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Tetra Pak CEO discusses demand for functional packaging that doesn't cost the earth

By Ben Bouckley , 18-Oct-2011

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FoodProductionDaily.com gained an exclusive interview with Tetra Pak president and CEO Dennis Jönsson to discuss the demand for less packaging but improved product functionality, as he prepared to address delegates at the World Dairy Summit 2011 in Parma, Italy.

Jönsson (pictured) addressed a dilemma facing both the whole food packaging industry: how to reduce packaging use and increase sustainability, while at the same time addressing consumer demands for improved product features and ease of use?

At the same time consumer demand for different packaging types is likely to increase, the head of the packaging giant said, given ageing populations in markets such as Western Europe and the US and a increasingly youthful demographic in the developing world.

He added: "But at the same time, the world is more and more global so we're seeing more and more similar products being used everywhere. But we need to understand some markets much better, not only to cater for more quickly, but also to cater for them specifically."

Key growth markets for Tetra Pak include the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), and Jönsson added: "China is one example where we've decided to have people locally, to better understand product needs and product development.

"We're working together with customers to ensure that we have that information passed on to our people in development, so we can be much quicker in terms of responding to product needs in that specific market."

Tetra Pak released its first product, Tetra Classic, in 1952, and just last week launched its new Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge carton.

Jönsson said that since 1952 aseptic packaging had developed greatly in terms of efficient material use, the cost of manufacturing systems and functionality.

But what did he think a Tetra Pak carton might look like in 50 years time?

"It's anyone's guess, but we're looking forward to hopefully having a very efficient, sustainable packaging that caters more for individual needs but also leverages on common platforms. That is the objective that we have, at least," Jönsson said.

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