As a division of Spanish company La Seda de Barcelona (LSB), APPE produces PET pre-forms, bottles and containers, and announced this week the establishment of a dedicated company in Poland, APPE Polska, as well as the new facility costing over €15m, due to open later this year.
The company said the move would enable a more localised supply base for customers, and maximise new sales opportunities throughout Eastern Europe for local and multinational businesses.
APPE marketing manager, Kinza Sutton told BeverageDaily.com:“What we’re seeing is the expansion of the major brands. They’re seeing that Eastern Europe is a major market for them, and the market is becoming large enough now to warrant a dedicated facility out there.
“We’ve actually got two major contracts with multinational players that we’re not allowed to talk about at the moment. But we will soon.”
Soft drinks and waters
In terms of end product, Sutton said that waters and soft drinks were performing well on the Eastern European market, as was an "edible oil" product.
She added: “We really need a contract to move into an area, to make a factory investment worthwhile. From now on there will be heavy business development in the area [Eastern Europe], and we see many opportunities there.
“Not just in Poland, but the whole area. We see Poland as a step into the area, and hopefully just the start of a successful future there.We’re currently seeing quite a lot of enquiries coming through from Russia, for instance.”
As consumers in Eastern Europe became more affluent they were buying more products, Sutton explained, and this was fuelling PET bottle sales.
“So whereas in the past there has been a movement to glass in Europe, in this market they are leapfrogging this move, missing out glass and going straight to PET for many products,” she said.
The Polish site will manufacture preforms and bottles, as well as Heat Set, (trademarked) DeepGrip and barrier bottles, bespoke container designs and capabilities to provide ‘through the wall’ operations at customer sites.
Sutton confirmed that APPE also planned to build an Italian production facility: “We’ll make a real big splash about that in 2-3 months time. Yes, we are going there, and we plan to open in early 2013, but we haven’t identified the location or building yet,” she said.
Targeting dairy with HDPE
That facility would service water and soft drinks (particularly juice), and personal care sectors, although food was seen as the area with the biggest potential in Italy, she added.
APPE was also moving into HDPE for the first time, she added: “We will not go down the traditional route of manufacturing HDPE, but will use different manufacturing principles – a better way of processing HDPE that isn’t currently that common on the market – and that will be our point of differentiation.
“We hope it will prove to be a winner for our customers, but also on the carbon footprint side as well.”
Sutton said APPE was aiming at pan-European sales of HDPE products, with dairy the first target sector, although it was also looking at other target sectors.