Orkla boosts ketchup production with Sidel technology

Sidel’s integrated blow-fill-cap solution

New PET packaging designs with integrated blow-fill-cap solution

By moving to a new PET packaging design and in-house blowing with Sidel’s integrated blow-fill-cap solution, Orkla has boosted its ketchup production’s safety and capacity to meet increased consumer demands for convenient, sustainable, and healthier products.

Orkla Foods, part of the wider Nordic Orkla Group, is a market leader in ketchup, sauces, and dressings, selling branded products in Central Europe, Baltics and Nordics. The group’s main ketchup facility in Fågelmara, in the southeast of Sweden, produces 30 million ketchup bottles a year with twenty different recipes.

Within the sauces and dressings category, consumer demand has increased for healthier ketchup with less sugar, salt, preservatives and made using responsibly sourced ingredients. Similarly, there is a need for convenient and appealing primary packaging to deliver a great consumer experience while also differentiating brands. Additionally, as consumers are increasingly concerned by environmental issues, recyclable packaging is also essential for delivering sales and ultimately, gaining market share.

With the ambition to meet these market goals, Orkla worked with Sidel to adapt its current production model to increase its production capacity and cost efficiency while reducing its environmental impact.  

It’s all in the bottle

To meet consumer requirements, Orkla redesigned its packaging range from cylindrical PP (polypropylene) bottles to modern flat rectangular PET designs. The new easy-to-use ‘squeezable’ shapes allow users to completely empty the bottle and ensure no unnecessary food wastage.

Additionally, the new PET bottles are up to thirty percent lighter than the previous PP design. Orkla has also increased its sustainability credentials as bottles are composed of at least 25 percent of rPET (recycled PET) while the ketchup manufacturer is aiming to utilize fifty percent in future.

Previously, bottles were blown externally and shipped from a UK supplier, but now preforms are sourced locally in Sweden resulting in a ninety percent reduction in CO2 emissions caused by transportation. The new shaped bottles are now blown in-house for a greater control of bottle quality and stock management. Orkla uses Sidel’s preferential heating technology which optimizes PET distribution while allowing the asymmetrical stretching needed to blow flat and shaped containers.

“Switching to a more modern and sustainable PET bottle to revitalize our ketchup brands has been positively received by consumers, resulting in an increase in sales and market shares,” said Per Samuelsson, Project and Process developer of Orkla Foods’ Fågelmara Plant. “Reducing our sourcing costs has also benefited our profitability.”

Ultra-clean ambient filling Combi

Orkla wished to remove additives from its product lines to answer the desire for healthier products.

“When we considered changing our recipe and filling temperature, we were concerned that this would change the product taste and quality which our customers have come to love and expect from Orkla. By working with Sidel, we were able to ensure that we kept our original taste profile while delivering a product that was healthier and more eco-friendly,” said Per Samuelsson.   

With the replacement of outdated stand-alone filling technology, the ketchup manufacturer deliberately moved away from a hot filling process which uses temperatures above 85°C to ensure product stability and hygienic production but that also consumes vast amounts of energy.

Due to the use of an aseptic buffer tank, the new set-up not only allows for ambient filling with less preservatives in the recipe but also reduces the overall energy consumption of the process and packaging line. Additionally, no water is used as the need for container cooling is not required anymore. 

As the product batch is now safely stored in the aseptic tank during production and bottle changeover on the packaging line, this has led to two key benefits. Firstly, a reduction in waste and secondly, changeovers performed by Orkla’s operators are seamless with less pressure on the time it takes to complete the task.

Sidel has provided this ultra-clean ambient filling technology within an integrated Combi solution combining the blowing and capping functionalities. With the Predis preform sterilisation system embedded within the blower and the cap dry decontamination within the capper, Orkla’s quality and safety requirements are also fully met. The Predis blow-fill-cap Combi integrates all functions and transfers (preforms, bottles and caps) in a unique safe enclosure avoiding any contamination risk.

This global solution has allowed a production capacity increase, from six tons per hour to nine preservative-free tons per hour. With production volumes being achieved in less time, Orkla benefited from the ability to introduce new formats and recipes onto its line. 

Sidel was able to draw upon its long-standing experience within the sauce and dressings industry to support Orkla reaching its overarching goals of health, modernity and productivity,” said Sharma Abhinav, Account manager, Food Home and Personal Care for UK, Ireland and Scandinavia.

Packaging South Asia — resilient, growing and impactful — daily, monthly — always responsive

The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are grown similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

For editorial info@ippgroup.in — for advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

Subscribe Now
unnamed 1


Subscribe to our Newsletter


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here