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Our cartons suit markets that demand extra road miles, SIG Combibloc

By Ben Bouckley , 05-Mar-2012
Last updated on 05-Mar-2012 at 13:24 GMT

Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group is selling three prebiotic yoghurt drinks under the You Suan Ru brand in Strawberry, Apple and Blueberry flavours (Picture Copyright: SIG Combibloc).
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group is selling three prebiotic yoghurt drinks under the You Suan Ru brand in Strawberry, Apple and Blueberry flavours (Picture Copyright: SIG Combibloc).

SIG Combibloc says that beverages packaged aseptically in cartons and UHT treated are especially well suited to markets such as China that present long-distance transportation challenges.

Last week the firm cited examples of successful prebiotic beverage product launches, which (with the exception of one German launch) covered a Nestlé Mexico and two Chinese ranges, and we asked SIG whether such developing nations were helping build the category.

A SIG Combibloc spokeswoman told BeverageDaily.com:“Currently, we cannot say whether these kind of added-value value products will develop into a new product category in these future markets.

“But we think that, especially in those regions that require long-distance transportation and, consequently, more complex logistics, those added-value products have a chance to be successful that are UHT treated and aseptically packaged.”

In-house design team

Such products had a long shelf life even without refrigeration, the spokeswoman said, adding that the firm worked closely with brandowners – via its own team of designers – to create and style distinctive cartons.

Given a growing range of packaging types and styles (as brands worldwide struggled to establish a competitive point of difference, using features such as Quick Response codes) was packaging becoming more complex and pricey to produce for SIG?

Differentiation was not necessarily a question of cost, the spokeswoman said, and explained that SIG mainly used a gravure printing system (printing pre-sealed sleeves marked with fold lines) too print cardboard with up to six colours.

“Including a QR code in a design, for example, does not meet extra costs compared to designs without such a code,” she added.

SIG could easily implement design changes without interrupting the production process, by simply switching carton sleeves in the filling machine magazine, she said.

Straightforward design changes

This flexibility meant it was possible to fill a product into carton packs with a wide variety of designs, brands or languages.

She said:“This means maximum accuracy of fit for the markets and distribution channels you will be dealing with in each case.”

Single SIG filling machines were able to fill cartons in both combibloc and combifit formats (given equivalent base dimensions) and different volumes, the spokeswoman said.

“For instance, customers want to differentiate a range of 100% juices from a range of juice drinks. Both formats can be filled on the same machines, and your two product categories will be clearly differentiated.”

Carton packs gave customers maximum room for branding, turning a product into a sought-after commodity in line with the tastes of the target audience, she added.

“The four sides are perfect, not only for conveying information, but also for attracting consumers’ attention, communicating with them and making a positive impression on them.”

Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group is selling three prebiotic yoghurt drinks under the You Suan Ru brand in Strawberry, Apple and Blueberry flavours (Picture Copyright: SIG Combibloc). 

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