Aseptic packaging: Uflex plans to take on Tetra Pak

Uflex booth at Make In India Week
The fast growing aseptic liquid packaging space is expected to turn competitive in 2018. While the estimated Rs 1,800-crore category in India is dominated by Swedish major Tetra Pak, Indian firm Uflex is entering.

Aseptic packaging is smaller compared to other food and beverage packaging material categories such as plastic bottles and wraps. The aseptic packaging market is expected to double to Rs 3,500 crore by 2020, as it is currently growing at an annually compounded 18 per cent rate.

Uflex has set up a factory at Sanand, Gujarat, with an investment of Rs 580 crore, said Ashwani Sharma, president and chief executive of its new business initiatives. The firm serves all major fast moving consumer goods companies in India, including Nestle, Hindustan Unilever and Patanjali. It says it also plans to tap the foreign market, as the new unit is near seaports.

“We anticipate Rs 1,200 crore of additional revenue in the next three-four years and are looking at a consolidated top line of around Rs 9,000 crore in 2019-20,” he said. Consolidated revenue in 2016-17 was Rs 6,505 crore, of which 60 per cent was from the local market.

Kandarp Singh, managing director for Tetra Pak in South Asia markets, said his company had over 100 customers here and aims to add at least 100 more by 2020. “We can and will tackle growing competition by continuing to meet customer demands through innovative and end-to-end solutions.  Ultimately, it comes down to which suppliers can best understand and fulfil their customers’ needs best and most sustainably.”

Tetra Pak will be investing in bringing advanced technology in India for packaging of food products, like cloud based analytics and remote monitoring. Its manufacturing plant in Chakan, Maharashtra, is the largest and most advanced such site outside Sweden, said Singh. 

According to industry experts, the high growth in aseptic packs is due to growing demand for fruit juices.

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