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The can alternative shines

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The world’s first retortable carton, Tetra Recart is set to grab food manufacturers’ attention following news that the cost of tin plate, the raw material for making tin cans, is set to increase by a massive 39%. *Milan Bogovic writes.

Recently, The Australian Financial Review and The Australian newspaper reported that companies that pack their products into cans are bracing themselves for the hike that is expected to be fully passed on.

The Australian specifically warned that the price rise will encourage food manufacturers to increasingly look at other packaging, such as cardboard and plastics.

Tetra Recart is set to be a leading contender as an alternative to the can. It is specifically designed for products that require a “retorting process,” that is, “in container sterilisation.”

According to Tetra Pak , Tetra “Recart” (derived from “Retortable Carton”) is currently the only package that is a direct carton replacement for the can – designed to withstand the rigours of the retorting process.

When Tetra Pak were asked to comment on the opportunities that may arise due to the price increase of cans, they were quick to point out that they were extremely excited about Tetra Recart well before any news of an increase in the cost of can production.

“Canning has been around since the early 1800s, and given recent advancements in technology, it was only a matter of time before a better solution became available, and we are proud to be the first to have such an innovative solution,” Tetra Pak sales and marketing director Amine Haddad.

“The can was a great package for its time, but it does have its downfalls. It is heavier than paperboard; its shape takes up more room on shelf and in storage – which is quite a negative given that retail shelf space is so valuable. The can is also somewhat awkward to open, and not safe around children.

“The Tetra Recart addresses all these negatives and more,” says Amine.

Tetra Pak national marketing manager Anita Tomasovic adds that “the Tetra Recart package takes up 60% less space on shelf and in storage. Additionally, when it comes to distribution and logistics, one truck delivering Tetra Recart cartons corresponds to approximately 15 trucks delivering empty cans ready for filling.”

“Tetra Recart’s advantages also extend to the consumer, not just the manufacturer. Our initial research has revealed that consumers view the carton package as being light and compact – therefore easy to carry. It also fits nicely in the cupboard. Opening and pouring the contents is considered extremely easy. The package incorporates a specially developed laser perforated opening system – so consumers need no special openers,” Anita said.

“Mothers undertaking the research also identified that they prefer the carton to the can because it is safer around children – with no cutting edges to worry about. The other advantage the carton had over the can is that it can be reclosed by folding the opening flaps back down. Tetra Recart also disposes a lot more easily than cans,” Anita said.

“When it comes to the environment, Tetra Recart is a winner also, as it can be recycled and is made from renewable resources, unlike steel and plastics,” Tetra Pak environment manager Cheryl Speechley said.

“So you can see why we were excited about Tetra Recart, well before the news that the cost of cans were increasing. This news is just another plus, to be added to the long list of benefits that make Tetra Recart a winner,” concludes Amine Haddad.

* Milan is the principal of Corporate Cultures - a PR agency contracted by Tetra Pak.

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