Ton Hoppenbrouwers, director of the new business unit, told FoodProductionDaily.com that the firm is now looking for partnerships with food manufacturers to create "multipackaging solutions. Multipacks are commonly used in the industry to package products such as a six-pack of coke.
The unit will focus in particular on issues such as sustainability and packaging reduction, as the environment is one of the main issues concerning food manufacturers at this current time, he said.
"Companies are increasingly under pressure to be environmentally friendly," he said. "For example, they want to reduce the amount of packaging used for a single product so that there is less eventual waste."
ITW will also consider features for the sales, marketing and distribution of multipacks, considerations which are key to sustained business success, the company said.
Subsidiaries of the new division have now been established in the UK, Poland, Netherlands and Spain, and Hoppenbrouwers claims that the company is focusing on these markets in particular, as well as major manufacturers in other European countries such as Germany.
The creation of the new division is likely to build on ITW's relationship with food manufacturers. The company already owns more than 50 other food equipment companies in 23 countries, including brands like Hobart, Vulcan-Hart and Wolf.
Food equipment generated nearly $2bn (€1.3bn) in revenue for ITW in 2006, or 12 per cent of the company's total revenue of $14.1bn (€9bn).
Hoppenbrouwers would not describe what the company's new packaging solutions may entail, as "it is too early to give an example of specific market launches."
However, the new division will be exhibiting its portfolio of prototypes at the Interpack show in Germany later this month, he added.