With the domestic juice market in decline, German producer beckers bester set out to find a package that would help its new range of organic juices and nectars stand out from the competition and underline the company’s long-standing commitment to sustainability. Tetra Prisma® Aseptic 1000 Square with Bio-based HeliCap™, using Tetra Pak® Craft packaging material, proved the perfect solution. A market first, the new package is designed to appeal to beckers’ target consumer groups, and offers significant environmental benefits too.
The beckers bester story dates back to the early 1930s, when company founder, farmer Bertha Becker, decided to make and sell juice from her surplus apples. Today, the company makes more than 300 different products including juices, nectars and fruit juice drinks at its site in Lütgenrode, Lower Saxony. It remains family-owned – owner and MD Sebastian Koeppel is Bertha Becker’s great grandson – and has kept a strong focus on natural, high quality products. Sustainability is also a key priority for beckers bester: carbon neutral since 2014, the company has its own biomass power plant and wastewater treatment, and in 2018 made the decision to discontinue its PET business.
The relationship between Tetra Pak and beckers bester is a close one, and there is a strong track record of innovation. In 2016, beckers bester implemented its first end-to-end packaging and processing solution with Tetra Pak. The design relaunch of its Tetra Prisma® Aseptic range in 2017 was a significant one, enabling beckers bester to achieve greater differentiation for its products in the marketplace. beckers bester also has the Tetra Pak Maintenance System in place and earlier this year implemented Daily Management System (DMS) and Focused Improvement (FI), working with colleagues from Services Industry 4.0 Solutions to increase overall production capacity and reduce operational costs.
While beckers bester volumes have continued to grow, overall the juice market in Germany has been declining for a number of years. Consumers are increasingly concerned with environmental and sustainability issues and are looking for companies to take a lead in this area. beckers bester set out to build on its existing portfolio of not-from-concentrate juices in carton packages, and further demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, by adding a range of organic juices. It was looking for a packaging material that would match the product concept, and that could be used on its existing lines with no additional investment needed.
Tetra Pak worked closely with beckers bester to identify the perfect packaging solution for its new organic juices and nectars range. Tetra Prisma Aseptic 1000 Square with Bio-based HeliCap, using Tetra Pak Craft packaging material, proved to be ideal. With its natural look, this innovative material is the ideal match for products that put the emphasis on natural ingredients and authenticity, and gave beckers bester an opportunity to achieve a market first. Overall, the package has impressive environmental credentials. Unbleached, uncoated paperboard is made from FSC™-certified wood and both the cap and the polyethylene film are made from 100% bio-based plastic. The package with Tetra Pak Craft packaging material also weighs around 5% less than with clay-coated duplex board. All of this adds up to reduced CO2 emissions – highly appreciated by beckers bester and totally in line with its sustainability mindset. Tetra Pak also supported beckers bester in creating new designs for this latest organic product range and building a sales kit for retail.
Five varieties of juice – apple, red grape, orange, cherry and rhubarb – were launched earlier this year, at a premium price point of €2.29 compared with €1.79 for the existing range. All five are certified organic, 100% vegan and free from additives and preservatives. Currently, the product is available in the same retail outlets as beckers bester’s other lines, as well as online. The company has plans to target organic supermarkets too. A wide-ranging promotional campaign including online and social media targets two groups in particular, “naturalists” who already tend to buy organic food and drink, and “nest warmers”, parents who are concerned with quality but also with having a lighter, more convenient package compared to returnable glass bottles.
“We respect that there are good reasons in our customers’ everyday lives for using disposable packaging. We offer that – as sustainably as possible – in beverage cartons. Tetra Pak’s own high sustainability goals show that they are the right partner to have by our side.” Sebastian Koeppel, MD, beckers bester.
* Mafowerk consumer insights, Fruchtsaft 2017.
Headquarters: Lütgenrode, Lower Saxony
Annual turnover: €50 million
Brand ranking, Germany*: No. 6 in unprompted brand awareness; No. 4 in recommendation rate of fruit juice brands
Export markets: China, Russia, Hong Kong, Romania
Business with Tetra Pak: One Tetra Pak® Aseptic Tank, one Tetra Pak® Pasteurizer, one Tetra Pak® CIP unit, one Tetra Pak® A3/Flex line for Tetra Prisma® Aseptic 1000/750ml Square with Bio-based HeliCap™ 27 and one Tetra Pak®