Candy Industry Senior Editor Liz Parker recently connected with Lance Stier, head of M&A, business development, strategy, Nassau Candy, about its sustainability initiatives. 


Liz Parker: Can you talk about Nassau Candy’s new sustainability packaging initiative?

Lance Stier: We’ve been seeing an ever-increasing demand from consumers and in turn our customers for everything sustainable—from ingredients to packaging. This is coming from both everyday customers and private-label clients.

The area we’re experiencing the highest demand is within the travel, amusement park, zoo, aquarium, and hotel space. With a lot of travel destinations linked to the natural surroundings like beaches and national parks or helping to protect animals like zoos and sea life like aquariums, preserving natural resources is important. Sustainable packaging then becomes essential as it helps to conserve resources and reduce pollution.

That’s why our travel, resort and thematic confectionery, chocolate, and snack products brand, AmuseMints, is the first space where we will be introducing compostable Eco-Bags peg bags with a phased rollout for Nassau Candy’s in-house brands like Clever Candy.

We also will start to phase in 100% post-consumer waste recycled tubs for our in-house brands like Nancy Adams and Clever Candy. These same packaging options will be available to our private-label accounts as well.


LP: How will some of Nassau’s in-house manufactured and imported items’ packaging change as part of the initiative?

LS: From first glance, you won’t notice the change in packaging. We worked with suppliers to select materials that would give the same feel of a traditional plastic peg bag and tub, while offering all the benefits of a sustainable product. 

The initial rollout under our AmuseMints brand will be our Eco-Bags, an assortment of home compostable peg bags of chocolate, gummies and trail mixes featuring location-specific artwork. This launch is in partnership with a leading experiential retailer. They will be stocking the Eco-Bags in all the locations they manage.

For our successful Nancy Adams chocolate and Clever Candy gummy tub programs, we will be replacing our current plastic tubs with tubs made from 100% post-consumer PET plastic. ]This change will be more of a rolling change as we will be replacing our current stock of tubs with the new 100% recycled PET tubs. 


LP: Can you talk about the compostable peg bags / tubs to which Nassau is transitioning some of its items?

LS: It was important to us that our peg bags be a material that is easy to be sustainable. We didn’t want consumers to have to bring the bags to a municipal compost. That’s why the bags for our Eco-Bags program are made from a bio-based material that’s 100% home compostable. The inks used on our compostable bags is water-based, which reduces the obstacles to home composting.

Our new tub packaging uses 100% post-consumer recycled PET material, including the shrink band that seals the tubs. The tubs are made from some of the first-ever rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) food packaging made from 100% post-consumer, curbside-collected PET plastic.

Not only are the tubs recyclable, they can be recycled again, helping to conserve future resources. The tubs are curbside recyclable in areas where thermoform containers (aka number one plastics) are collected.


LP: For confectionery manufacturers, what other sustainable food safe packaging is available right now?

LS: In addition to the plastic options we mentioned, there are more sustainable paper packaging options too. There’s straightforward paper packaging that has a higher amount of post-consumer waste. We’re exploring that option currently for our in-house brands.

There are also other renewable paper products like hemp and bamboo paper that are used for packaging. These are options we’re looking to offer on the AmuseMints side of the business and have plans to expand to our in-house brands if successful.