China’s SQZ enters beverage market with aseptic package

Shou Quan Zhai (SQZ), one of China’s oldest food companies, is expanding into the beverage market with a line of ready-to-drink products. Ginger tea and plum juice drinks will be launched in 200ml Ecolean Air Aseptic packages from 20 February.

The launch forms the first part of a larger traditional Chinese beverage line that will include more products in the future. SQZ is committed to developing, manufacturing and selling herbal beverages to promote healthy lifestyle choices and is a bestseller of ginger tea products in China.

SQZ chose Swedish packaging company, Ecolean, for its aseptic packaging characteristics – the packages are lightweight and contain up to 35 per cent chalk. “Ecolean’s advanced packaging technology from Sweden has a minimum impact on the environment, is easy to recognise on the store shelf and is convenient for consumers to use,” said Lin Lei, director of public relations and government affairs for SQZ.

Meanwhile, Ecolean’s packaging uses fewer raw materials from the start, which saves energy during production, transport and waste handling. The packages can also be completely flattened, minimising food waste and using less space in the waste bin.

In addition, the packages can be used in the microwave – a significant benefit to SQZ since ginger tea is typically served warm. They are also easy to open and pour and they can stand upright.

SQZ chose the Ecolean aseptic filling machine EL4+ for its operations. Ecolean’s filling equipment is light and compact, using minimal resources. Ready-to-fill packages are sterilised using electron beam treatment, hermetically sealed and distributed on reels from Ecolean plants, bringing a considerable part of the complex sterilisation process from the liquid food producer back to Ecolean.