The company says an environmental initiative with GoGreen to launch 13 bean products in Tetra Recart packages on the Swedish market nearly 10 years ago is paying off.
The market introduction focused on the environmental benefits of the package such as the lightness (less material) and the logistic and transport costs.
GoGreen had one frozen and one dried assortment of beans and they wanted to complete their offering with a ready-to-eat alternative.
Thierry Gihan marketing director, Tetra Recart, told FoodProductionDaily, there has not been much innovation in canned foods over the years but its mission is to educate the consumer.
“The GoGreen initiative was the start of a new way of looking at things in the market place. We got a trial for repackaging beans and after we had some success in the market our rivals reacted to that,” he said.
“One challenge for manufacturers is the investment, you have to somehow change the technology they are using and it can take some time before you switch to the ‘cruising mode’ with volume efficiency. People need to have an appetite for risk and it isn’t easy.
“Most importantly is to see the evidence of our success. We are still very small in that market but we have an interesting model and it can work for all types of products.”
'Fresh & natural image is the new modern'
Peter Jhaveri, MD, Tetra Recart, said it’s difficult to tell what a consumer likes about a package but the idea of a fresh and natural image is the new modern.
“We have done more than 200 consumer tests with different categories in various parts of the world and whether the packaging is white or promo designed it’s important for us to connect and combine a concept, to show what are the benefits of a carton.
“People are looking for an alternative product in the market place, there is an interest to get more ‘down to earth products’, cans can be perceived as competition but cans are still widely perceived as an emergency type product and industrial. The canned food concept is safe but it is under-marketed.
“Our technology offers convenience in pouring, a perforation opening and you can put it back in the fridge unlike cans which can rust. You can also throw the carton in the bin. It’s a package that gains with acquaintance, because the more you use it the more you realize it’s easy the more you appreciate it more, for its convenience.”
Gihan added the concept of packaging beans in something other than a can in other countries lacks understanding from consumers.
France and Germany
The firm has seen a 9% market share of vegetable packaging in Brazil and a 13% market share of vegetables in Italy, with brands such as Piselli, but it is looking to get a foothold in France and Germany with its packaging machinery.
“A lot of this business is working with co packers, over sales reps of customers in Italy but it’s a strong exporter of tomatoes worldwide and we need to find the right partners to come together,” said Jhaveri.
“The iconic brands of Heinz, Del Monte, Knor and Campbell’s utilising our products are testament to what we are trying to do.
“Italy and Sweden is far ahead of France and Germany as Germany has a traditional discounted type of retailer.
“We haven’t found partner within France and Germany for an installation of our machinery, which makes it difficult to get the visibility there.
“The retailers aren’t the decision makers with manufacturers there and we have seen a step back in retailers investing or getting a long-term commitment with manufacturers for Tetra Recart. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation.”