THAILAND – Local brand owner Maxx Drink recently launched a new range of fruit-flavoured products in flexible pouches that is less than half the weight of a conventional beverage metal can.
Maxx Drink’s use of the 200ml Cyclero pouches from Huhtamaki – or DrinkBags, as the Finnish converter likes to call them – marks the first time that the all-flexible version of the pouch has gone into full commercial production.
The package’s 8-micron aluminium foil layer in the laminate, coupled with a 90°C pasteurisation process, gives the beverages a year’s shelf-life.
For consumers, the Cyclero pouch provides greater convenience as its peel-off lid lets users drink directly from the aperture, as with a can, without the need for a straw or sprout.
The much lighter pouch also makes it easier for consumers to carry the product around, while decreasing transport costs for Maxx Drink and its distributors.
Because of the empty pouch’s weight, the package can only be produced using a form-fill-seal (FFS) machine concept. Huhtamaki’s European marketing director for flexibles, Gerhard Hartmann, explained: “The machine concept is FFS as the empty pack weighs less than 4g. Such a low-weight pack cannot physically be handled as a pre-made unit.”
Maxx Drink uses a form-fill-seal machine produced by Bulgarian company Mechatronica and installed in Thailand, with speeds achieved on a four-station machine. The equipment supplier’s managing director Miroslav Hinkov said, “Current speeds are up to 170ppm, and we intend to target 200ppm in our next model.”