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riha WeserGold: Naturella now in combidome - bold new look for this well-established brand
The carton bottle from SIG Combibloc now on sale in Germany
Thomas Mertens, Managing Director Materials Management at riha WeserGold Getränke GmbH & Co. KG, believes the company has made the right choice with combidome: “combidome is an eye-catching package, and it’s the perfect vehicle for placing a really great product centre stage. It looks like a bottle and is just as easy to use, but combidome also offers all the advantages of a carton pack, because the entire package is manufactured from an eco-friendly cardboard composite. Packaged in this composite material, our juices are perfectly protected. And economically, too, beverage cartons are a great choice”. For Mertens, combidome combines all the important criteria that ensure their products are clearly differentiated from the competition.
In the highly competitive juice markets, making sure their own products stand out from the crowd of competing products is high on every beverage manufacturer’s agenda. But to make a lasting impact, a packaging concept needs more than just a good, eye-catching exterior. So, working with a team of highly motivated employees, Christoph Kenn, System Project Manager for combidome at SIG Combibloc, has developed a packaging solution that is truly one of a kind: the pack is manufactured entirely from a cardboard composite. And it is topped with the single-action domeTwist screw cap. Inside the combidome filling machine, which produces 12,000 packages per hour, the two components are assembled into the finished carton pack, aseptically filled and securely sealed. Christoph Kenn: “At 28 mm, the internal diameter of the closure is very large – as it’s positioned in the centre of the carton top, this makes for extremely smooth pouring action, and enables users to drink conveniently straight from the carton pack”.
Technology turned upside down
The large-sized closure is integrated into the carton using a new sealing process. While normally the base is sealed and the carton is then filled and sealed across the top inside the SIG Combibloc filling machines, and the closure is affixed afterwards using an applicator, with combidome it is a whole different story. First, the closure is moulded onto the ‘neck’ of the package – the ‘dome’ that gives combidome its name. The carton is then moved upside down into the filling zone, where it is sterilised and filled. At the end of the process, the base is sealed.
riha WeserGold Getränke GmbH & Co. KG has its first combidome filling machine in operation at the company’s German plant in Rinteln. This family company, founded in 1934 by Richard Hartinger, has grown from a classic regional juice manufacturer, producing freshly pressed fruit juices and refreshing fruit juice drinks, to a company with an international presence offering a full range of products. riha WeserGold generates more than 600 million Euros per annum and is one of Europe’s largest fruit juice manufacturers.
Interview with Thomas Mertens, Managing Director Materials Management at riha WeserGold Getränke GmbH & Co. KG:
Mr Mertens, you are the first manufacturer to have opted for the new combidome carton pack. What was the factor that encouraged you to do this?
Mertens: Nowadays, it is becoming more difficult to be an active and innovative player in the market. Innovations have become increasingly defined through packaging, simply because the wide variety of fruit juice products is predetermined by the variety of the fruits themselves. And we see that packaging innovations in the convenience area play a substantial role for consumers. The original packaging system for beverages was the glass bottle, and this became the product that consumers knew best, thanks to its ease of handling and pouring. We believe that combidome from SIG Combibloc is a system that comes closest to the glass bottle – or to bottles in general. This is why we opted for combidome.
What are the features of combidome that play a role for you as manufacturer or for the trade in general?
Mertens: We believe that combidome gives the trade an appealing alternative to other packaging solutions. We also think that it offers significant logistical advantages that the trade will welcome in terms of its ease of storage, stacking and transportation. We have already observed these logistical advantages in our in-house processes within the first months. Using combidome showed, right from the outset, that this was an easy-to-use packaging system which also offers a wealth of stability and safety thanks to its cone-like shape. This is clear at all stages from production to our ultra-modern logistics centres.
What are your plans for the new combidome packaging?
Mertens: We have many plans for combidome that we are marketing more intensively than ever before in close cooperation with SIG Combibloc. You will likely start to see these on the supermarket shelves very soon.
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