It all started in the 1940s, with the search for a better way to package milk.
Something that could protect what was inside—and the people who drank it—by keeping it safe and stable, even when refrigeration wasn’t available. Something efficient, with a minimized impact on the environment.
“Doing something that nobody else had done before is actually quite hard.”
What we set out to do had never been done, and it took a decade of development to create the first paper-based package that could do what we had in mind. Even the way we planned to fill it (and keep it safe, healthy, and free of bacteria in the process) presented a puzzle that eventually became one of our hallmarks.
Our aseptic cartons were considered one of the most important food innovations of the 20th century.
It was an enormous challenge. But it’s how we created the first Tetra Pak carton package, the distinctive tetrahedron-shaped packaging that inspired our name with its simple, efficient design.
For over half a century, we’ve been creating carton packaging that can safely and sustainably hold liquid food—including milk, of course—to meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people every day.
Today, we’re able to get food to people everywhere, protecting them by protecting what’s inside, with only minimal impact on our environment.
At Tetra Pak, we protect what’s good.
We still abide by our founding philosophy, the idea that packaging should save more—food and resources—than it costs. It's a way of thought that matters even more today than when we started
out—and one which will matter even more tomorrow.
All over the world, people are hard at work in small ways on the things that matter to all of us most, from the environment around us to the food that fuels us.
They’re changing how we raise, consume, and think about food, how we care for ourselves and our resources, and they’re sharing the kind of ideas that will change our future for the better.
They’re doing it at the grassroots, quietly and without fanfare.
We’re sharing their stories.
At Groundwork, we’re giving them the attention they deserve: yours. We’re sharing their stories so you can, too.
It’s just one small way you can make an impact. Because when it comes to innovation, inspiration, and changing the world, sometimes one good idea, shared, is all it takes.
Spread the word.
Know someone who’s doing their part to change our world from the ground up?
When Dr. Ruben Rausing invented a new way to package milk, he probably didn’t realize he’d just changed the world.
It didn’t take long to figure out that these cartons were perfect for packaging more than milk. Today, airtight, shelf-stable Tetra Pak® cartons are used around the world to keep juice, water, soup, olive oil, nutritional shakes, vegetables, and more safe and sound.
Tetra Pak cartons use multiple layers of materials to ensure nothing gets in or out of the package. The cartons are made mostly of paperboard, with thin layers of plastic and aluminum working together to keep light, oxygen, and bacteria out, meaning no contamination and no preservatives needed. Ever.
By protecting the integrity of the product, the carton preserves both the taste of the food and all the essential nutrients stored inside.
In fact, Tetra Pak cartons have a better package-to-product ratio than an egg. By using just the right amount of material, Tetra Pak can ensure maximum product protection while using minimal resources.
Protecting our environment, our food sources, and our natural resources is an essential part of preserving our shared future. That’s why Tetra Pak is committed to using renewable materials—natural resources that replenish over time—and meeting environmentally friendly manufacturing standards.
100% of the paperboard in Tetra Pak cartons is Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certified, meaning all of it can be traced back to responsibly managed forests.
And after they’ve been recycled, the cartons can be turned into tissue, paper products, and green building materials.
The good, the bad, and the box.
It’s no secret that boxed wine has a bad reputation. It’s the height of déclassé, wine’s equivalent to a frat party. For a long time, it was the connoisseur’s worst nightmare.
There’s just one problem: winemakers have started putting good wine in boxes. And cartons. And cans.
Not every boxed wine is a prize.
(But neither is every bottle.)
When did the cork and bottle become the standard?
The reassuring ritual “pop” of a cork coaxed from a glass bottle has been part of the wine drinker’s sensory experience for ages.
But while most associate a good bottle of wine with, well, the bottle, that hasn’t always been the case. Throughout history, wine has been packaged in whatever technology prevailed at the time. In fact, the wine bottle as we know it today didn’t emerge until the early 19th century.
Once winemakers started using them, though, corked bottles quickly became the standard. Glass didn’t interact with or add any flavor to wine, allowing it to age gracefully, and the cork seal protected the wine from oxidation—mostly.
The biggest innovation
in wine might just be our
attitude toward it.
Even more important than the rising popularity of alternative closures: our increasingly casual attitude toward wine. According to a 2015 consumer survey, wine culture is evolving to include more adventurous and casual drinkers seeking convenient and portable packaging.
Millennials are drinking more wine than previous generations did at their age, and they’re taking quality wine out of fancy, traditional settings and into casual, everyday ones. Expectations around sustainability have also helped open the conversation around alternative packaging.
Together, the democratization of good wine and the demand for more eco-friendly options have changed what we see on the shelves.
Meet the infamous boxed wine.
Boxed wine has been the butt of jokes since it was first introduced in 1965 by Australian winemaker Thomas Angove.
Angove’s original design (also known as a “bag-in-box”) consisted of a resealable plastic bag that collapsed as it emptied, allowing wine to be poured out of the container without exposing the remaining wine to air, and potential spoilage, for weeks.
(His invention naturally led to another one, aptly named “slap the bag.”)
What boxed wine
lacks in charm, it makes
up for in practicality.
While sealing wine inside a plastic bag inside a box isn’t the most romantic affair, it is a less expensive process, especially when it’s done at scale. And in a world where wine can become flawed by the smallest exposure to oxygen, the idea is a step in the right direction.
The next generation in wine packaging has arrived.
In the past few years, the way we package wine has continued to evolve. In fact, boxed wine and other alternatives have seen a surge in popularity both for being more environmentally sound and able to preserve wine for as long as bottles can.
Aseptic cartons, for example, have been gaining traction with their wide variety of sizes ranging from 250ml to 1L, enabling people to pop them in a bag for things like picnics or concerts. They also generate far less in carbon dioxide emissions, and take considerably less energy to produce than glass bottles.
Here are a few things you should consider before beelining for bottled wine.
Source: Bandit Wines
Wine in cans is another approach that has been gaining momentum as a no-nonsense, unpretentious way to enjoy wine without any fear of the bottle breaking or leaking.
…Okay, but can you bring it to a dinner party?
Boxed (and canned, and cartoned) wine is starting to come into its own, but whether or not these new alternatives are really and truly culturally accepted depends on who you ask.
In Europe, boxed wine has become commonplace without the social hang-ups that, at least until recently, dominated in the States. In fact, boxed wine is one of the fastest-growing forms of vino packaging in the world, with about 50% sold in Australia, Norway, and Sweden, and global sales increasing 20% each year between 2000 and 2013. Carton wine is on the rise too—with a 21.7% increase in sale within the last year.
“It doesn’t matter if
the glass is half empty or
half full. There is clearly
room for more wine.”
It helps that award-winning brands like Black Box, Bota Box, French Rabbit, and Bandit are offering good, affordable boxed and carton wines that don’t remind us of college days.
If you’re a fan of drinking good wine and convenience, this is the way to go. But if you decide to tote a box along to your next dinner party, be prepared to offer a little education on wine when you get there.