The one litre carton will be available globally from spring 2012 after success in Germany, and Tetra Pak cites consumer convenience, reduced cost-in-use for trade customers compared with former products and strong environmental credentials as key advantages.
The company said it was targeting large-volume producers of long shelf-life milks, vitamin-enriched milks, Omega-3 milks and flavoured milks, but also ambient long shelf-life beverages such as juices, nectars, still drinks and wines with its new carton.
Tetra Brik Aseptic Edge has a 30mm opening and features a sloping top panel; Tetra Pak said this was more convenient for customers and would help producers promote products within competitive ambient retail fixtures.
Direct injection moulding
But one ‘key feature’ of Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge, according to Tetra Pak, was an innovation that meant it was able to maximise the opening size while cutting raw material use.
The company said: “This is achieved by moulding the base of the neck as flat as possible to the underside of the packaging material — something previously only applicable for white milk products using direct injection moulding concept (DIMC).
"In an industry first combination of DIMC and pre-laminated hole (PLH) technologies, however, Tetra Pak has made this very low-cost closure technology available to a much broader range of product categories for ambient distribution.”
Tetra Pak said that Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge was available using Tetra Pak A3/Flex iLine solutions with a DIMC applicator incorporated in the filling machine.
This delivers 8,000 packages per hour and selectable capacity, and the firm said it allowed producers to make use of existing processing and secondary packaging equipment.
Günter Berz-List, ceo of German dairy concern Schwälbchen Molkerei (which is an early adopter of Aseptic Edge 1000 along with Friesland Campina Hellas) said that the new carton's sloping top improved air flow within the carton, making pouring less jerky for customers.
Beverage firms are also able to fit 750 units of Tetra Pak’s new carton onto a euro pallet, rather than 720 in the case of Tetra Pak’s earlier Tetra Brik Aseptic carton with a SlimCap closure.
Berz-List highlighted two advantages of this improvement for his firm: firstly, the new carton takes up less warehouse space, and secondly, Schwälbchen Molkerei can save fuel by fitting more cartons onto lorries for delivery.
Tetra Pak said its new carton also held marketing benefits for beverage firms, with the sloping top panel more visible to shoppers, making it an ideal space for extra branding and to draw attention to the large closure.
Furthermore, the company said: “With 5 visible printing surfaces and a square bottom format, there’s a greater possibility that a brand is facing out towards the consumer on the shelf.”
The sloping top also made it easier for consumers to access the cap, and meant the package didn’t need to be held that up high to use, Tetra Pak added.
The new carton is available with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified packaging material, but Tetra Pak said it would also offer the option of green high-density polyethylene closures made from sugarcane from 2012.