Everyday Meals

Quality Street fans ‘very sad’ as brand announces change – ‘dreadful’

Lorraine compared to 'purple Quality Street' by Ben Shephard

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Quality Street is known for its huge tubs of colourful, foil-wrapped chocolates. All the sweets are nealtly covered in a shiny, plastic layer – but this won’t be the case for much longer. After 86 years of the multicoloured wrappers, Nestlé has announced it will be swapping them for recyclable paper in an environmentally conscious move. 

Nine of the 11 Quality Street sweets will move to paper-based packaging, which most local authorities collect. The orange crunch and green triangle will remain in foil wrappers as, traditionally, they have not had a plastic layer.

Nestlé hopes this will keep two billion wrappers a year out of landfill.

The new paper wrappers are covered with a specially created vegetable-based coating designed to keep the sweets fresh without hindering the recycling process.

The change will take several months to complete, therefore, this Christmas consumers will find a mix of old and new wrappers in their Quality Street tubs and tins.

Although this is a change that will hopefully greatly impact the environment in a positive way, some fans have shared how “sad” they feel that the foil wrappers will be no more.

Facebook user Dolly Aldis said: “That’s sad. We used to spend Christmas afternoon at my Nanna’s watching the black and white telly through the coloured cellophane and thinking it was a colour telly!! We had to make our own fun in those days.”

Babs Clegg commented: “Very sad. Grown up all my life with lovely colourful Quality Street. Over 80 years. Always make wrappers into cups or ships.”

Amanda Ryan added: “Why…my childhood at Christmas when mum and dad bought a tin…they always said, get your favourites quickly, before anyone else….favourite was the purple one, chocolate with caramel and a hazelnut.”

Twitter user Kim wrote: “Dreadful, miss the shiny wrappers. Looks too dull and boring now.”

Kira Morgana added: “Aww…great for the environment, but not so good for post xmas suncatcher crafts…ah well.”

Cheryl Allen, head of sustainability at Nestlé, revealed that it “wasn’t an easy decision” to change the sweets.

She added: “Quality Street is a brand that people feel very strongly about.

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“We know that opening the lid and seeing ‘the jewels’, as we call them, is really important. We think we’ve done a really good job with the redesign, and feel confident that people will respond positively.”

Chocolate historian Alex Hutchinson added: “It’s a huge deal. And it’s a bit sad.

“Because when Harold Mackintosh originally launched Quality Street he specifically designed it to be an explosion of colour, different flavours, different shapes. The wrapping was absolutely key.”

Nestlé also said it will be switching KitKat wrappers to 80 percent recycled plastic that can be recycled at supermarkets across the UK, or put in household recycling in Ireland.

The company said it hoped the changes would eliminate three billion pieces of packaging a year from its supply chain.

Helen Bird, from the government-backed recycling body Wrap, said: “Plastic wrappers are not yet collected by local authorities, but this is set to change in the coming years. 

“In the meantime, leading supermarkets are providing 5,000 collection points for all types of plastic bags and wrappers.

“We welcome these new initiatives from Nestlé, founding members of the UK Plastics Pact, to improve the recyclability of Quality Street and using advanced recycling technology to include recycled plastic into its KitKat packaging – something we need to significantly ramp up in the UK, and across the world. We look forward to further rollout.”

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