The Sweden-based company told FoodProductionDaily.com it would be focussing on Europe, the Middle East as well as Pakistan and North Africa as it seeks to tap into the huge growth in on-the-go consumption and consumer desire for convenient and single-serve portions.
Innovative functionality has seen Ecolean incorporate an air-filled handle on the pitcher-shaped package to make it easy to grip and pour from.
A recloseable feature is also in the pipeline and is scheduled to become available next year on the larger multi-portion versions.
The flexible stand-up pouch is has both polypropylene (PP) and PET layers, as well as calcium carbonate (natural chalk).
“The use of calcium carbonate allows for high quality printing on the pack, which is clearly a great branding tool for brand owners”, company marketing manager Louise Hobroh told this publication.
From Asia with love
Sales director Andreas Jepsson said China was the obvious market in which to trial the pouch, with the launch taking place in February 2011.
“Flexible packaging has always been big in China and with the pouch’s convenience attributes it has been quite easy to take market share,” he added. “Some of our customers are the major dairies in China.
Jepsson said: “There is significant market growth potential in China. Previously, we only had chill applications available in the country, which meant we only competing from around 10% of the market. Now with an aseptic pack, we have got access to the remaining 90%."
New focus and product differentiation
The company said 2012 would see it focus on the new markets and forecast that Russia would become its second largest market for the pouch after China.
The recloseable feature would be incorporated next year. Field tests are due to be completed in September 2012 with the full launch of this by the end of the first quarter in 2013.
“Our customers say that one of the reasons for choosing the Ecolean package is the uniqueness of the package. It helps them differentiate their products from competitors. The environmental profile of the package combined with consumer convenience are some other benefits that build brand trust," said Peter L Nilsson, company managing director.