Manufacturers of dairy products and juice are considering reducing the range. This was told to Izvestia by a source in one of the largest companies in this market. According to him, in the near future, the factories will not have enough Tetra Pak aseptic packaging: one of the two manufacturers of this container curtailed work in March. This means that the business will be forced to abandon products with a long shelf life that require sterilization, such as milk and cream. The Rusbrand Association agrees that manufacturers can take this step. The Ministry of Industry and Trade also recognizes the problem. The department offered to wait for tests for the production of similar domestic packaging in Kazan, and consider glass bottles as an alternative.
Cut off the excess
A source in one of the large companies told Izvestia that dairy producers and juice producers intend to reduce the range of products against the backdrop of a shortage of packaging. He clarified: enterprises do not have enough aseptic containers. This type of packaging is designed for products with a long shelf life. According to the technology, the product and aseptic packaging are sterilized separately, after which the container is filled with a drink and sealed under sterile conditions. This approach allows you to preserve the properties of products for a long time.
In “milk” asepsis is used for sterilized products and cream. Farmer’s milk was bought for her in the summer, and sold much later – in the fall, the source added. Now, when there is not enough asepsis, factories will concentrate on the production of perishable goods, the source said. This means that they will seek to buy only the milk that can be processed and quickly sold – relatively speaking, within 30 days, the source added. It turns out that it will be impossible to use the rest of the farmers’ raw materials, he specified.
— The main problem is the lack of the required volume of aseptic packaging. While the companies do not know how to solve this issue, the assortment will definitely be reduced for everyone – there are no alternatives for aseptic packaging yet, – added the source of the publication.
Asepsis in the Russian Federation was produced by two factories – Tetra Pak and Elopak, they also imported the necessary materials for its manufacture into the country, plus they imported ready-made containers. But in mid-March, Elopak announced the suspension of activities. Until now, companies had stocks of these products, but now manufacturers are faced with a shortage of containers on the market. The business warned about the likelihood of such difficulties in mid-March, Izvestia wrote.
Glass to the rescue
Producers of juices, baby food and dairy products really lack aseptic packaging, as well as paints for it, glue, and so on, Alexey Popovichev, executive director of Rusbrand (the union includes Danone, Unilever and other companies), told Izvestia. According to him, the factories have stocks of containers, but they are gradually declining. Therefore, companies have to decide how to reduce the use of packaging, the expert explained. For example, a business might move away from low-volume products and beverages with a long shelf life. Also, companies are ready to change the design of the packaging, making it less expressive: for example, Sady Pridonya has already announced a change in packaging, now it will have less colors on it.
“Although a significant number of manufacturers of packaging materials make the finished product in Russia, many components for it were imported, including raw materials for aseptic packaging, paints and more,” Soyuzmoloko told Izvestia. – It will take some time to find alternatives to it or switch to another container.
Packaging suppliers are now trying to ensure uninterrupted supplies for priority food products, which included dairy products, the representative of the union added. But due to the limited supply of asepsis, some enterprises may revise their assortment policy, for example, increase the output of products in PET containers, Soyuzmolok allowed.
To provide producers of dairy products with the necessary volume of packaging, an interdepartmental working group has already been created, Izvestia was told in the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The ministry reminded that polyethylene films for Tetra Pak were traditionally imported from Europe and the USA. But due to the problems with logistics that have arisen, it is now almost impossible to purchase them abroad. Therefore, a domestic brand of polyethylene was developed in Kazan. It passes test tests at the enterprises which let out a container.
“There is also packaging made from alternative raw materials, such as glass,” the Ministry of Industry and Trade added. — The Russian glass container industry is currently 60-70% loaded. Its technological level allows replacing any packaging in terms of capacity.
The department noted that glass has always been considered the most environmentally friendly material, especially in comparison with aseptic cardboard (Tetra Pak) and plastic packaging. In addition, glass containers are almost entirely produced from domestic raw materials, and are also reusable.
A massive return to glass bottles is hardly possible, Soyuzmolok said. This container does not allow for long periods of storage, plus there are difficulties due to its fragility. But the main thing is that the operating filling lines are set up for asepsis, and not for bottles, the association emphasized. The transition from cardboard packaging to glass packaging will require a complete replacement of packaging lines, they concluded.