Tetra Pak has completed a €65m upgrade for its packaging material plant in Ponta Grossa, Brazil, which will be ready for commercialization in September.
The project, which started two years ago, increases the capacity of the plant by 70% to 13bn packs and brings the Brazilian total to 22bn.
Second largest market after China
The upgrade means the factory can produce more packages and sizes, including Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge, Tetra Gemina Aseptic 1000 and Tetra Top.
Paulo Nigro, cluster VP, Tetra Pak North, Central and South America, told FoodProductionDaily, Brazil is the second largest market for Tetra Pak globally after China and it began operating in the country 57 years ago.
“As one of the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Brazil represents an excellent growth opportunity,” he said.
“The population is young and incomes are rising which translates into a major opportunity for food and drink brands. Our package designs, and the integrated processing and filling technology that support them, enable our customers to get their brands and products into the hands of consumers, which means as our customers grow, we support and grow with them.
“Our largest market is China, but we are seeing strong demand for our packaging and processing in markets like the Greater Middle East, India and South and South East Asia.”
According to Tetra Pak, domestic demand for carton packaging in Brazil has been growing steadily at 5.5% CAGR since 2007, with 13bn packages sold in 2013.
20% beverage growth
The beverage segment grew by 20% last year, driven by the 100%-juice category. Other markets in Latin America, such as the Andean and Caribbean countries, are also growing and demanding increased production capacity in the region.
“We delivered 13bn packs to our customers in Brazil and Latin America, yet this year we’re expecting further growth of between 5% and 6%,” added Nigro.
“This growth means our customers not only need us to produce more packs with a shorter lead time, but we need to offer a variety of package designs, particularly in our advanced formats, which offers greater differentiation.”
He added as part of the upgrade, its machines will produce practically the entire portfolio of packaging marketed in Brazil and South America.
“We announced the upgrade project in January 2012 and the construction started in 2013,” said Nigro.
“From a customer’s perspective, our packages stand out on the shelf, they’re lightweight, perform well from a logistical standpoint and derived from predominantly renewable resources,” he added.
“From the consumer’s perspective, they are convenient, look great, handle and pour well and the environmental profile of our cartons adds to their appeal.
“Our aseptic technology, which preserves without the need for refrigeration or preservatives, makes sense anywhere in the world, but it’s especially important in Brazil where you find both a hot climate and long distances between food production and consumption.”