Pukka Organic Lattes.
The initial project began in May 2017 for a range of Organic Lattes from Pukka with two proposed pack formats – a card tube or a stand-up pouch. Due to strict sustainability ethics all the components of the pack needed to be completely compostable and biodegradable with the necessary shelf-life characteristics, even the zip strip closure.
The stand-up pouch was the preferred choice and the project began. The four different flavours comprised of multiple organic ingredients which had to be blended in a ribbon-blender in accordance with the Soil Organic Association and then filled into the pouches. In order to keep the powdery ingredients consistent they would have to be fed through a high-speed auger powder filler into a pouch-filling machine. The Alexir Partnership and Pukka drew up a strategic agreement and invested in the new machinery.
The pouch material is made up of three layers and each of these is home- compostable. The material for these layers came from both Germany and Israel and the pouches were printed in Holland, making the supply chain logistics highly complex. The four SKUs were due to launch in a major retailer in July 2018 but, as is often the case in manufacturing, the machinery would not be installed in time with the necessary site acceptance test (SAT).
The ingredients had to be blended and the pouches filled without the auger in order to carry out shelf-life trials and meet the launch date. Fortunately a hand- filled auger was located which enabled the pre-formed pouches to be handpacked while the two machines (from different manufacturers) were being installed.
The four SKUs were delivered on time and in full and were a testament to the creativity and problem-solving skills of the project management team. Flexibility and a comprehensive project team were key to the success of the project, involving weekly conference calls with the customer and multiple engineering companies.
The project demonstrates the true nature of the Alexir Partnership by utilising the different divisions of this food packaging provider – the shelf-ready packaging manufactured in Edenbridge by Alexir Packaging, the pouch material sourced by Alexir International and co-filling and co-manufacturing by Alexir Co-Packers in Uckfield.