10 May 2018 --- Liquid packaging specialist Sidel have advocated for the liquid dairy industry to switch to PET packaging at this year’s Global Dairy Innovation Summit. FoodIngredientsFirst speaks to Naima Boutroy, Global Packaging Technical support leader at Sidel, about the suggested switch regarding marketing, cost-effectiveness, flexible production and response from the liquid dairy community.
Sidel is a leading provider of equipment and services for packaging liquid, food, home and personal care products in PET, can, glass and other materials. At the summit, Sidel presented how it has been supporting the liquid dairy industry worldwide to move their production to PET bottles. As the market leader in Aseptic PET and notably for liquid dairy products, Sidel can share its experience from a market and customers’ success stories point of view, to PET packaging expertise as well as complete safe and simple packaging line solutions, including the FDA-approved Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis.
The liquid dairy market moving towards PET
The use of PET as a packaging material is expected to continuously grow within the liquid dairy sector from 2018 to 2020 with a forecast of 9 percent, according to Sidel. With 13.7 billion package units today, PET package is forecast to reach 14.9 billion units in 2020.
“The change is taking place, as demonstrated by successful partnerships we implemented with Yili, Jussara and Centrale del Latte – just to mention the case studies Sidel showcased to the audience attending the Global Dairy Summit in Amsterdam. It is clear that the business opportunity to switch to PET is fully understood by the liquid dairy players,” says Boutroy.
“For example, over the past 10 years we registered a steady growth in PET conversion (CAGR all bottle sizes 2011-2018: +5.8 percent) with projections on the next few years even more impressive. From a geography perspective, European manufacturers are championing this trend.”
Food protection, safety, and cost-effectiveness...
“Generally, PET bottles offer great physical protection and food barrier benefits that maintain the product's safety and integrity across the supply chain and allow the products to be distributed at ambient temperature, preserving organoleptic properties and keeping them free from bacteria.”
“What is worth mentioning in this regard is that more and more producers in the LDP market are looking to increase their production output, which is another need the growing conversion to PET can accommodate.”
The production switch could also bring strong marketing benefits, Boutroy asserts, as PET provides producers with great freedom and packaging design. This, in turn, attracts and delights consumers.
Furthermore, the design could assure safety concerns and even reduce costs. “The rigidity of the PET bottleneck combined with caps specifically designed for aseptic packaging provides full tightness against micro-organisms and therefore excellent food safety of the product, even for UHT milk. This means there is no longer a need for the use of aluminum foil. As a result, the flexibility in production is complemented by economic and sustainability advantages.”
The experience that Sidel claims to provide also acts an encouraging step for producers, “the Sidel PET aseptic lines can deliver up to 60k bottles per hour. Because of this, and other factors, we see an increasing conversion rate to PET packaging and plastic caps from other packaging materials in the market.”
Sidel's role in the transition
A focus at the conference was the presentation of Sidel’s capabilities to support any dairy players to introduce a new product or to switch their product from another packaging material to PET bottles.
Based on 50 years of aseptic packaging expertise, Sidel offers fully integrated and technically advanced solutions for the liquid dairy sector, which employ the processing equipment and capabilities of Tetra Pak Processing Systems (TPPS). Over the years, Sidel and TPPS have been combining competencies and expertise to define and execute more than 100 complete line projects.
“As a full solution partner, the company provides proven and reliable solutions in all areas of packaging from artistic design to industrial packaging qualification through modelization, under the same roof. When Sidel's scientific expertise on beverage packaging and industrial production is involved early in a new product packaging project, producers are able to optimize bottle performance while ensuring product safety and quality,” says Boutroy.
An eye on sustainability
Boutroy keenly points out end consumers are demanding packaging options that are both sustainable and recyclable:
“In its recycled form, PET can be reused time and time again, reducing consumption of what is a finite resource. Already the most widely recycled plastic in the world, through initiatives to further improve collection rates and the methods of recycling, PET can further strengthen its position as the sustainable package of choice.”
PET can indeed be a valuable material when it is disposed of correctly. The media has recently been alit with news over the war on plastic, and companies seeking to rapidly reduce their output. However, when turning to the material, the sustainability box can still be ticked if the end material is collected and recycled appropriately.
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