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EQUIPMENT

ITC pioneer hyper flexible Sidel complete aseptic PET line with firsts
Wednesday, 29 July, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
One of India's foremost private sector companies, ITC, recently introduced a brand new range of milk-based drinks with fruit pieces while expanding their juice portfolio with a variety of premium 100% Indian fruit, 0% concentrate and 0% preservative juices. With both they trusted Sidel and their proven expertise in aseptic packaging, investing in a complete line, featuring the first dry preform sterilisation in India. Besides helping this manufacturer to gain greater productivity and flexibility, the company designed and tested their three new PET bottle formats for absolute food safety and powerful packaging differentiation on retailers’ shelves.  

ITC Limited, founded in 1910, is a leading company in the Indian market. With a gross sales value of US$10 billion and a diversified portfolio covering many industry sectors – food and beverage, packaging, agriculture and hospitality services, among others – ITC is headquartered in Kolkata (West Bengal) and employs 34,000 people today. This innovation-driven company applies a holistic approach of ‘Integrated Crop Engagement’ to their products, thus meeting the most stringent international food safety standards. In addition, they have received several certifications for their organic and sustainable farm practices.

Surfing the healthy consumerwave in India

Indians are more and more looking for ‘better-for-you’ beverage options, which are offering added nutritional benefits on a daily basis. Busy and stressful lifestyles are increasingly representing the rule for the majority of the Indian population, which is looking for convenient ways to cope with time constraint and is willing to pay a premium for so-called ‘naturally healthy’ beverages in small formats.

Recognising this shift in consumer preferences, ITC recently decided to expand its product range to include liquid dairy products: it launched SunfeastWonderz Milk, a new milk-based drink bottled in PET. Available in 200 ml and 300ml formats, it is offered in four different flavours: Vanilla Milkshake, Mixed-fruit Milkshake, Mango Milkshake and Badam  Milkshake.

In parallel, it added a portfolio of premium Not From Concentrate (NFC) juices with source certified premium fruits to their existing B Natural brand. The portfolio includes the exotic range of Himalayan Mixed Fruit, Ratnagiri Alphonso Mango and Dakshin Pink Guava, making it the first fruit beverage brand in India to provide a portfolio of source certified fruit beverages with 100% Indian Fruit, 0% Concentrate without any preservatives to their customers.

To make this move, ITC needed a highly flexible PET packaging solution. “Strengthening innovation across the organisation is a key business imperative for us in these times of rapid business change and heightened competition. It also ensuresthat weenlarge our market share, create brand differentiation and are future-ready. All of that while pursuing ‘Responsible Competitiveness’ – a socio-economic-environmental framework that is pushing us to always guarantee that growth is sustainable and inclusive,” explains Rajesh Ponnuru, category manager, juices and dairy at ITC Limited.

Much more than pioneering a packaging innovation in India

ITC widened their nutritional drinks portfolio by expanding the packaging material choices supporting their B Natural juices and by launching the new Sunfeast liquid dairy products in PET. The resulting aseptic complete line project was a first in many ways: it was the first time that ITC partnered with Sidel, the very first time they entered the dairy-basedbeveragemarket and the first time UHT milk-based drinks with fruit pieces were launched in India leveraging the benefits of aseptic PET production with dry preform decontamination.

“Our global leadership in this field, based on more than 40 years of expertise and more than 150 references of our Aseptic Combi Predis installed worldwide, was also a key driver for ITC’s decision, further strengthened via the opportunity of taking care of the process phase through Tetra Pak Processing System (TPPS) technologies,” says Gaurav Kumar, project manager execution, global key accounts at Sidel. “We are really proud to be the first ones in India to leverage the benefits of aseptic PET production with dry preform decontamination,” continues Ponnuru. “This unique system perfectly supports the complete aseptic PET solution Sidel provide to us, offering flexibility, sustainability and efficiency. Plus, the Predis system uses no water and very little chemicals during production.”
 
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