Columns

FOOD PACKAGING: Copackers lead charge to Prisma

April 16, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Both sides shoulder the risk and reap the rewards when package clicks with consumers.

Tetra Pak’s Prisma carton is adding packaging pizzazz to a number of new products, thanks to the support of copackers.


If the rollout of Tetra Pak’s Prisma aseptic carton is any indication, the future of beverage packaging rests firmly in the hands of America’s copackers.

A grown-up version of the Tetra Brik, Prisma is an octagonally shaped, grippable carton that is helping one-time niche products go mainstream. Three beverage companies are making a splash with products packaged in Prisma, and all of them are tapping copackers to pull off processing and packaging. The most recent is Boulder, Colo.’s Horizon Organic Dairy, which contracted with Elma, N.Y.-based Steuben Foods to package an 8-oz. single-serve version of its reduced fat organic milk.

Steuben already was packaging organic milk in gabletops for Horizon, so when the dairy added a Tetra Pak TBA-19 aseptic filling machine to handle Prisma, it was a logical extension for Steuben to copack single-serves for Horizon, according to Ken Schulberg, president of Steuben. “Low acid aseptic processing is very specialized technology,” he points out. “We’re seeing a few companies with expertise in that area installing these lines, and then the marketers come to them.”

The Prisma filler became Steuben’s tenth aseptic line when it went into operation seven months ago, adding a new dimension to production capacity that includes extended shelf life gabletops and pudding cups. The ability to expand available packaging options drove the decision to install the TBA-19 line, Schulberg says. “When we first saw this packaging in Europe and Japan, we felt it was one of the first Tetra Paks that was more than a functional product,” he explains. “It takes the aseptic carton out of the realm of a kid’s pack.”

SoBe Beverage Co. wanted to offer its customers a larger single-serve and that that need was filled by Savannah (Ga.) Manufacturing Co., which outputs an 11 oz./330 ml Prisma carton in three- and six-count Lizard Packs. The nutrient-enhanced drinks had been available in 20-oz. glass bottles, but Brand Manager Bill Meissner wanted a new look to appeal to a younger audience than SoBe’s core consumers: men in the 18-34 age bracket. The foil pull-tab makes Prisma chuggable, and aseptic filling extends shelf life and provides retailers with ambient-temperature merchandising options.

Two of North America’s first Prisma lines were installed in 1999 at California Natural Products, a Lathrup, Calif., copacker that purchased TBA-21 fillers that are set up for 330 ml cartons. The company runs 11 aseptic lines, including bulk fillers.

Power Dream, a sports nutrition drink from Imagine Foods Inc., San Carlos, Calif., was the first product to get the Prisma treatment at California Natural Products. It soon was followed by Nitro-Tech, a muscle-builder developed by a Canadian firm.

Golden, Colo.-based EAS Inc. recognized that a ready-to-drink version of powdered sports nutritional supplements was needed if the category was to break out of the specialty segment, and the low-acid nature of the drink would require aseptic packaging. EAS selected Prisma for AdvantEdge, then fueled a high-power marketing effort that featured celebrities such as Christie Brinkley and Cindy Crawford.

“We take all the risk in installing a filling line like this, which takes about four months to set up,” allows Rodney Tipton, vice president of California Natural Products. “On the other hand, the marketing company assumes the costs of promoting it and gaining shelf space.”

For more information:
Mike Guidry, Tetra Pak, 940-367-1520, mike.guidry@tetrapak.com

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive

Food Engineering

FE September 2014

2014 September

The September 2014 issue of Food Engineering explores how lean manufacturing, quality improvements and increased automation helps processors meet rapidly changing demands. Also, read how robotics, advanced machine controls, software and OEE are just a few of the tools that can boost productivity on packaging lines.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +