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McDonald’s wraps its burgers all across Europe in paper made in Austria

August 25, 2016

In cooperation with fast-food chain McDonald’s, the Delfort Corporation with headquarters located in Traun (Linz-Land, Austria) has developed a wax-free paper to wrap burgers.

More than six billion burgers are consumed annually in European fast-food chains, the majority sold by market leader McDonald’s. In order to ensure high quality and consistent texture from preparation till consumption and to make sure the wrapping does not stick to the burger, the paper is usually coated. Up until now wax was commonly used. The Delfort group has succeeded in developing a new, environmentally-friendly coating using soy to replace the wax. This innovation piqued Mc Donald’s interest and the fast-food chain now wraps its burgers throughout Europe exclusively in paper made in Traun. “We developed and tested the product in cooperation with McDonald’s over three years. At the beginning of 2016 the first countries introduced the new wrapping; now one country after the other is starting to use the new paper,” says Christoph Wachter, CEO of Delfort Traun. With this step, the family company is now McDonald’s exclusive supplier for burger wrapping paper in Europe. There is also strong interest in the innovative product in the USA. “The US/American market is four times bigger than the European market,” says Wachter. 

€ 40 Million Investment

The soy-coated paper is recyclable and compostable, explains Nadja Rinder, head of development in Traun. “If you threw the wrapping out in your backyard, it would decompose within three weeks.”  Regular wrapping paper would still be lying there 100 years from now. By using soy instead of wax, McDonald’s also cuts its consumption of crude oil by 1.1 million liters. To compare: a car could drive around the world 450 times with that amount of energy. For the production site in Traun, also known as Dr.-Franz-Feuerstein GmbH, this business signifies an enormous boost. Within the next three to five years, production is planned to increase from 76,000 tons to 91,000 tons. Wachter says: “There is a big market for our product and we are going to succeed!”

This will be realized with an investment of € 40 million. The production site will be expanded to accommodate an additional coating machine. Preparations are already in full swing. Next spring production will have to be stopped for three weeks in order to complete the construction. By May the new production plant will be put into operation. The Delfort group, which is the result of Trierenberg’s split-up, also wants to substitute aluminum, polyethylene and fluorochemical coatings of packaging paper with environmentally-friendly materials. Together with McDonald’s the corporation is also developing  fluorine-free packaging for french fries. This technology can also be used in candy wrapping and cigarette paper, which is one of Delfort’s core businesses. 

From OÖ Nachrichte, August 19, 2016