Tetra Pak’s pouch system for cost-sensitive market

Tetra Pak is preparing to market its Tetra Fino aseptic (TFA) filling machine, which produces pillow-shaped aseptic cardboard-based pouches (pictured) for cost-sensitive markets more intensively in Sub-Saharan Africa. This follows the first installation of a TFA filling machine for Parmalat Zambia.
This type of machine has already been intr {mosimage}Tetra Pak is preparing to market its Tetra Fino aseptic (TFA) filling machine, which produces pillow-shaped aseptic cardboard-based pouches (pictured) for cost-sensitive markets more intensively in Sub-Saharan Africa. This follows the first installation of a TFA filling machine for Parmalat Zambia.
This type of machine has already been introduced in some lower-income developing countries – for instance, Egypt, Ecuador, Iran, India and China. Tetra Pak specifically aims the machine at countries with per capita income of less than $3,000/year.Generally, in marketing its aseptic packaging, Tetra Pak – which has about 90% of the world market in aseptic “Brik” carton packaging – aims at the 39% of the world milk market which is in “loose milk”.
A TFA packaging system typically consists of a Tetra Therm Aseptic Primo processing module, which heats the milk to 140™  ° and Tetra Pak’s TBA/3 machine (TBA:Tetra Brik aseptic) technology. The TBA/3 is has a capacity of 2,400 one litre packages or 3,600 packages 500ml per hour and has been developed for ease of operation and maintenance in developing countries. The machine has few moving parts and takes up very little floor space.
Unlike an automated plant, no distribution equipment is necessary on the TFA line because the filled pouches are manually packed in cardboard boxes or plastic cartons.
Tetra Pak does not reveal publicly the cost of the UHT machine or the cost of the refurbished TFA filling machine which it offers. However, it does say that this system is a low-cost, low-resource solution “which maintains the Tetra Pak tradition of superior performance”.
The machine cannot use any other cardboard-based pouch packaging besides the Tetra Pak, so that all of the material would, on an ongoing basis, be drawn from Tetra Pak.
The TFA comes in 250 ml, 500ml and 1 litre sizes. On an indexed basis, the ex-factory cost for pasteurised milk packed in a 500ml “normal” plastic pouch would be about 50, compared to 70 for the same volume of milk packaged in a TFA pouch and 100 for that in a Tetra Pak carton.
Tetra Pak says the TFA bridges the gap between pasteurised milk in plastic pouches and UHT milk in aseptic cartons. The triple layered polyethylene is highly resistant.
It says the material has excellent sealing properties which are enhanced by sealing inner layer to inner layer.
It says that leakage is minimised by using impulse heating to ensure tight seals and the TFA has excellent printability.
Tetra Pak guarantees that the Tetra Fino Aseptic has an unfridgerated shelf life of 45 days at ambient temperatures – much longer than street milk. This is important in hot countries, and compares with the seven months guaranteed for Tetra Brik aseptic cartons.
Tetra Pak markets the system on the basis that it is a way to provide hygienic, safe and packaged, affordable milk to the lower end of the market. It does not recommend its clients to downgrade from Tetra Brik aseptic cartons, which can achieve higher profit margins, or to place the Tetra Fino and Tetra Brik products in the same retail outlets.
However, where this has happened – for instance in Egypt, where there are six Tetra Fino machines currently – Tetra Pak says it has found that the TFA has helped to educate consumers into aseptic milk and higher sales of cartoned aseptic milk have resulted. Egypt is a market in transition towards a medium income country.
TETRA PAK: philippe.delouche@tetrapak.com Tel +27 31 7100317 Fax +27 31 7017668
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