Dr Schär's Sustainable Packaging & Gluten-Free Innovations

Food Manufacturer Dr Schär aims to fully transition to recyclable, recycled or compostable packaging. Hannes Berger, Dr. Schär CEO, tells us more

It’s difficult to imagine modern life without the advantages of plastic, especially in food manufacturing. Even though plastic is a safe and efficient packaging material, it is causing significant environmental damage. As a result, food manufacturers are developing targets to reduce plastic waste. Dr Schär aims to make a 25% reduction in the use of plastic materials in product packaging, by the end of 2024. 

“Our objective for the future is to complete the transition to fully recyclable, recycled, or compostable packaging materials,” says Hannes Berger, Dr. Schär CEO. 


Plans to reduce overall plastic use in food manufacturing

Headquartered in Burgstall, Italy, the Dr Schär story began in 1922, with a dream to improve the lives of those with special nutritional needs, with dedication and ‘joie de vivre’. Now, Dr Schär runs 18 food manufacturing sites in 12 countries, with over 1,800 employees. 

The company also featured in our ‘Top 10 sustainable food manufacturers’, due to its use of certified palm oil, relentless work to make cocoa farming more sustainable and improving conditions for workers across the industry.

Read it here.

As an integral part of its sustainability strategy, Dr Schär is now reevaluating its plastic use.

“Packaging is paramount in our ongoing efforts to minimise our environmental impact. Our commitment involves a comprehensive approach to optimise packaging materials and adapt them for a more sustainable future,” says Berger. “In line with this vision, we are actively reassessing our use of plastics and exploring innovative packaging solutions.”

A significant milestone in Dr Schär’s journey occurred in 2021, when the company introduced the world's first gluten-free bread packaging crafted from certified circular plastic. 

“The packaging for Schär Panini Rolls now incorporates 46% recycled plastic derived from chemically recycled mixed post-consumer plastics,” says Berger. “Building on this success, one of our popular sliced breads, Master Baker (also known as Wholesome Loaf), underwent a recent innovation featuring new environmentally-friendly packaging.” 

By reducing the film and eliminating the tray, Dr Schär has achieved a remarkable 15% reduction in the overall plastic use for Dr Schär's packaging. 


Plans for the gluten-free sector

Dr Schär’s primary goal is to enhance the lives of people with coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity, by understanding their needs and facilitating their daily routines. 

“Through ongoing research and innovation, we strive to expand our product portfolio, meticulously crafted by a team of experienced dieticians and food technologists, to ensure nutritional balance and the highest sensory quality” says Berger. “Our commitment extends to preserving local culinary traditions and special, seasonal products.” 

In the pursuit of quality food manufacturing, Dr Schär promotes the use of premium ingredients, including lesser-known but nutritionally valuable, naturally gluten-free, minor crops such as millet, sorghum, oats and quinoa. 

“These grains offer an excellent gluten-free alternative and contribute to biodiversity, aligning with our mission to make a positive impact,” he adds. 


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