Food Engineering

Case Study<br>Soy drink wedges itself into single-serve market

April 4, 2003
New packaging makes a strong impression while delivering extended shelf life benefits.

Recognizing the growing demand for "grab and go" beverages, particularly among younger consumers, nutritional beverage manufacturer Hain Celestial Group recently entered the fray by relaunching Westsoy -- the company's soy-based beverage -- in 200 ml. single-serve containers. And the company believes that Westsoy's new wedge-shaped containers will literally drive a wedge between itself and the competition.

Because shelf presence is critical to the success of a new product, Hain turned to Tetra Pak, a leader in aseptic packaging, when it first looked to launch the Westsoy beverage in a single-serve container. The resulting Tetra Wedge package makes a strong impression while delivering the extended shelf life benefits of aseptic packaging.

"Perfect product" to fill void

"We knew there was a market for soy-based drinks in single-serve containers," said Andy Jacobson, president of natural foods and snacks at Hain. "We felt that Westsoy was the perfect product to fill this void, but didn't want to just place it on a shelf." In the meantime, Tetra Pak was looking for a lead company to launch a product of its own, the Tetra Wedge Aseptic 200S. Because of its long-term relationship with Hain, Tetra knew that Hain was looking to break new ground in the beverage category. Further, the Tetra Wedge had been launched successfully in 18 countries outside the U.S.

"This was a unique opportunity for two companies to each benefit from the launch of the other's individual consumer product," recalled Janice Palmer, account manager for roll-fed packaging systems at Tetra Pak.

In addition to driving sales, the Tetra Wedge provided the additional benefit of aseptic technology. Packaged in paper fiber packaging, the Tetra Wedge is 5.25 inches tall, three inches wide on top and two inches wide on the bottom. With a larger front panel and new "fun" shape for differentiation, the packaging itself became a unique branding tool.

In preparation for a soft-launch, Nordic Aseptic in Minnesota packaged for Westsoy. The filling machine used to package the soy beverage in the Tetra Wedge Aseptic was the TBA/19 with a built-in Tubex straw applicator. Run at 6000 p/h, the paper fiber packaging was roll-fed. The unit also includes a Final Folder and an optional dating unit.

The single-serve Westsoy line plans to distribute in 15 flavors, consisting of its core products (13 soy based and 2 rice based), as well as a soy/juice blend called Westsoy JuiceBar and the tea-based Westsoy Chai.

"We've been very pleased with the early results of the soft launch," said Jacobson. "Though it will take several months before we have tangible findings, early consumer reaction to Westsoy in the single-serve has been very positive."

Tetra Pak, Inc. , 101 Corporate Woods Parkway, Vernon Hills, IL 60061, Tel. (847) 955-6000
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