Steuben paves the way in the US: combidome carton bottle now also for low-acid products
Premium 'Elmhurst' nut-based beverages in the packaging innovation from SIG
Jeff Sokal, Senior Vice-President Business Development at Steuben Foods: "With our new milked nut beverages we’re presenting products that are unique in this segment. The creaminess of the beverages comes exclusively from a proprietary cold-milling process that ensures you get all the valuable nutrients and the full flavor of the whole nuts. Compared to other nut beverages, our products are like home-made – with absolutely no emulsifiers and no thickeners. The aseptic process ensures that all harmful germs were eliminated, while simultaneously allowing us to capture and stabilize the freshness and quality of our nut milks longer than any anyone else. When you drink a glass of our beverage, you can be sure you’re getting the nutrition of ingredient; it’s as if you were eating a handful of nuts.”
For Steuben Foods, there was no question that revolutionary products deserve innovative packaging. The company opted for combidome, the carton bottle from SIG Combibloc. The pack looks and handles like a bottle, while at the same time offering all the benefits of a carton pack as far as environmental and logistical advantages are concerned. With the market launch of the nut beverages in combidome, Steuben Foods is making a spectacular entrance in two respects. Sokal: “Our products are a statement – and so is combidome. We’re confident that by choosing combidome, we’re setting ourselves up for clear differentiation in the milk alternatives segment”.
Low acid – higher standards
Christian Szameit, Key Account Manager at SIG Combibloc: “Steuben Foods is one of our most ambitious clients in terms of business plans and innovative projects. We firmly believe combidome is an excellent fit for the company’s ideas. With the launch of the Elmhurst nut beverages, the package is being used for low-acid products for the first time. Packaging for this type of product has to meet different standards than, for instance, fruit juice packaging. Unlike juices, the taste of dairy products or plant-based dairy alternatives can be affected by light. So, for example, we’ve designed the spouts for combidome Liquid Dairy cartons in such a way that they let in almost no light. So the products are optimally protected”.
For combidome Low Acid, the filling process too has been specifically tailored to the requirements of low-acid products. Hanno Geissler, Head of Aseptic Technology at SIG Combibloc: “For the UHT filling of low-acid products, the packs must meet the highest requirements for sterile use, because germs can reproduce much more readily in a low-acid environment such as milk than they can in a product like juice. The sensitivity to light of milk and milk alternatives is another issue. The filling machines for combidome Low Acid and the corresponding carton packs take this into account, so manufacturers can flexibly fill all kinds of beverages”.
Like many other SIG Combibloc filling machine models, the combidome Low Acid machine has an FDA Master File. This offers the best conditions for rapid acceptance by the US food and health authorities. Hanno Geissler, who in his role is also responsible for the FDA master files at SIG Combibloc: “In FDA master files, we can provide our customers with all the necessary data, information and supporting documents required by the FDA in connection with our filling machines. On the basis of this, food manufacturers can be assured of a certain and rapid start to production on filling machines from SIG. FDA master files save our customers time and money”.
Specialised in aseptic packaging
Founded in 1980, today Steuben Foods is one of the United States’ leading companies in the field of aseptic filling and packaging of low-acid foods and beverages. The company works with scores of multinational food companies, and specialises in the processing and packing of products such as milk and milk alternatives. Steuben Foods also supplies products for the food service sector and for many major retail chains and wholesalers in North America.
The partnership between Steuben and SIG Combibloc began in 2013 with the installation of a CFA 812 filling machine to fill combiblocMidi und combifitMidi. The company now also has a CFA 312 for combiblocSlimline and a CFA 1224 for combiblocXSlim in operation. With the newly added combidome filling line, Steuben can now offer an innovative packaging solution that is the only one of its kind in the US – that is essential for differentiation, and the carton also ticks the boxes with regard to convenience and environmental performance.
SIG Combibloc is one of the world's leading system suppliers of carton packaging and filling machines for beverages and food. In 2016 the company achieved a turnover of 1,724 million Euro with around 5,000 employees.