The company will offer the improvements across its basic Tetra Fino Aseptic range, a pillow-shaped carton specifically aimed at price sensitive markets; these include an 'OptiSize' volume concept allowing for new size options and Eco Flexo photographic printing.
Tetra Pak said that customers had traditionally under-filled standard 250ml and 100ml Tetra Fino Aseptic packages, but following feedback, it developed its OptiSize kit enabling beverage and milk producers to change the tube diameter and jaw length of its A1 filling machine.
Hemant Krashak, Tetra Pak product director, promised manufacturers "greater production efficiency", since a Tetra Pak A1 filler with the OptiSize upgrade could fill up to 13,000 220ml packages per hour: 8.5% more than when under-filling 250ml cartons.
Customers were now able to produce cartons especially designed for 70ml and 220ml portions (of milks, juices and teas) Tetra Pak said, while further size options would follow — thus cutting down on packaging material waste.
Hope for developed markets
So was Tetra Pak responding to specific market demands with the new sizes? "Yes. We are first launching the Tetra Fino Aseptic 220ml in China and the Tetra Fino Aseptic 70ml in Indonesia. Today, the OptiSize volume kit is available globally in the 220ml. Later this year the 70ml format will be globally released," a Tetra Pak spokeswoman told BeverageDaily.com.
"Additional new volumes relating to the remaining Tetra Fino Aseptic original formats using the Tetra Pak A1 filling machine (500ml and 200ml) can be developed if there is a customer requirement," she added.
Asked whether these new package sizes were unique to Tetra Pak, the spokeswoman said that "to the best of our knowledge" no other carton suppliers had introduced these two volumes before.
Tetra Fino Aseptic was mainly sold in developing markets, with China the largest, and a 70/30 split between milk and beverage use, she added. "However, we believe it can add value in developed markets too."
Material cost savings
Asked to put a figure on material cost savings, the spokeswoman said: "Currently, for the new Tetra Fino Aseptic 70ml package using the OptiSize conversion kit, the savings in packaging material cost can reach 15% compared to the original 100ml size. It’s about 5% for the for the new Tetra Fino Aseptic 220ml package relative to the 250 ml package."
"Cost savings is one benefit for the new sizes. The other important benefit is the ability to capture new category and market opportunities - for example, reaching low-income consumers with smaller package sizes or categories such as liquid cream and tomato paste," she added.
Tetra Pak is also introducing its 'Eco Flexo' photographic printing process as a Tetra Fino Aseptic range option (as per the picture, right) and said it would allow for better product differentiation and greater brand impact as a result.
Eco Flexo allows the printing of photographic images onto uncoated paperboard packaging: use of different paper, inks, screen ruling, anilox and dot-gain interactions all reduced mottling effects and maximise print quality, according to Tetra Pak.
The printing technology is now being rolled out across Tetra Pak’s converting factories in China (Beijing and Hohhot), Pakistan (Lahore) and Russia (Moscow). India (Pune) and Brazil (Monte Mor) are scheduled to follow in early 2013.