Shou Quan Zhai (SQZ), founded in 1760 and one of the oldest food companies in China, is expanding into the beverage market with a new line of ready-to-drink products. The ginger tea and plum juice drinks are the first non-dairy beverages in China available in lightweight flexible packages from Ecolean.
The drinks will be available in the 200 ml Ecolean Air Aseptic packages on 20 February on SQZ’s online store, e-commerce channels and at retail locations across China. The products are part of a larger traditional Chinese beverage line that will include more products in the future. SQZ is developing, manufacturing and selling herbal beverages to create a healthy lifestyle and is a bestseller of ginger tea products in China.
According to SQZ, the company is engaged in environmental issues and has a long-term view of its work in the sustainability field. The company is committed to keep refining its technology to provide the best experience for the consumers as well as for the environment. SQZ chose Ecolean for its unique package characteristics and low impact on the environment. Ecolean packages are lightweight, almost half in weight compared to many traditional packaging formats, and contain up to 35 per cent chalk. Using fewer raw materials from the start 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 main benefit to SQZ since ginger tea is typically served warm. The packages are also easy to open and pour and stand upright.
‘With a 259-year history, SQZ proudly respects the environment for generations now and in the future,’ says Lin Lei, director, Public Relations and Government Affairs for SQZ. ‘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.’
Just as Ecolean is committed to producing lighter, flexible packaging, its filling equipment is also 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 sterilization process from the liquid food producer back to Ecolean. SQZ chose the Ecolean aseptic filling machine EL4+ for its operations. As for all Ecolean filling machines, it follows the philosophy of keeping it simple, providing a reliable, economical and lean operation. It is easily operated and maintained by SQZ’s personnel.
‘The new ready-to-drink beverages from SQZ represent the first non-dairy beverages in Ecolean packages in the Chinese market,’ says Johnny Sajland, regional director, Asia North and Oceania, Ecolean. ‘We are excited to work with SQZ to bring new innovation and products to the more than 1.4 billion population in China, both now and in the future.’