also having a compostable, environmentally responsible end of life solution.
Kencko smoothies are available on a subscription basis throughout the US and Europe and the company hopes to reach the UK market soon.
1. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
2. Conrad Z, Niles MT, Neher DA, Roy ED, Tichenor NE, Jahns L (2018) Relationship between food waste, diet quality, and environmental sustainability. PLoS ONE 13(4): e0195405.
3. Ave max take-off weight of Boeing 747 is at least 400,000 kilos or 440 tons. 58,500 tons of wasted F&V = 132.7 jumbo jets