The new plant, which was unveiled earlier today, will employ the “most advanced” packaging material production technologies and equipment available, according to the Switzerland-based food processing and packaging solutions company.
Tetra Pak hopes that the “localisation” of these processes will greatly increase its responsiveness to market demands in the region.
Speaking with DairyReporter.com, Tetra Pak spokeswoman, Linda Bernier, heralded the investment as a “significant milestone” in the company’s increasing presence in the Indian subcontinent and South East and West Asia.
“As one of Tetra Pak’s most advanced manufacturing facilities for aseptic carton packages worldwide, the new plant in Chakan marks a significant milestone in Tetra Pak’s increasing presence in the Indian subcontinent,” she said.
Investment reflects "bullishness" of Indian customers
According to Bernier, demand for aseptic packaging and processing solutions is on the up in the region – driven in large by increasing consumer demand for fresh liquid milk and juice.
Tetra Pak will manufacture its Tetra Brik Aseptic, Tetra Fino Aseptic, Tetra Classic Aseptic, and Tetra Wedge Aseptic packaging formats at the new plant to meet this demand.
“The plant supports the strong growth in the aseptic packaged food sector not only in the Indian market in other key geographies such as South East Asia and West Asia as well,” said Bernier.
“Our investment in Chakan reflects the bullishness that our customers in India and other parts of Asia are relaying to us and their strong expectations of growth from these markets. Investing ahead of the curve – to be geared for growth and to be committee to supporting our customers – is very much the Tetra Pak way.”
“Formulate, conceptualise, and test new products”
Through the investment, Tetra Pak’s packaging material production capacity will nearly double to 8.5bn packages per year. This has the potential to increase to 16bn, the company added.
The new facility, which is Tetra Pak’s largest outside of Sweden, will also house a Product Development and Innovation Centre (PDIC).
The PDIC at Chakan, which is one of only seven such centres in the world, will include a laboratory, a pilot processing and packaging line, and a package validation laboratory. Here, food technologists will work with customers to “formulate, conceptualise and test new products,” according to Bernier.
Tetra Pak has been present in India for a total of 26 years, and opened its first facility in the country in 1997. When pressed on Tetra Pak’s future plans in the region, Bernier declined to speculate.
“We cannot speculate on future business decisions. However, we will continue to invest to meet the needs of our customers and changing markets conditions,” she said.
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