Tetra Pak says dairy consumers ‘tend to accept’ less package functionality

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fabio Thomazelli from Tetra Pak addresses journalists in Modena last week
Fabio Thomazelli from Tetra Pak addresses journalists in Modena last week

Related tags: Tetra pak, Ultra-high-temperature processing, Milk, Aseptic processing

Tetra Pak says it’s vital for its customers to strike a balance between ideal package functionality and carton cost, with liquid milk one segment where consumers tend to favor a lower product price.

Speaking with the press at an event held at Tetra Pak’s R&D facility in Modena last week, Fabio Thomazelli, product manager, opening, closure and straw (pictured), discussed the need to hit what he called the ‘sweet spot’ – to balance value (in terms of package functionality) against cost. caught up with him afterwards to record this podcast, and asked him to what extent consumers were prepared to accept reduced convenience for a lower product cost?

“Like most of the questions involving consumers, my initial response would always be, ‘It depends’,”​ Thomazelli replied.

“When I say it depends, it really depends on the categories in which we’re selling, it depends on different countries, and also in many places it depends on the social class to which these consumers belong,”​ he added.

‘People buy many, many liters of milk per week’ – Fabio Thomazelli, Tetra Pak

“Take milk as an example, or dairy products in general. Those industries tend to have lower margins, and those products tend to be more commoditized,”​ Thomazelli said.

“So consumers in those particular product categories tend to accept less functionality and would prefer to have a better price – especially if they have children.

“They buy many, many liters of milk per week, or even per month – so if they can save, they tend to accept a compromise.

“It’s a bit different in, shall we say, functional products which have more value added. And then consumers expect more functionality – and hence are also normally willing to pay a bit more for convenience.

“So I think it depends on the country, type of product packed in the package – consumers would quite well accept that compromise and benefit from lower cost.

In this exclusive podcast, Fabio Thomazelli also discusses…

  • Market dynamics affecting choice of one-step and two-step closures, with Brazil and Germany used as examples.
  • Factors affecting choice of pre- and post-applied closures: the former tend to be cheaper, the latter allow high-speed, complex lines to produce closures with any characteristic desired.
  • The importance of machine retrofitting, and the greater versatility of more recent Tetra Pak machines.

Click here to see inside Tetra Pak's Modena facility​, and here for another exclusive interview​ with the CEO of Saudi Arabian food and beverage giant Al Rabie Saudi Foods.

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