Dairy products is the largest food packaging sector. The global dairy packaging market was valued at $23.03 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach a value of $27.87 billion by 2023 (1) at a CAGR of 3.17% during the forecast period 2018 - 2023. The scope of the market covers dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt, frozen dairy products, and dry dairy products. Like the entire food sectors, the dairy product market continues to grow with a significant acceleration in Asia.
Globally, the growing number of products combined with raising safety and product shelf life expectations is driving demand for a more sophisticated packaging production.
As for the entire food sector, consumers, green campaigners, government bodies, brands and retailers all want a shift in the way we make and recycle packaging materials, especially plastic. Packaging plays a vital role in distribution and storage of several dairy products. Packaging for dairy products is evolving at a fast rate and is driven by increasing demands from consumers for convenient, robust and lightweight packaging and also by industries for affordable and sustainable packaging materials.
Flexible substrates and folding carton are the two dominating packaging technologies followed by glass. Plastic packaging for dairy products has become omnipresent across the globe, due to its significant advantages over its counterparts, like paper, glass, and metal.
Plastics are a widely used material for packaging dairy products owing to high resilience and sturdiness. Plastic materials offer convenience in transportation, distribution and storage. They are lighter than other packaging types, making it easy for the carrier to handle bulky dairy products. Various plastic packaging types are used, for instance, plastic pouches, plastic films, plastic wraps, plastic bottles, tubs and cups. In addition, they are cost effective. The PET sub category is projected to expand at the fastest pace during the forecasted period.
For dairy products the brands are facing challenges - on one side, the growing demand for more food safety and shelf-life extension require the usage of various plastic grades and numerous protection layers such as thin aluminum to avoid contamination; and on the other side the demand for more recycling is growing.
The plastic transformation required is huge. 95% of the material value of plastic packaging today is lost after a single use, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The proposed ban for single use of plastic items such as plastic plates, cups and cutlery and the request to increase recycling will impact dairy product packaging design. With many brands such as Nestlé aiming at 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025, innovation around substrate processing will grow in importance. Glass bottles and jar which were for decade perceived as sustainable are however losing share as the weight of glass is now taken into consideration as brands look to save costs in their supply chains.
Printing for dairy products requires high quality, productivity at the lowest cost. The BOBST machines like the RS 6003 platform are ideal for aluminum printing of products like yogurts lids or butter and cheese packaging, while the GL 500L is a high capacity press suitable for paperboard and carton liquid packaging. For narrow to mid web UV flexo printing the M4, M5 and M6 flexo presses, which can handle basically any substrates, are ideal to print and convert in one pass a wide range of applications required for the high volume production of dairy products. In wide-web CI flexo printing the 20SEVEN press also delivers superior print quality run after run. A laminator like the SL 850 or the CL 850 can be used for the metallized PET and paper construction used for some yogurt lids, and an additional pass for solvent-based heat seal coating.
For some dairy products production, the processing of aluminum foil substrates requires a very accurate web handling system owing to the thinness of the foil that increases the likelihood of breaks and defects. Coating of lacquer is typical for dairy products. Some features of the BOBST CO coating range machines have been specially developed for the dryers to achieve the high temperature required to perfectly dry pre/post print lacquers. For applications using metallized films, the BOBST K5 EXPERT can produce more rolls per day and provides significant cost savings. The BOBST K5 VISION is able to handle many different film types including heat sensitive and thin gauge substrates. Processes, like the DarkNight used to reduce pinholes in the film, and the Alubond for better metal adhesion guarantee the protection of dairy products.
When dairy products are packed in a tray type table top display, the printing must match the flexible packaging quality which leads often to offset printing. Then a laminated board solution is needed to combine the offset printing with the strength of corrugated board. The BOBST MASTERFLUTE TOUCH Inline laminating solution provides highly efficient production lines for litho-laminated corrugated board. When you refer to dairy products folding carton is popular and the folding gluing requires versatility across an impressive number of box styles in a wide range of materials. This is precisely where the BOBST folder-gluer EXPERTFOLD 110 comes into play with speed capability of up to 450m/min. It's the perfect machine to also carry out in-line processes. The in-line inspection system ACCUCHECK 2 will guarantee zero-fault packaging required by brands, packers and converters. When it comes to short runs, fast changeovers and high quality, the BOBST most highly automated and ergonomic MASTERCUT 106 PER die-cutter, is the top of the range machine that delivers unmatched productivity thanks to fast, uninterrupted production and exceptionally short set-up times. For those needing smaller volume production, the BOBST EXPERTCUT 106 PER is perfectly adapted. Last, when brown boxes are required as transit boxes, the BOBST FFG 8.20 is the industry benchmark in terms of speed and fast order change for a fully automated complete line.