Tetra Recart innovates in eco-friendly cartons, as Amazon spot the e-commerce potential

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28 Mar 2018 --- Tetra Recart were present at Anuga FoodTec 2018, Cologne, to showcase their latest solutions in carton packaging. Wickedly Prime – the food brand of global e-commerce giants, Amazon, are currently using Recart’s innovative carton design for soup products. FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with Anders Lindgren, VP for Tetra Recart, during Anuga FoodTec about the inspiration behind their carton designs and Amazon’s uptake.

“Tetra Recart is a way to retort a carton. Through the use of polymerized lamination, you can put any type of food product that you find in a can today. We have a number of global categories, including vegetables, baked beans, fruit, soups or ready meals. One of the biggest today globally is pet food. In Asia, it could be about fish in tomato sauce.”

Click to Enlarge
Amazon has taken advantage of the high-quality printing
capabilities of the Tetra Recart to present a slick and
simplified branding on their soup products.

Tetra Recart continues to reimagine canned food packaging, focusing on the key market trends of sustainability, cost-effectiveness and recyclability. Innova Market Insights has highlighted "The Mindful Consumer" as one of its top ten trends for 2018. Anders Lindgren illustrates that the growing trend of food and beverage e-commerce runs parallel to the demands for more environmentally-friendly packaging solutions:

“Trends today are being driven by both sustainability and e-commerce. When you take sustainability and look at carton instead of can, you see that carton has a very good LCA from an environmental footprint perspective and it has a much lower carbon footprint. The carton uses renewable resources and it can also be easily recycled.”

“What also comes into play is logistics. When Amazon started in food, the first product they offered was soups in a Tetra Recart in a brand called Wickedly Prime. Amazon closely looked at the benefits of different packaging and what could fit for them.”

Amazon has taken advantage of the high-quality printing capabilities of the Tetra Recart to present a slick and simplified branding on their soup products, including a clear, easy-to-digest food label. Significantly, the design potential and rectangular shape give the carton a billboard effect, that is ideal for digital viewing.

Click to Enlarge
Tetra Recart's cartons on display
at Anuga FoodTec 2018

In terms of environmental sustainability and energy efficiency, Tetra Recart estimates that their rectangle cartons take up 40 percent less space than cans and glass jars, with 60 percent less weight than cans, meaning that retailers can achieve a better product per pallet ratio and more effective shelf replenishment. Similarly, the decreased weight and size can equate to 11 percent savings in outbound distribution compared to cans, lowering carbon emissions.

Anders Lindgren pinpoints the huge business potential for Tetra Recart in the food and beverage industry, in addition to the positive influence it can have in a more environmentally conscious world:

“We have 120-150 billion cans out there that we can address with this type of packaging. There are a lot of products out there that are overpackaged. I think that some of the discussion needs to be around food waste and the need to have a shelf-stable distribution of food. The can has done a fantastic job in that regard for over 200 years around the world, but today the trends are putting more demands on packaging. If you start with the fact that there is a need for a shelf-stable distribution system for food and, after that, you can look to see what the most efficient systems are out there to do that.”

Tetra Recart is part of Tetra Pak, which is itself a division of the Tetra Laval Group. Tetra Pak had net sales of US$11.4 billion in 2016 and operates in more than 175 countries.

By Joshua Poole

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