The added value of innovative aseptic carton packaging

The added value of innovative packaging shapes in aseptic carton


Contents of the article



Aseptic carton is a material largely used for packaging milk, fruit juice and other beverages, and features various advantages, especially in terms of practicality, safety, and product protection. Indeed, this is a hygienic material, it is resistant, not subject to accidental breakage, especially compared with glass, and, in terms of production and marketing, it offers a variety of advantages regarding palletisation, transportation and storage.


As for product marketing, aseptic carton packaging has a broad surface area that can be used by brands to make their product recognisable, desirable and relevant.

The advantages tied to this material also concern sustainability, since carton (which is the main material in aseptic cartons, accounting for over 70% of the final package) is eco-friendly.



The importance of knowing your own consumers in order to choose the right packaging


When it comes to packaging in aseptic carton, never before have we seen such decisive momentum towards innovation, through the creation of packages that are aesthetically pleasing, and, at the same time, also extremely functional in the eyes of consumers.

The suppliers of systems and materials for carton packaging have, in fact, designed new solutions and new packaging models featuring a more polished designs, with slender forms and profiles that stand out on shelves for their moulded lines.

How are new shapes of aseptic carton packaging assessed in the market of consumer goods?

Nielsen[1] has performed a comparative analysis on consumers’ preference and consumption mode of fruit juices and other beverages. The study focuses on aseptic carton packaging and identifies key aspects concerning their appeal, innovation and ergonomics to be taken into account, both for traditional and innovative shapes.


Starting from consumers' attitudes, 4 target end consumer profiles have been outlined:

"Pragmatic" Target

This audience mainly consists of the elderly and adults, particularly parents with children, who regularly drink fruit juices and other beverages in aseptic carton.

This target audience likes routine, is drawn to aspects of practicality and is very price-oriented.

They consider fruit juice as a versatile and universal beverage, they purchase various flavours at supermarkets and discount stores, mostly for home consumption, for multiple occasions (breakfast, snacks, meals, etc.).

This audience-type is substantially happy with the traditional packaging of juices and milk in aseptic carton, and appreciates its consistency, preservability, low costs, clearly preferring this material to glass, particularly when it comes to maxi-formats.

"Convivial" Target

This audience consists of adults, mostly with small children, and youth, defined by average consumption of drinks in aseptic carton packages, with a convivial, curious attitude: they are open to try out new products.

Concerning fruit juices, this type of consumers goes for mixed flavours, sees juice as a beverage to offer guests or to consume independently as an alternative to fizzy drinks and ice tea, for snacks or drinks with friends.

This user is not tied to a particular brand of beverage, considers buying what’s on offer and pays attention to differentiation and premiumness criteria.

This target audience pays attention to the stability of the package (which should not tip over when it’s on the table), to the ease of pouring and aesthetic appeal.

These consumers are only partially satisfied with the current offer: they feel the need for diversification in relation to new products.

"Selective" Target

This audience consists of adults, particularly women, characterised by an average consumption of beverages in aseptic carton.

They have a selective, informed, functionality-oriented and rather demanding approach.

In terms of the product, they appreciate some specific qualities such as the high percentage of fruit in the juice, the absence of colouring, and certifications of origin or organic certifications.

In terms of the packaging, they pay attention to aspects of uniqueness, differentiation and ergonomics. They don't turn their nose to glass, since they don’t particularly love aseptic carton, which they tie to standard formats.

They are only partly satisfied with the market’s current offer: they need aesthetic appeal, quality and ergonomics, especially concerning easy handling and ease of pouring.

"Pleasure Seeker" Target

This target consists of adults, men and women, including the elderly.

This type of consumer has a cautious approach to innovation, although is “hungry” to find new drinks to purchase.

In regards to fruit juices, they mainly purchase a selection of sweet flavours, with pulp or no pulp (such as pineapple and orange).

More generally, they choose leading brands and specific products, mostly the same ones after discovering a drink they particularly enjoy.

In terms of packaging, they seek ergonomic shapes, with a good grip and flowing lines, paying attention to seal, resistance and possibly aesthetic appeal.

They are only partly satisfied with standard offers: indeed, they appreciate formats that add satisfaction to consumer experience.



The aseptic carton packaging’s evolution


As previously mentioned, over the past few years, manufacturers of aseptic carton packaging have studied new solutions to pack milk and fruit juice, offering new shapes to stand alongside more classic formats. The results are innovative shapes that suit a variety of needs and various consumption occasions; plus they push the accelerator on innovation, appeal and ergonomics, factors that today can heavily influence consumers' preferences.

According to Nielsen’s Research "Packaging evaluation"[2],consumers’ reaction to new packaging formats has been extremely positive.

Let’s get into the 3 characteristics driving the evolution of packaging:


The new aseptic carton packaging shapes shift away from existing models, adjusting to market trends with a good degree of originality.

The innovation factor is especially appreciated by the “Pleasure seeker” and “Selective” audiences, and more in general by targets that pay attention to the latest market trends, and who don’t like standard shapes in aseptic carton.


Shapes follow harmonic principles (soft, symmetrical and flowing lines) as well as being thinner.

The appeal of the new packaging successfully meets the taste of the “Pleasure seeker” consumer in regards to the self-gratification aspect, and that of the “Convivial” consumer depending on how this packaging is used during social events, while it is wholly irrelevant to the “Pragmatic” target.


Studies on the ergonomics of new packaging have led to improved ease of gripping, greater stability and sturdiness, along with ease of pouring and ease of closing the packaging, which can be carried around without problems.

Ergonomics is a factor held in good regard by both the “Pragmatic” and the “Convivial” targets.



The advantages offered by Caliz and by other IPI’s distinctive packaging shapes


The added value of innovative packaging shapes in aseptic carton


Among the innovative aseptic carton packaging offered by IPI, a company strongly innovation-oriented, the Caliz brick doubtlessly dons the role of protagonist, due to its unique and exclusive ergonomic features.


Its shape has a rounded profile that makes it stand out completely from its competitors, thus enabling milk, fruit juice and beverage manufacturers to better position their brand, both on the shelf and in consumers’ minds.


In general, the Caliz design, which brings to mind that of a bottle, is highly appreciated for its flowing lines, and its symmetrical convexities that promote a good grip. Below, are the strong points of this model:

Aesthetic attraction

Compared to competitors, the Caliz design is more engaging, and suited to meet the needs of originality and aesthetic appeal. It is particularly suited for shared consumption, whereas previously, for these events, packaging in more refined materials such as glass was preferable.

Product’s qualification

Compared with main competitors, the originality of the IPI packaging offers an opportunity to elevate the product which, is perceived as qualitatively superior to similar drinks offered in traditional packaging, thanks to its improved design.

Ergonomics and ease of use

Compared with standard shapes present on the market and other innovative models on offer by other manufacturers, Caliz has been found to be much easier to handle, while at the same time making it easier to pour the beverage.


Caliz helps bolster the distinctive strong points of the product, and thus enables brand owners to boost their brand’s identity.



IPI: a partner for the innovation of the aseptic carton packaging


A non-negligible part of consumers declares they are prepared to pay a premium price for new-shaped aseptic cartons, even 5-10% higher than the price for standard formats; this is true thanks to improved consumer experience provided by an innovative packaging.


For these reasons, those companies that wish to stake on aseptic carton, with special attention to ease of use for consumers and differentiation from competitors, can contact IPI to identify the best solution for UHT milk, fruit juice and beverage packaging.

[1] Nielsen Research "Packaging evaluation", qualitative report for IPI.
[2] ibid.
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