India’s largest flexible packaging company Uflex Ltd aims to operationalise its aseptic packaging plant, being set up at Sanand in Gujarat, in April 2017. The company, which already has manufacturing facilities at Noida, Jammu and Malanpur, will spend Rs 580 crores in the first phase and employ around 250 people.
Uflex is planning multi-phase expansion at the new site and estimates a total investment of about Rs 1500 crores in all the phases of the project. About 90 percent of the output from this factory will cater to the domestic demand. Starting with initial capacity of around 3.5 billion packs, the plant will finally produce up to seven billion packs over time.
Aseptic packaging, which refers to the process of filling sterile products in sterile packages or containers in a completely aseptic (sterile) environment, is commonly used in food & beverages and pharmaceutical industries. The aseptic packages are typically a mix of paper, polyethylene, and aluminium, with a tight polyethylene inside layer. Growth in the packaging market and rise in demand for convenience products are major drivers of the Indian aseptic packaging market, which is dominated by Tetra Pak - a Swedish multinational food packaging company.
The Indian aseptic packaging market is expected to double from present eight billion to 16 billion packs in the coming four to five years. However, even this is small compared to other Asian countries such as China which has a market size of around 80 billion packs. Hence, Uflex sees a huge potential for growth in aseptic packaging, especially with rising consumption of beverages and dairy products in the country.
Uflex is one of the major players in the flexible packaging industry world over with clients like P&G, PepsiCo, Tata Global, Mondelez, L’Oreal, Britannia, Haldiram, Amul, Ferro Rocher, Perfetti, GSK, Nestle, etc.