“Snack is definitely our largest market sector, but we will certainly be pursuing other sectors such as confectionary, cereals, nuts, IQF and powders,” a tna spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.com.
The firm said the 7,650 square metre site, which has two separate factories and an office space, was situated in the Qingdao region of China.
The facility, which opened its doors on 12 November, will initially produce vertical form fill and seal machines (VFFS) – although the company declared product offerings would be expanded later based on demand from local producers. tna said it planned to employ 75 staff there by 2013.
“We will be starting with the tna robag (VFFS) series, then ramping up other products lines which we feel are a good match for the Asian market,” added the spokesman.
Huge growth potential
The firm, which has had sales and service operations in the country for a decade, said the investment in a new factory was recognition of the huge growth potential in the Chinese market.
With an industrial output in 2010 reaching US$184bn, China was second only to the US, said tna.
Huge growth in the Chinese sector has been partly attributed to the packaged food industry which has seen up to 20% growth per annum in recent years, said the company.
“Investing in a market in which we are already active and which is predicted to enjoy double digit year-on-year growth for the foreseeable future wasn’t a difficult decision for tna,” added managing director Michael Green.
He added: “Any global business wanting to be taken seriously in China really needs to invest on the ground. This is all designed to ensure that tna can meet the huge increase in packaging demand from the Chinese and wider Asian market.”
Qingdao District Chengyang, Jihongtan Subdistrict was chosen because of its strong industrial base and its proximity to Beijing and Shanghai. Excellent transport infrastructure including Liuting International Airport, Qingdao Port and a comprehensive road network made Chengyang an ideal base, it said.