Health trends inspiring aseptic filling surge

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Soft drinks

Evidence grows that aseptic bottling is one of the biggest emerging
trends in soft drinks production as the technique reinvigorates
sales for Italian supplier Procomac, and the firm prepares to
launch enhanced products at Drinktec 2005.

Procomac​ said sales of aseptic filling lines to Coca-Cola Norbega in Spain, as well as others to Croatia and the Ukraine, gave the firm its best sales results for five years in the first half of 2005.

The group added that French dairy and water group Danone had just ordered an aseptic bottled water line for its Spanish division.

Procomac's results reinforce the growing popularity of aseptic filling among producers looking to satisfy rising consumer demand for healthier and non-carbonated drinks.

This category, led by juice, water and energy drinks, is widely expected to lead many developed soft drinks markets around the world as consumers turn against fizzy, sugar-laden sodas.

Aseptic filling helps to make clean, high quality versions of these products.

It enables firms to more easily make drinks without preservatives or with a juice content, and can also aid producers in adding value to products by fortifying drinks with vitamins and minerals.

Andy Murfin, managing director of the UK and Europe division of Cott, the world's largest supplier of private label soft drinks, recently told​ that demand for aseptic production lines would push the category's growth into double figures over the next few years.

Cott has just joined the growing club of aseptic producers by signing a deal to buy UK soft drinks supplier Macaw for £75.7m (€110.3m).

Procomac said it was preparing to launch its fourth generation aseptic filling line at the Drinktec Interbrau expo to be held in Munich from 12 to 17 September.

The group claimed its new product, called Unibloc Spin, could save producers 20 per cent in operating costs compared to standard aseptic lines.

It said Unibloc Spin is much more compact than previous lines and that most moving parts underneath the microbiological isolator had been removed. The machine is also able to change between bottles of different neck sizes even faster.

Procomac added that the integration of different functions on Unibloc made maintenance easier. The group hopes its new aseptic line can continue a successful 2005 after a tough 2004.

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