The co-packer: at the forefront of modern wine packaging

co-packer

Using a co-packer allows wine producers to focus on their core business, while outsourcing the volume-driven business of packaging the product. We speak to Spanish co-packer Francisco Rodriguez, CEO and co-owner of Ly Company, who is about to open a €4m state-of-the-art packaging facility in collaboration with Tetra Pak.

A co-packer’s value to wine producers is above all the flexibility they offer when it comes to the volumes packaged. A company like Malaga-based Ly Company can accept orders as small as 5,000 litres at a time, making them an ideal solution for wine producers that don’t have their own packaging facilities.

Wine producers collaborating with a co-packer also get access to extra services, such packaging design and transportation. The co-packer incorporates the client’s design requirements for each line of products and adapts them to the package. Ly Company – which besides wine packages other liquids, from olive oil and spirit drinks to water and coffee-based products – also offers metalized packaging options, for extra impact from the store shelf.

Co-packing facilities, such as the one being opened by Ly Company in Malaga, Spain, in April 2017, are equipped with state-of-the-art machinery to ensure a highly competitive packaging process. The aseptic machines sterilize the packaging before filling with wine, ensuring longer expiration dates and better preservation of the end-product.

Packaged in 48 hours

Working under global quality certifications such as IFS and FDA, Ly Company also conducts a series of tests of its own before unloading the merchandise from the producer’s tank, during the packaging process, and then every two hours during the packaging process. When packaging organic products, a special cleaning process is used to prevent cross-contamination.

With consumers increasingly demanding packaging solutions beyond the traditional 750ml size, Ly Company is able to adapt by offering Tetra Prisma Aseptic packaging in 500ml, 750ml and 1litre volumes. Producers can drop off their wine in bulk and pick it up packaged in aseptic carton packaging within 48 hours.

The collaboration with Tetra Pak brings Ly Company the opportunity of a strategic partnership and higher visibility on the European wine market. Rodriguez says he appreciates Tetra Pak’s support in building and equipping the new facility, and looks forward to future projects both within and outside the wine space.

Rodriguez believes that carton packages will only grow in popularity as a packaging solution for wine, due to the demands of younger generations of consumers. “Millennials are the age group most open to purchasing wine in carton packaging, partly due to their environmental awareness and partly due to their lifestyle,” he says. “Apart from being more environmentally sound than other packaging materials, carton weighs considerably less than glass and is more resistant to variations of temperature, as the carton used has thermal qualities. The consumers get an environmentally sound, lighter-to-carry product with the same protective qualities, that stays drinkable longer.”

Ly Company
Established: 2015.
Operations: Malaga, Spain.
Current production volume: 7 to 10 million packages per year (billing €1M to €2M per year).
New packaging facility: April 2017, after a €4 million investment.
New facility capacity: up to 45 million packages per year.
Products packed: wine, oil, water, spirits, sangria, juices and coffee-based drinks.
Tetra Pak packages offered: TPA500Sq, TPA750Sq, TPA1000Sq, all with StreamCap1000.
International clients: including from France, USA, Saudi Arabia and Japan.

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