The retortable carton package was launched in 2003 and the company has sold more than 30 form and seal and filling production lines to over 22 customers for 140 brands, across 50 countries with plans to launch another one for whole peeled tomatoes in Portugal in June.
First production line in Portugal
Peter Jhaveri, MD, Tetra Recart, told FoodProductionDaily this is the first production line it has sold to Portugal, which will be exporting its product across northern Europe.
“It’s taken up 60 years to get Tetra Pak where it is today and this is the journey we are on,” he said.
“Tetra Pak started out by doing something disruptive in the industry, changing the way something stable was done by bringing milk to the people. It came up with an odd idea of putting liquid in paper. 60 years on, this company has grown tremendously. Now, we are trying to start another disruptive idea.”
Jhaveri added, in retorted food, manufacturers put the food inside the packaging, then cook it inside the pack itself, Tetra Recart makes the packaging and supplies the equipment needed to produce it.
The carton is made up of three layers; plastic, a thin layer of aluminium foil and paperboard. It is sterilized for up to two hours, and the plastic and ink can withstand high temperatures of humidity and pressure inside the machine.
Same filling technology used for cans
“We combine a package and the packaging technology which was traditionally used for cans. We do the packaging and the equipment that’s needed, it’s not that different from Tetra Pak aseptic,” added Jhaveri.
“What we sell to our customers is the pre-made package, manufacturers buy equipment from us. As the package is ready for filling our machines fold it at one end and seal it up.
“The shelf life is determined by the food inside, up to two years, but, in many cases the product can last longer but that’s not beneficial from a marketing point of view.”
Jhaveri said the company has decided to focus primarily on the following types of food; tomatoes, fruit, vegetables, baked beans, soups, ready meals, sauces, pet food, and beans but it wants more of the market share in each category.
Andy Warhol condensed tomato soup
He said would his dream product would be iconic brands like Andy Warhol condensed tomato soup or Heinz baked beans.
“The food industry today is more traditional than a high fast moving one. There is some hesistation among some manufacturers because our product is not an average one. One of the things we have to accept is change does not come easily, it is not necessarily quick but, when the key brands move, the other ones move with them.”
Tetra Recart has had a production line in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia since 2006, with Al Rabie Saudi Foods Company and for Siam Del Monte, in Thailand, owned by Japanese Kikkoman Group, where it primarily manufactures corn and ready meals for China and Japan.
The company is now focusing on converting existing lines in the Americas and the markets ‘where more of our time is spent on what is packed already’.