Speaking via telephone from Tetra Pak’s Swedish HQ in Lund, Lawrence Mott said that if the company fails to meet these challenges head on it "just won’t stay competitive.”
“There is a lot of competitive pressure in the dairy industry at the moment as a result of industry consolidation and rising raw material costs. It’s very tough across the value chain," he said.
“At the moment, we’re looking a lot at the maintenance costs of our equipment. In the same vein, because we have a good understanding of the operations in most dairies, we can offer operational cost reductions and even operational cost guarantees.”
“It’s a great way to share the pain and the gain within the value chain. When we save the customer money, it’s good for them and it is good for us," said Mott.
“Preferred partner” of the dairy industry
Alongside attempting to offset the impact of this competitive pressure, food safety, particularly in China and Asia, and environmental issues make up the “three big issues” driving processing and packaging developments at Tetra Pak, said Mott.
“…we want to be able to provide continuous improvements in the area of food protection and food safety; we want to be able to pack the broadest possible range of products; we want to be able to provide our customers the absolute lowest operational costs; and we want to be to provide completely sustainable solutions,” he said.
“We maintain this focus on innovation to be fit for the future.”
These efforts, according to Mott, give Tetra Pak’s customers “peace of mind and a good night’s sleep” and have made it the “preferred partner” of the dairy industry.
“I would like to think that we are already the preferred partner of the dairy industry, and I have no doubt that we will continue to be the preferred partner in the future,” he said.
“And as a total solution provider, there are more opportunities to become preferred partner. That is very much our strength – we offer not just packaging material, but also filling equipment, processing equipment, and a very strong ability to integrate across the value chain.”
“The whole portfolio has to adapt”
Looking ahead, Mott said that population growth will continue to play a large role in the direction of its innovation efforts. Preparations for this have already begun, he added.
“Look at what’s happening in terms of population growth and urbanization,” said Mott. “By 2040 we’ll have something like an additional 2bn consumers. What are we going to do to support that?”
“Today we produce close to 180bn packages, of which around 100bn are packs for on-the-go. And this is going to increase. So the whole portfolio has to adapt.”
“That is why we have been developing products such as the different types of portion pack in Tetra Brik Aseptic, Tetra Brik Aseptic Edge, Tetra Prisma, and new types of closure devices to improve the drinking experience on-the-go," he said.