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Mars Wrigley UK trials Cocoa Cardboard with Tesco

Packaging Solutions

Mars Wrigley UK has announced the second stage of its pilot with Tesco trialling a new display made from waste cocoa bean shells and recycled paper, which marks a global first for the confectionery category. The material has been created in collaboration with sustainability innovation partner Medoola and unit conversion by Kolorcraft through TMS.


The new material, named Cocoa Cardboard, is a corrugated cardboard fibre made from cocoa bean shells and recycled paper, eliminating the need for virgin tree fibres in the production process. The units perform as well as those made from other virgin fibre based materials and based on a full lifecycle assessment (LCA), deliver a 94% reduction in land use, 59% reduction in water use and 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions versus conventional cardboard. The material is also fully recyclable through normal channels. 


The pilot follows the successful trial of 1200 solid board display units, also made from waste cocoa bean shells and recycled paper – with Tesco in 2021. Since the trial ended, learnings have been taken to develop this new alternative to conventional corrugated board. 


Adam Grant, UK general manager, Mars Wrigley, commented: ‘Cocoa Cardboard represents the next stage in our commitment to reach net zero by 2050 and reduce our green house gas emissions. We have a huge sustainability focus at Mars Wrigley, driven by our Sustainable in a Generation plan, and it extends into our manufacturing and supply chain, too. 


‘Our vision is to create a new display material that has all the benefits of cardboard but with enhanced credentials. The development of Cocoa Cardboard will enable us to drive the efficiency and effectiveness of display materials in a more circular way, benefiting our customer partners, consumers and the planet.’


Some 75 pairs of Cocoa Cardboard display units launch into Tesco stores in Scotland  from Monday 17 June 2024, with 690 pairs going into Tesco stores in England and Wales from Wednesday 3 July 2024. These will be branded with the Celebrations ‘Gift For Teacher’ promotion.


This Cocoa Cardboard trial is part of Mars’ broader efforts to socialise its commitments to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and become a net zero business by 2050, following the unveiling of its net zero roadmap at the end of last year. 



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