- THE MAGAZINE
- FOOD MASTER
Retailers such as Meijer, Hyvee and Giant Eagle are members of buying cooperative Topco Associates, which participates in Tetra Pak’s council. Under the Skokie, IL-based coop’s Food Club private label, a smattering of stores in Minnesota are stocking retorted products without ad support, and the results are encouraging, reports Dennis Dangerfield, vice president-purchasing. “There are huge operational efficiencies,” he says. “For example, shrink is reduced. If a box falls off the shelf, you just put it back. If a can falls, it dents and goes in the banana box and becomes salvage.”
The cartons are retorted at Del Monte Foods’ Hanford, CA, tomato plant, which commissioned a TPR-1 high-speed Recart filler last summer. The unit can fill up to 400 containers a minute. While the fastest US canners fill at twice that rate, the TPR-1 “is unprecedented in terms of carton-filling speed,” says Steve Hellenschmidt, general manager of Tetra Recart North America. The filler handles three container sizes: 340 g, 390 g and 500 g.
Despite the Hormel setback, Hellenschmidt is upbeat about Recart’s future. Of the 13 lines running worldwide, the one that has shifted market share the most is just south of the border, in Los Mochis, Mexico, where Corfuerte SA built a facility two years ago in partnership with Tetra Pak to pack a variety of vegetables and salsa.
For more information:
Steve Hellenschmidt, Tetra Pak Inc., 847-955-6454, firstname.lastname@example.org