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Huanlejia China shifts its coconut milk to PET for stronger brand image and higher output

Huanlejia, well-known as a Chinese producer of food and beverages, recently started
producing its coconut milk – formerly packaged in HDPE – in PET bottles. Its main
objectives in this change were to reinforce its brand image and increase production
speed. The company relied on Sidel’s 40-year expertise in aseptic packaging to make this
happen. The new coconut milk PET bottle, already awarded by local consumers, is
produced on two Sidel complete aseptic PET packaging lines, running at 48,000 bottles
per hour (bph).

In 2016, coconut and other plant waters was the fastest growing beverage product category
globally with a remarkable 20% value growth. The success of this new category can be linked to
an increased consumer demand for healthy and functional hydration solutions. While coconut
water dominates the market of packaged plant and root waters, the peripheries of this category
have seen a wide range of new product introductions and sophisticated experimentation with
tastes and consumer preferences.

In the context of generally healthier consumer attitudes, the sales of 100% fruit juice, bottled
water and herbal drinks are strongly increasing, at the expense of added sugar juice drinks. 2 A
case in point for this trend is the new Huanlejia PET packaged coconut milk, a plant-based
alternative to dairy drinks, sold across the Chinese market. Previously, the Chinese food and
beverage manufacturer with production sites in the Guangdong, Hubei and Shandong
provinces, employing over 4,000 workers with an annual turnover of over 3 billion RMB, was
packaging its large product portfolio in cans, HDPE and glass. This is the first time that
Huanlejia moved to PET bottles for the promotion of its coconut milk, formerly packaged in
HDPE. With its full marketing sleeve label to value the brand and the product, the Huanlejia
coconut milk bottled in PET has been praised by local consumers, including a star product
award by the 2018 Chengdu Food and Drinks Fair, which is assigned on a yearly basis.

Successful shift from HDPE to aseptic PET packaging

Two years ago, Huanlejia decided to launch its coconut milk in PET bottles due to the many
advantages offered by the packaging material itself as well as the industrial packaging line. PET
is strong, unbreakable, light, transparent, safe, and above all 100% recyclable. The PET bottle
ensures the coconut milk 12-month shelf life without any sterilised aluminium foil before capping
because the tightness between the bottle neck and the cap is very safe. As such, PET bottles
typically deliver a greater brand image and enhance the overall customer experience; all of that
by leveraging packaging production equipment, able to generate a higher output rate and lower
production costs by reducing the energy and raw material costs. With these benefits in mind,
they were looking for a reliable partner that could offer complete aseptic PET lines.
From engineering to performance guarantee

From engineering to performance guarantee
Sidel’s strong reputation in the aseptic sector was key when Huanlejia acquired the two new
PET packaging lines. This is where Sidel’s proven expertise as a full solution partner came in,
from product preparation and treatment through aseptic packaging steps to logistics. Sidel’s
complete solutions are designed and engineered based on the customer’s needs, always
keeping the performance as key point. Meeting the required standard in terms of food safety,
product integrity and traceability, and ergonomic operator procedure leads to safety at 360°.
Acquiring complete line solutions from a single supplier is a logical choice: it simplifies the
customers’ journey from purchasing, through installation and commissioning and, most
importantly, up to the line’s operational lifetime and performance guarantee.
By collaborating with Sidel as a full solution partner, an expert in beverage recipes and
processing, packaging development, engineering, machinery, production and services,
Huanlejia gained access to a thorough understanding of the entire PET supply chain, from
current market trends and changing consumer tastes to the challenges of beverage distribution
and local regulations.

Finding the optimum solution for Huanlejia went beyond a simple choice of equipment; it re-
quired a flexible approach to set up the two complete aseptic PET packaging lines. With current
demands so unstable on the Chinese market, the company was well-advised to con-sider the
specific present and future needs of its bottling lines from the beginning to the end-of-line.
Two complete aseptic PET lines running at 48,000 bph