The company announced the agreement after it expanded its Pouch-Up range thanks to an investment with FBR-Elpo, in filling technologies to enter new markets.
Ongoing public health campaign against sugar
Smurfit Kappa currently supplies apple juice and mixed juice in Pouch-Up through a hot filling process. But this is the first juice filled at ambient temperature with an aseptic filling process on a web line.
French organic fruit manufacturer, Pressade has launched the pouch across France in three flavors; apple, orange and multi-fruit.
Catherine Bererd, product manager, Pressade, told BeverageDaily the pouches are an ‘innovative way to re-transform fruit juice consumption’ at breakfast, which has been stagnating in the past few years.
“The Pouch-Up is a hygienic packaging which is perfectly adapted to aseptic filling,” she said.
“Thanks to these new products, we can innovate and differentiate ourselves on shelves. We think this juice Pouch-Up will be very appreciated by the consumers, partly because it is offering convenience and it is fun.”
According to a report by Euromonitor International entitled, ‘Juice in the United Kingdom’, March 2016, juice suffered even more than carbonates from the ongoing public health campaign against sugar in soft drinks.
One example it said of the declining popularity of juice was a decision made by regulators to limit the portion of fruit juice in English school meals to a 150ml per meal.
“Consumers are also reducing the proportion of fruit juice in their five a day, and the UK obesity tsar has called for a tax on juice. One of the big stories of the summer was Tesco ditching the famous juice drinks brands Ribena and Capri-Sun from its shelves, in what Tesco officials called an attempt to tackle childhood obesity,” it added.
It claims Tropicana UK led juice in off-trade value terms in 2015, accounting for a 15% share of sales, with Tesco coming second with a 10% share. Tropicana lost share in 2015, but remains a household name in juice.
Original Vitop tap (aseptic version)
The report states: “The prospects for juice in the forecast period are negative. These products are under pressure from health organisations, and producers will aim to reformulate their offerings. Traditional juices are most likely to experience a decline in sales, whilst newer superfruit juices such as coconut water and aloe vera should continue to attract health-conscious consumers.”
Smurfit Kappa has a partnership with FBR- Elpo, which manufactures machines and complete lines for the processing of tomatoes and fruits, in Parma, Italy, as well as its own department in aseptic filling.
Bag-in-Box (BIB) filling machines are designed to fill liquid and semi-liquid products in bags and pouches (branded as Pouch Up).
Semi-automatic machines can fill bag sizes starting from 3 to 20 litres and pouches from 1 to 3 litres.
Melissa O’Leary, Bag-in-Box marketing department, Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box, said Pouch-Up is a lightweight packaging that comes with an Original Vitop tap (aseptic version), placed on the outside for a smooth flow of the product.
“By developing the aseptic Pouch-Up for juice, Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box innovates and relentlessly works on developing these new filling technologies. These innovations will allow the Pouch-Up to be positioned on new markets,” she added.
“The aseptically filled fruit juice market is a demanding market, requiring special hygiene and adapted technologies. Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box developed Pouch-Up packaging to adapt it to aseptic filling by firstly ionising the pouch, then it is filled on automatic aseptic machines.”