When Egypt’s largest dairy, Juhayna, started a campaign to show the benefits of packaged milk, it needed a package that could compete with loose milk on price and convenience, keep milk safe and fresh and be robust enough to stand long distribution journeys throughout Egypt. After choosing Tetra Fino Aseptic, Juhayna’s ambient white milk market has increased by 26 percent and the company has sold more than 894 million cartons.
In developing nations like Egypt, such shelf-stable aseptic cartons have become an increasingly vital option for the booming market of liquid dairy products (LDP). Tetra Pak research shows that global demand for LDP is set to surge by around 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, to an estimated 350 billion liters led by China and India.
“An increasing number of people in developing markets are switching from loose to packaged milk,” explains Charles Brand, vice president, Marketing and Product Management, Tetra Pak. He adds that sales are forecast to reach a tipping point in 2014 with around 55 percent of white milk sold in packages, and this is expected to climb further toward 70 percent by 2020.
To keep up with this demand, companies like Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and other beverage carton suppliers, are pushing their think tanks around the clock to come up with new innovations. In fact, at Anuga FoodTec, held in late March, Tetra Pak announced several new products.
Due for launch in the first quarter of 2013, for example, Tetra Rex Pearl moves away from the faceted shapes traditionally associated with cartons to a more curvaceous simplistic shape. The curved, droplet-shaped keyline creates an impactful side profile and defines the overall new look. In addition, the absence of a front horizontal crease line creates one large front panel which not only opens up new branding possibilities, but also affords the space for a large, premium-looking closure.
A growing demand for healthy products has been met by daily dose drinks, energy boosters and probiotics, a market which is expected to expand by 4 percent globally between 2011 and 2014. To meet this demand, Tetra Pak is launching Lokka, a new opening option for the Tetra Top Carton Shot in a convenient 100 ml package.
And following the successful launch of the Tetra Evero Aseptic, the world’s first aseptic carton bottle for white milk, Tetra Pak has pioneered another industry first by developing the additional functionality of a separable top. The Tetra Evero Aseptic Separable Top has a perforation in the cardboard that allows the separating of a polyethylene top from the carton sleeve, delivering improved environmental characteristics by making it easy for consumers to separate the top and carton sleeve and recycle them separately.
With the popularity of fresher, more healthful beverages continuing to increase, SIG Combibloc has been expanding the rollout of its drinksplus technology, which allows for juice or milk drinks containing real fruit pieces to be packaged in aseptic cartons. The first drinksplus products were launched in China, and the technology is now being rolled out to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Thailand.
The drinksplus products, containing up to 10 percent natural particulates, are filled using standard filling machines from SIG Combibloc for liquid dairy and non-carbonated soft drinks. Further advances in the drinksplus technology now make it possible to aseptically fill drinks with pieces of fruits and vegetables in carton packaging, as well as drinks containing coconut flakes, nuts or a wide variety of cereal grains. The individual particulates in drinksplus products can be up to six millimeters in length and width.
“When we started working on the drinksplus project, the focus was on the development of product concepts and the technical implementation of the system. We wanted solutions that comprise the product treatment and the process technology prior to filling, the filling and the downstream process,” says Norman Gierow, Global Market Segment Manager at SIG Combibloc. “The market launches to date are an indication of the global potential behind drinksplus. We’re very pleased with the enormous global interest in the system concept. Further trendy beverage creations are already poised to launch on the market.”