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Asia Pacific: Cater to the local demand, Tetra Pak tells FNI of new plant goals

Tetra Pak will be building a new plant at its Rayong site in Thailand, dedicated to producing closures for carton packaging.

The €24 million (US$25.38 million) investment, which will create around 60 jobs when it opens early in 2018, can produce more than three billion closures every year.

The new production facility will be located within the company’s existing Straws and Strips Plant in Rayong.

Food News International asks Michael Zacka, cluster VP, Tetra Pak South Asia, East Asia and Oceania (SAEA&O), for his views of the Asian market and opportunities for the facility.

FNI: What synergies would the new plant enjoy by locating in Rayong, Thailand?

Zacka: By extending and enhancing the existing factory, we will be able provide customers across the region with locally produced closures for the first time, with faster delivery, enhanced quality and access to a wider selection of caps and closures.

Building the plant on the same premises as the Strips and Straws factory creates synergies for utilities, site services and infrastructure, as well as continuous improvement methodology implementation, people competences and skills.

FNI: What are the factors for the high market demand for closures for beverage cartons?

Zacka: Demand for functional caps and closures on beverage cartons is rising all the time due to busier lifestyles, on the go consumption, fragmenting consumer segments with their distinct needs, younger and more aware consumers.

Total demand for caps and closures in the region are projected to be more than 4.5 billion by 2018, driven by strong growth in the ready-to-drink market in Asia.

This growth is being fueled by new products, new brands and a strong interest in healthy snacking.

FNI: What design elements would closures need to cater for users such as children, the elderly and on-the-go consumers?

Zacka: A one-size-fits-all approach to packaging is no longer enough to stay at the top of the game.

Consumers expect a renewed focus on value, demanding products that fit into their busy lifestyles.

They are also increasingly health conscious, concerned about food safety and environmental impact.

Producers need to adapt to these demands to keep pace with changing market trends.

For example, functionality is very important for older people.

They look for products that are easy to use, easy to open and easy to pour, and most importantly, seal again safely.

We developed the Tetra Pak LightCap 30 closure as a customized solution that can help to alleviate frustration for people with reduced hand strength, such as the elderly or children.

This package has received approval from the Swedish Rheumatism Association.

Consumers are also leading busier lives than ever.

Eating routines are changing, with many people opting to skip breakfast or eat on the go. These consumers are also more likely to snack between lunch and dinner.

This means packages must be focused on making life easier.

We are working with our customers to create specialized, ergonomically designed packaging that brings improved comfort and convenience.

FNI: What aspects of functionality and convenience do consumers require of closures?

Zacka: Consumers are looking for packaging that is appealing, innovative, and modern in design. They want something that is easy and comfortable to drink from, is highly portable, and simple to dispose of.

Caps and closures are an important part of that, adapting to consumer lifestyle changes.

For example, the new Tetra Prisma Aseptic 500 Edge with DreamCap has been specifically designed with a raised neck and over-the-edge design that provides easy access to the spout and a comfortable experience when drinking directly from the package.

The cap’s large (26mm) opening and ridge means that there is improved control, and the one-step screw cap allows secure, fully re-sealable convenience that’s perfect for on-the-go consumers.