WPG’s facility in Inofita near Athens in Greece produces composite cans for snacks and nuts as well as other food categories and instant beverages, and has been doing so since 2004.
The facility is close to the manufacturing base of its primary customer, the US food group General Mills.
The packaging supplier said the construction of production and warehouse facilities in Inofita is one of the company's largest new plant projects in recent years and represents a clear commitment to its operations in Greece.
"Despite the economic challenges Greece faces at the moment, it is definitely a very good location both to produce and to market composite cans - in the Greek home market as well as its neighbouring countries.
Composite cans may be well established in countries like Germany, Switzerland, France, the UK or Italy but they still are a relatively new packaging solution in Southeastern Europe where many products like snacks and instant beverages are still distributed in traditional packaging like tin cans. In many product segments, Weidenhammer composite cans represent the more cost-efficient and eco-friendly alternative to that traditional packaging," said a WPG spokesperson.
WPG said that the funds for the extension of the Greek facility stemmed both from its cash flow and a grant from the EU, which it stated totalled 20 per cent of the investment costs. "The Weidenhammer plant contributes to economic strengthening of the Inofita region, which is an important criterium for receiving EU funds," the spokesperson told BakeryandSnacks.com
Currently, 17 employees working on two assembly lines at the facility produce several million packages per month. The larger production facility covering 4,000 square meters offers sufficient space for future growth, stated the composite can producer.
WPG also said it will be releasing new peel-off tops for composite cans at the German trade show FachPack at the end of this month. "Snacks especially peanuts and nut products are the main target segment for the new peel-off top solution," said the spokesperson.
The supplier maintains that the easy-peel cap with ring pull is similar to the familiar top on metal cans and it works just as effectively, providing an airtight seal.
And the WPG spokesperson said the that its new peel-off tops for composite cans offer advantages with regards to recyclability and transport by reducing weight and thus energy consumption in transit.