Tetra Pak, a leading provider of food processing and packaging solutions with a strong presence in India, has been on a quest to provide tamper-free sustainable packaging that enhances a product’s shelf life and offers a better consumer experience. In an informative conversation with Packaging South Asia, Praneeth Tripurari, marketing director of the South Asia region, Tetra Pak, explains the company’s innovations such as Tetra Stelo Aseptic and Tetra Brik Aseptic 200 Edge Pack as well as its services, which make it a truly end-to-end solutions provider for the food and beverage industry.
Tetra Pak’s innovation straddles areas of packaging, processing, services as well as end-of-life (of used packages)— which is a sustainability space, Tripurari says. “On the packaging front, we recently joined hands with Coca-Cola for the launch of Minute Maid in Tetra Stelo Aseptic, a first in Coca-Cola’s universe. We refer to it as Tetra Stelo Aseptic with WingCap. This deployment has happened in the market of Punjab. The cap in this packaging requires less torque to open. It’s a smoother packaging with rounded edges, making it one step closer to a paper-based bottle, in a sense. Our primary focus is on offering a better consumer experience and offering differentiation on the shelf to the brand owner.”
Another innovation is the Tetra Brik Aseptic 200 Edge Pack, also referred to as TBA 200 Edge. “Launched recently, this innovation comes with a resealable cap. This will replace the packs with plastic straw functionality. We have also reintroduced Tetra Prisma Aseptic 1000 with the help of Dabur. Tetra Prisma Aseptic is a one-liter solution and is currently being utilized for the juice range. Even within the customer’s brand structure, we have one packaging solution for their base variants and another solution for their premium variants. Not only to the consumer, we are offering the choice to the brand-owner as well. All these innovations are largely from the beverage perspective.”
The biggest news from Tetra Pak is the company’s foray into the food industry. “While we are a food and beverage company, in the Indian market, we have largely been absent in the food space. Globally, we have a solution called Tetra Recart, which is an alternative to can-based packaging. A lot of food consumption happens in cans – for example, soups, syrups, purees, or even fruits. Our customer Foods & Inns has a facility up and running in Valsad, Gujarat, to facilitate this adoption. Unlike the Western countries, where the majority of the consumption happens out of packed foods, India is a fresh consumption market and so the adoption will be slow. However, it will happen eventually. We are very excited about the opportunity.”
Tetra Pak has been present in the alcobev space for over a decade. “Being a state-governed industry, only a few states allow excise policies to alcobev in cartons. Among them, about five states have approved spirits in cartons, and some have operations running, including Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. Adulteration is a rampant issue and has two levels of challenges. One is at a consumer level — consuming illicit liquor can lead to serious illness or even death. The other one is the loss to the exchequer, which is excise-driven. So, these cartons being tamper-evident packaging address these concerns, and that makes cartons a great choice for alcobev packaging.”
Tripurari said Tetra Pak has become synonymous with packaging but there’s more to it. “There is a lot of work that goes into the innovation deployment and development of processing solutions. Processing solutions are a critical part of our business because packaging alone can’t drive enhanced shelf life. Innovation on the processing side makes sure that even after heat treatment and several other steps, the nutritional value of the food remains intact. At the same time, we are also always trying to understand how we can bring down the carbon footprint of the entire package and improve recyclability. Tetra Pak is investing a lot of money to ensure that we fulfill our commitment to being the most effective package when it comes to sustainable solutions.”