Huhtamaki develops kids snack packaging

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Finnish packaging giant Huhtamaki is providing Andros with a range
of packaging solutions for its latest children's fruit-based snack
line, that includes a new bottling technology.

Andros, a French manufacturer of fruit purees and jams and the owner of the BonneMaman brand, is relying on advanced packaging to enter the single portion, out of homemarket for this sector. Andros offers two different fruit snack products in 100 g packaging, targeted for children.

"All the various tastes of the range are apple based,"​ said Nicolas Plantec, Huhtamaki's consumer goods sales & marketing manager. "Apple is a very challengingingredient, since it requires good protection against oxygen in order not to lose itsoriginal colour and taste. However, apple as a taste and as part of blends is very popular,so we set to find excellent barrier packaging solutions."

The packaging of snack products aimed at children is especially important as it needs to be eye-catching, enjoyed on-the-go and have a particular emphasis on safety.

Considernig this, Huhtamaki has developed two different packaging solutions to suit two different products, Andros Snack and Andros Pocket.

Andros Snack, a very solid fruit concentrate is sold in 100 g bottles.Usually the bottle-formed one portion packs are produced with injection blow moulding.This is, however, a relatively expensive technology and due to its monolayercharacteristics does not provide the required barrier properties.

Thus, a new solution was needed. The result is a unique small bottle, sealed withaluminum foil, with high barrier properties. The production utilises Form-Fill-Sealtechnology: Huhtamaki supplies the barrier sheet and after thermoforming the product issleeved and sealed in line. The bottle form requires a very thick barrier sheet which isone of Huhtamaki's core competences in the sheet business.

The other solution, Andros Pocket pouch, is a flexible packaging with rotogravuregraphics and a tamper evident spout and cap closure. The fruit product inside isrelatively thick but still drinkable. The pouches are hot filled, using Form-Fill-Sealtechnology and combined with a high barrier flexible sheet it is an example ofambient packaging.

Currently Huhtamaki​ is in the midst of a restructuring programme, aimed at ironing out inefficiencies in its operations. The company announced the programme at the end of last year, when it said that the two year programme would look at all aspects of the business, but in particular its rigid packaging operations.

As a first step, the company's board of directors has authorised management to initiate local negotiations in certain European countries.

A provision of €46 million will be expensed against the company's 2004 operating income. The actual cash impact in 2005 will be roughly €16 million.

Annual cost savings of €10 million are expected to materialise in full from 2006 onwards.

A second, more sizeable step of the restructuring programme will be announced during the first half of 2005.