Sonoco Consumer Products Europe is currently expanding its production sites for injection molded rigid plastics packaging in Zwenkau, Germany. By investing approximately 8 million euros and adding 25 new employees, the company is significantly boosting the sites’ production capacity and improving their energy efficiency. Sonoco manufactures injection molded rigid plastic packaging and plastic lids utilizing in-mold labelling (IML) technology in Zwenkau.

The sites Zwenkau I and II are already two of the most modern and efficient plants in the industry. With the current investment, Sonoco will further extend this lead. At the same time, the company is responding to the increasing demand for modern plastic packaging in the food market. To date, Sonoco has primarily used the site known as Zwenkau II to provide additional capacity to assist with peaks. Now, it has increased its workforce from 75 to 100 employees; the site has been continuously operating on a three-shift basis since June 2016. The packaging specialist has also invested in the facilities themselves: among others, all lines are now supplied with resin directly and fully automatically from the on-site granule silos; further, the company has set up additional office space and a high-bay warehouse.

IML technology for excellent tactile and visual effects

In Zwenkau, Sonoco produces injection molded rigid plastic packaging using in-mold labelling technology, which combines production and labelling in a single process step. The label, which is preferably made from the same plastic substance as the container, is injected directly into the packaging wall. Thus, IML opens up a wide range of design options, together with out­standing tactile and visual effects.

Thanks to Sonoco’s patented PermaSafe® technology, these advantages are also available for sterilised and pasteurised food. As the “reinvention of the can”, PermaSafe® packaging is practi­cally impermeable to oxygen and water vapour, rivalling the durability of tin cans.

In addition to complete plastic packaging solutions, Sonoco also produces IML lids for rigid paper containers in Zwenkau. Signifi­cantly expanding the decoration area for this classic packaging, the lids are available for round and rectangular rigid paper containers alike.

Premium packaging for a premium product

Together, the teams at Sonoco and Gialousis created a package that reflects the high quality of the product inside. The minimalistic design features gold-embossed fruits and nuts on a blue (for milk chocolate), black (for dark chocolate) or white (for white chocolate) background. The rigid paperboard container can be recycled using the local waste stream – an important feature for the Gialousis team.

Consumers can experience the advantages of Marchoc’s packaging first-hand in everyday situations. Before they open the rigid paperboard container for the first time, a Sealed Safe peel-off membrane protects its delicious content. Fans of hot chocolate typically consume the powder over the course of several weeks – a period of time during which the easily reclosable snap lid protects it from outside influences.

A success story – to be continued

The premium shelf presence of the rigid paper container helped the new product to claim its place among other powdered beverage products. And the cooperation between Sonoco and Gialousis doesn’t end there: Gialousis is already introducing other products, such as the kids’ chocolate drink Jumbotonic, to the Greek consumer goods market – in Sonoco’s rigid paperboard containers, of course.