Reporting on its 2012 results, Germany's Weidenhammer Packaging Group (WPG) said its first plant in Latin America was set to start production of composite cans in November.
The new plant in Santiago de Chile would make snack cans initially on a single production line, explained WPG chief executive Ralf Weidenhammer.
"We have been sounding out the market in Latin America for several years and see a huge potential for our composite cans there. The timing of our market entry has been carefully planned - particularly with regard to the 2014 Football World Cup in Brazil and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro."
WPG has invested four million euros in the factory and claims it will create 25 new jobs in the region by the end of 2014.
In terms of innovation, Weidenhammer said the company would focus on the development of gas impermeable cans for sensitive products such as coffee and milk powder.
Last year the group launched a gas impermeable peel-off top composite can at the FachPack trade fair in Nuremberg, Germany. It now plans to launch the first peel-off top composite can for baby milk powder in Italy in partnership with HJ Heinz.
"We see a huge potential for this product, which will, over the long term, be able to replace tin plate cans in many areas," said Weidenhammer.
PermaSafe, WPG's specially developed in-mould-labelling packaging for pasteurised and sterilised food, which is impervious to oxygen and water vapour, held a lot of promise too, he added.
"Now that the first products in PermaSafe are on the market, we are seeing increasing interest in this novel packaging in Germany and other European markets, including France."
WPG, which supplies composite cans, composite drums and plastic containers to brands such as Nestle, Kellogg and Kraft Foods, reported a 6.5% increase in revenues in 2012 compared to the previous year, from 230m euros to 245m euros.
"In view of the enduring economic crisis in most European markets and the highly competitive situation, we had not expected the result to be as positive as this. We have not merely achieved our targets, but exceeded them."