Next generation caps will be lighter with pour appeal, says Tetra Pak
The new designs will relate to the group’s pre-applied direct injection moulded LightCap and the post-applied StreamCap
The company claims that the pouring area of the new pre-applied closures will be about 50 per cent larger, with a diameter of about 30mm to improve pouring and drinking. Similarly, the pouring area of the redesigned post-applied opening will be around 25 per cent larger than its predecessor, says Tetra Pak.
Riccardo Vellani, manager of openings and closures for Tetra Pak, said that the second generation of post-applied closures will have a 30 per cent reduction in opening force, and added the weight reduction target for both cap concepts is 20 per cent:
"The new post-applied closures will contain 3.3g of plastic, down from 4.0g for the current generation. The reduction in plastic content is being achieved by optimising plastic thickness and design of features," explained Vellani.
"Beverage manufacturers will benefit from these enhanced screw caps through the light weighting of the material, a significant cut in cap production cycle time, together with enhanced robustness to reduce down time," he added.
According to the manufacturer, the StreamCap can be used with a wide range of package sizes and shapes as well as a one-step opening for premium juice, milk, tomato products and wine cartons; the cap is applied after the package has been formed and filled.
The LightCap is a resealable screw cap that is integrated into the packaging prior to filling and it is currently used as a closure on aseptic milk cartons, added the company.
Vellani said that the newly developed closures will be market tested during 2009 and released commercially in 2010.
Global beverage closure demand is expected to surge over the next five years as manufacturers attempt to add more value to their products through packaging innovation, according to a recent report by analyst Canadean.
The findings suggest that demand for lighter weight, environmentally friendly closures and more convenient resalable pack solutions will lead to an additional 220 billion caps and closures being used over the next half decade.
The report predicts that the additional demand reflects many of the challenges ahead regarding packing beverages.
"Caps and closures are currently a fertile area for new product development and a key means of 'adding value', 'convenience' and differentiation to brands and packs in an increasingly competitive global marketplace," the analyst stated.
According to Canadean, emerging markets such as China, India, Russia and Brazil are playing a major role in driving this demand, though the analyst said that even in more static and developed markets like Western Europe and North America, closure potential is strong.