Asia, USA and Africa – small-format carton pack makes an impact world-wide
August 2015. It is the smallest one, but it is making a grand entrance: the carton pack combiblocXSlim from SIG Combibloc, available in volumes of 80, 90, 100, 110, 125, 150 and 180 ml, is shaping up to be a best-seller. In Asia, the USA and Africa, the carton pack has been very well-received. And now the smallest possible volume size of 80 ml is also on the market for the first time: in Indonesia, Frisian Flag Indonesia, a subsidiary of Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., has brought out ‘Frisian Flag’ brand strawberry and chocolate milk in combiblocXSlim 80 ml.
“Globally, small-format beverage packaging in volumes below 200 ml has enjoyed high growth rates for a number of years – particularly in the Asia region, South America and the Middle East. And there’s a clear positive trend for the future, too. Considered world-wide, from 2013 to 2019 the number of small-format beverage packages is set for an annual growth rate of 5.4 per cent. The carton pack is also benefiting from this. While the carton pack had a 58.4 per cent share in 2013, this figure is expected to be 61.4 per cent in 2019”, says Oliver Ihloff, Product Manager for combiblocXSlim at SIG Combibloc. With combiblocXSlim, SIG Combibloc has brought out a packaging solution that perfectly accommodates this market trend.
The filling machine technology from SIG Combibloc is designed so that beverage manufacturers can expect a maximum of flexibility and performance. For instance, all seven combiblocXSlim volumes can be filled using a single CFA 1224-36 filling machine from SIG Combibloc – and this can be done at a high-speed output of up to 24,000 carton packs per hour. Oliver Ihloff: “For carton packs with the same base dimensions, SIG Combibloc switching between different fill volumes takes just minutes. The combiblocXSlim has a base area of 47 x 32.5 mm – giving the carton pack an exceptionally slim look. The rapid volume change brings with it numerous possibilities for positioning products in just the right way to suit specific target audiences, so the products can be matched to the spending power of the relevant target group and the beverage volume required – especially with premium products”.
This flexibility convinced FrieslandCampina, among others, to opt for combiblocXSlim. The company brought out its first products in combiblocXSlim in autumn 2012 in Thailand. FrieslandCampina Thailand got the ball rolling with ‘Omega’ brand dairy products, which are specially designed to give children the healthy vitamins and minerals they need. Since then, the range of products sold in the innovative small-format carton pack has been expanding continuously. Now, FrieslandCampina also has pure drinking milk, flavoured milk drinks and yoghurt drinks in combiblocXSlim on the market – and the company has taken advantage of the volume flexibility of the machine, with volume sizes of 90, 100, 125 and 180 ml already successfully positioned in the market. Now, Frisian Flag Indonesia, a subsidiary of Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., has launched strawberry and chocolate milk under the brand ‘Frisian Flag’ in the carton pack combiblocXSlim 80 ml. The 80 ml carton size is hitting the shelves for the first time.
Tailor-made for the target group
Fidiyantri Cholid, Senior Brand Manager RTD at Frisian Flag Indonesia: “In Asia, beverages in small carton packs are big-sellers, because many consumers want the convenience aspect. They prefer beverages in carton packs they can take with them and conveniently drink from even when they’re out and about. And any packaging with a chance of success also needs to be suitable for children’s little hands. Moreover, beverages in very small carton packs can be offered at an attractive and affordable price – even children can buy them from pocket money. With the filling machine for combiblocXSlim, we can quickly and securely package a range of beverages, and respond flexibly to the requirements of the market. We can select the beverage portion sizes to match the needs of the consumers”.
The small carton packs can be used to fill milk and dairy products as well as non-carbonated soft drinks. They can be provided with 6 and 8 mm straw holes. This ensures that, with the right drinking straw, even beverages with a creamy consistency are easy to drink straight from the carton pack.
Promising performance in North Africa
The Middle East and Africa also promise fertile ground for sales of beverages in small package sizes. In Algeria, Ramy Food, one of the country’s leading beverage manufacturers, has opted for a CFA 1224-36 filling machine from SIG Combibloc, and in a first step is using it to fill chocolate milk in combiblocXSlim 180 ml.
Ali Djouider, CEO and owner of Ramy: “Beverages in single-portion carton packs are on the way up. In our part of the world, people who want to quench their thirst while out and about will go for beverages that are tailored to their personal taste and come in portion sizes that satisfy their thirst. With the flexible, high-performance filling machine for filling beverages in combiblocXSlim, we have plenty of scope in this respect”. The company is also planning to bring out fruit juices in the innovative small-format carton pack.
Small carton pack, big prospects
In the USA, Steuben Foods, one of the United States’ leading companies in the field of aseptic filling of foods and beverages, has opted for combiblocXSlim, underlining its claim to provide the market with innovations that offer the sector genuine added value.
Jeffrey Sokal, Senior Vice President at Steuben: “Innovations are a big part of our corporate culture. Thanks to the new high-performance filling machine from SIG Combibloc, we’re in a position to considerably expand our product portfolio. And as a manufacturer, we can also let our customers from the beverage industry share in the new opportunities. With its unique size range this new packaging format allows brands to reach different demographic target groups, expand their footprint to new parts of the stores, and succeed where other packaging formats fall short. So for us, this packaging innovation from SIG Combibloc is a great move. The small carton packs offer big opportunities. combiblocXSlim makes it possible to adjust product quantities precisely to customers’ needs, and respond flexibly to the requirements of the market”.
In North America, aseptic carton packs are becoming increasingly important in certain segments. More and more consumers, food manufacturers and retailers are opting for carton packs – particularly in the plant-based milk substitutes sector, but also for stocks, soups and sauces. The advantages of a carton pack include first and foremost its convenience, its product protection qualities and its good environmental characteristics. Tim Kirchen, Head of Marketing and Business Development at SIG Combibloc North America: “The cooperation with Steuben Foods will give new impetus to this trend. Steuben Foods is an excellent option for food manufacturers looking to add to their product range in a simple and practical way without having to invest in a filling machine of their own. The packing service is, as it were, outsourced and handed over to aseptic packaging professionals outside the manufacturer’s own company. This means on-trend products in innovative packaging solutions can be brought onto the market speedily and flexibly without major investment”.
Ideal portion size for added-value products
The small carton sizes are a packaging solution for a wide range of trend products – particularly in the added-value sector. The small carton packs make it possible for beverage manufacturers to offer products in quantities that are tailored precisely to the needs of their consumers, and are within a reasonable price range. These could be, for instance, trend products with a healthy added value, the so-called nutraceuticals, whose market value has been increasing for years. Nutraceuticals belong to the group of functional foods that offer the consumer added health benefits. Aside from the nutritional aspects, they are also designed to provide a medical benefit, and try to prevent illness or relieve symptoms. The physiologically active substances in nutraceuticals are declared as foods, so unlike medicines, nutraceuticals can be sold freely. Oliver Ihloff: “People consume products like these as a natural dietary supplement, in order to do something for their health without having to worry about the negative side effects of medicines. For these products too, the carton packs and filling machines from SIG Combibloc offer the required quality and precision – and combiblocXSlim is the perfect portion size. In the nutraceuticals segment, therefore, we see considerable potential in the future”.
SIG Combibloc is one of the world’s leading system suppliers of carton packaging and filling machines for beverages and food. In 2014 the company achieved a turnover of 1,630 million Euro with around 5,000 employees in 40 countries.
Heike Thevis – Press Officer
SIG International Services GmbH
Rurstraße 58, D-52441 Linnich, Germany
Tel.: +49 2462 79 2608
Fax: +49 2462 79 17 2608