Want to experiment with new combinations of flavours and textures? Join us at the Tetra Recart® Food Development Centre (FDC). Far from the stress of the production hall, you can work creatively with our chefs, food developers, and process, filling, and food technologists whose experience spans the globe. They can come up with suggestions, tweak your recipes in different directions, solve production issues, and ensure you get the results you want with the Tetra Recart packaging system.
Whatever stage of your food production journey you’re at, our FDC can help. An existing Tetra Recart producer? You can visit the FDC to try out a new product idea or to get ideas for revitalising and expanding your range. For example, we helped one large food producer expand their portfolio from fruits and vegetables into more elaborate products closer to ready meals. Together, we developed several new recipes, which resulted in three new products hitting the shelves.
And if you’re a start-up company or new to the canned food business, we can help you originate and refine your first few recipes to suit your new Tetra Recart packaging line. One new Swedish baby food producer looking to expand from liquid products into ready meals sought our help to adapt their recipes for Tetra Recart, alongside advice on ingredient selection and improving the overall quality. Very successful they were too.
Making that switch – from tin cans, glass jars, or plastic pouches to Tetra Recart – is becoming increasingly common, and with good reason. As a modern package, it allows you to differentiate your brand and product – thanks to its flat front, it has a much better visualisation on the shelf. Tetra Recart also has a much lower carbon footprint1 compared to cans, jars, and pouches, and is much more convenient from a logistics point of view (in terms of packing, transporting, and storing).
Our FDC can also support you when it comes to expertise on recipe formulation, filling, and sealing – depending on what it is that you're producing, we can advise on how easy it is to switch to Tetra Recart and what factors you might need to think about. “Depending on the exact heat treatment process you would like to use, you might need to use a different type of starch or alter the pH a little,” says Kristin Borggren, the Food Development Centre Director. “We find the best solutions that fit your products.”
Start your search for inspiration and innovation with a tasting session. You can visit us and sample some of the commercially available products we’ve created with and for other customers, or taste some of the ideas for flavours and formats we’ve developed in our own experimental kitchen. Our skilled product development chefs have extensive backgrounds in food product development, restaurant kitchens, and food technology – they are passionate food lovers as much as they are technicians.
And with a deep interest in food, they have extensive knowledge of global trends, product development, and taste profiles, treating ingredients and the culinary aspect of their work with the reverence it deserves. It’s this inspiration – from our own chefs and cuisines the world over – that helps you satisfy your consumers’ relentless hunger for novelty and quality.
A common challenge is fine-tuning your recipe to suit different geographies and target groups. “Taste profiles and preferences around the world are so different,” explains Borggren. “And if you’re a producer that has only been producing in your home market, you might not be aware of what’s required for other territories.” Even very standardised products, such as ketchup, are altered slightly for different markets, she says, so when it comes to something like curry and other distinctive flavours, what works in Asia might fall flat in North America.
But when it comes to adapting your product’s taste profile to meet local preferences, it’s more a question of knowledge and expertise than any specific technical challenge. “We have experience with the taste profiles of different regions and what works, so we can guide you and help you tweak their recipes,” adds Borggren. “And we can help with marketing support and trend analysis. Our team is here to help.”
Innovation and consumer appeal are of little interest to manufacturers without profitability – you must always balance availability, cost, and quality. With our food application knowledge, we can help you get the most out of your ingredients or enhance your products to give them premium appeal. “We do a lot of what we call ‘elaborated products’ – lifting the so-called low-profit, basic products to a higher margin product that is perhaps more ready-to-use,” says Borggren. “So if you already have a vegetable mix, you could make a ratatouille.”
It's also, she adds, a question of discussing different types of ingredients with you: What is possible, what are seasonal products, and what are more things that you can buy off-season? “It depends on the perception of ‘quality’ in your products, and how we can enhance that. And we have to consider your own kitchen setup – how can you use that in an optimal way to create better quality?”
If you want to experiment at your own site without interrupting normal production or can’t bring your ingredients to us, why not take advantage of our mobile test unit? This is essentially a pilot packaging line that operates separately from your usual plant. We provide all the equipment and knowledge you need to get started. And once you’re familiar with the unit, you can continue working with it independently.
1 Carbon emissions from Tetra Recart over the lifetime of the package are 81% lower than those of steel cans and glass jars, according to life cycle assessments of food packaging, 2014–2021. For more information, see: LCA examples for Food containers