The new bottle – composed of a carton body and a plastic neck and top – is initially being launched only in a 1 litre format, exclusively for ambient milk. And within that category, the new Tetra Evero Aseptic is initially being targeted at premium brands.
“You can say that it is going more into premium but in time interest is likely to spread down to other segments of the market,” Charles Brand, Tetra Pak’s marketing chief, told journalists assembled at Tetra Pak HQ in Sweden.
To hear Charles Brand and Tetra Pak’s research head Michael Grosse answer questions about the Tetra Evero Aseptic, please listen to the audio podcast below.
Tetra Pak claims that the new pack combines the easy pouring and handling of a bottle with the printability and cost advantages of carton.
Consumer research pitches carton against plastic
To test out these claims, Tetra Pak conducted research in Germany, Spain, Italy and France to discover how consumers view the Tetra Evero Aseptic against rival bottles made from PET and HDPE.
The Swedish company claims this demonstrated the carton pack compared favourably to plastic competitors. With a screw cap that can be opened in one step - developed with the Italian firm Sacmi - the research indicated that Tetra Evero Aseptic compares particularly well on ease of opening.
The consumer research has so far helped the Tetra Evero Aseptic win over two dairy companies. Spanish dairy Corporación Alimentaria Peñasanta (CAPSA) is rolling out the pack in Spain and Weihenstephan is starting to market test the product in Germany this month.
For the moment Tetra Evero Aseptic is only available on a limited basis in Western Europe before a full global launch in 2012.
The carton bottle is currently being marketed at non-oxygen sensitive milk but soon Tetra Pak plans to expand its reach to other products such as creams, flavoured milks and milks containing ingredients like Omega-3 that make them oxygen sensitive.
New formats are also envisaged and Tetra Pak continues to work on the technology. Among the introductions planned for 2012 include a separable top and a plant-based HDPE top.
The new versus the old carton bottle
This is not the first time Tetra Pak has brought out an aseptic carton bottle, having already launched Tetra Aptiva Aseptic at Anuga FoodTec back in 2006.
But the original carton shaped bottle was aimed at the juice market and the engineering behind it needed updating to make a carton bottle suitable for ambient milk and capable of meeting modern cost and environmental demands.
The company has built the Tetra Pak A6 iLine to produce the new Tetra Evero Aseptic. One of the key engineering developments in the machine was a high speed injection molding system that forms the neck of the bottle and connects the carton body to the cap. This process normally takes 3 to 6 seconds but Tetra Pak reduced the time taken to less than 1.5 seconds.
The end result is a machine with a capacity to produce 10,000 packs an hour. Compared to other aseptic plastic bottling lines, Tetra Pak claims the new machine takes up 50 per cent less space and runs with 25 per cent lower operating costs.