New Fruiticana fruit juice drinks from Big Tree Beverages are free of preservatives, thanks to SIPA. A new fully integrated blowing and hot-filling line was commissioned by SIPA at Big Tree Beverages’ main plant in Lusaka, Zambia, at the end of last year, and the drinks have been booming into market since then.
Big Tree Beverages also took advantage of SIPA’s skills in bottle design to create new shapes with wrap-around labels for the Fruiticana juice bottles. These come in several sizes and very innovative flavors. All the hot fill bottles have a 1881 neck finish that works with standard 1881 closures.
The new line starts with a rotary stretch-blow molding unit equipped with 12 cavities, which feeds bottles directly to a Flextronic SE 36/9 filling monobloc. This is an electronic volumetric gravity filler, designed for hot-fill applications in ultraclean configurations. It is capable of running Nitro Hot Fill, in which a small amount of nitrogen gas is injected into the top of the filled bottle to stop it from deforming as the contents cool (the Flextronic can also be used for standard hot fill and cold fill). That’s followed by a cooling tunnel, labeler, and finally a shrink wrapper.
The flexibility of the line was an important factor in Big Tree Beverages’ choice of SIPA for its latest investment. It means that changing from one product to another is quick and easy. Molds can be changed quickly, so it is easy to move from one bottle size to another (and in the future, possibly change bottle designs while processing the same size of preform).
On top of that, SIPA has provided a system that gives the output Big Tree Beverages needed – the line runs at very high speed – for the money it wanted to spend. Plus, there was SIPA’s ability to create a new bottle design in line with the customer’s concept for the Fruiticana brand.
SIPA’s Sales Manager for Southern Africa highlights further advantages of the system. “Consumption of air and energy is low, and Nitro Hot Fill helps further in containing costs compared to standard hot fill,” he says. “Finally, the whole line fits into a relatively small space.”
Big Tree Beverages is one of the largest beverage companies in Sub-Saharan Africa, offering a broad portfolio of beverages at a very affordable price point in over 10 countries. The product range includes energy drinks, cola, various carbonated beverages, juices, cordials, and many other type of beverages. The portfolio is constantly changing thanks to the visionary approach of the family that leads the company, in line with the company’s goal to keep offering products that fulfill changing consumer demands and provide with best in class refreshments. Big Tree Beverages, which employs more than 5000 people in Zambia and adjoining countries, is a part of Trade Kings Group, the largest FMCG company in Sub-Saharan Africa.