A package should save
more than it costs.

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.”

DR. RUBEN RAUSING
Founder of Tetra Pak

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.

Tetra Pak isn’t the only one protecting what’s good.

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?

Give our editors the heads up

These paperboard cartons
are a big deal.

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.

So how does it work?

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.

dimensional-carton

By protecting the integrity of the product, the carton preserves both the taste of the food and all the essential nutrients stored inside.

When it comes to packaging materials, these cartons keep it to a minimum.

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.

Cartons help protect more than just our foods.

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.

By using sustainably sourced, renewable materials, Tetra Pak cartons are protecting our foods, preserving our natural resources, and promoting environmentally conscious practices.

To learn more about cartons, click here.

Culture

The Charming Past (and Future) of Cheese

We’re taking a deep dive into the origins and outlook of our favorite dairy product.

Americans eat:
35lbs. of cheese/year
Humans have made cheese for:
7,500 years
The first US cheese factory opened:
1851
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This just in: Americans love cheese.
Well, okay, that might not be so surprising. But what is surprising is the sheer amount of cheese we’re consuming these days. According to Bloomberg, the average American now eats 35 pounds of cheese every year, which is twice the amount they were eating in 1980.

Yes, whey!
Cheese is one of the most popular foods on the planet—so much so that up to ⅓ of all milk produced in the U.S. goes into cheesemaking. So how did we become such voracious cheese eaters? To answer that question, we need to take a look at how it’s made and how long humans have been making it.

Cheese predates recorded history
and has played a part in diverse cultures around the world.

How a milk becomes a cheese.
While cheeses can look, feel, smell, and taste different, they all follow a similar formula. Milk is curdled, usually with a coagulating enzyme called rennet. The solid curds are then separated from the liquid whey. Those curds undergo a combination of drying, salting, molding, and aging, and voila, a cheese is born.

Variations in these techniques—like altering the curdling agent or changing temperature or aging time—are what give us different types of cheeses.

Chasing down the origin of cheese.
Some of the earliest known evidence of cheesemaking comes to us from over 7,500 years ago in the form of Neolithic pottery fragments. While no one’s really sure who first stumbled onto the cheesemaking process, it was slowly refined by cultures around the world for thousands of years, eventually becoming an everyday staple for citizens of Ancient Rome. (Pliny even devoted an entire chapter of his Natural History to describing different varieties of cheese found across the empire.)

The next giant leap in cheesemaking? The Industrial Revolution. Thanks to factories in upstate New York and Wisconsin, the American cheese industry boomed in the mid-nineteenth century and onward, paving the way toward the cheese-filled marketplace we have today.

Featured Exhibit

The Secret to Making Your Favorite Cheeses

Cheese has been made everywhere from Ancient Greece to feudal France to America’s heartland. See what goes into making your favorite snack.

Cheddar

Cheddar is the most widely purchased and consumed cheese in the world. The “sharpness” of the cheese is determined by how long it ages; the older cheese, the sharper it gets.

Gouda

Dating back to the 12th century, gouda is among the oldest and most popular cheeses in the world. This yellow cheese was named after the Dutch city of Gouda, where it was originally bought, sold, and traded.

Mozzarella

Popular all over the world, mozzarella cheese can be made with any type of milk—but it’s traditionally made with water buffalo milk.

Brie

The trademark white rind on a brie cheese wheel is actually a natural (and delicious) type of mold.

Caciocavallo

While its name comes from the Italian word for “horse,” this stretch-curd cheese is made with sheep or cow milk.

Edam

Thanks to its resistance to spoilage, edam was the most popular cheese in the world between the 14th and 18th centuries, particularly among seafarers.

After industrialization, cheese production
and consumption skyrocketed.

Technological advancements fueled a revolution in food production processes, and dairy was certainly no different. Instead of the milkman coming every morning, tech like Ultra High Temperature (or UHT) treatment and aseptic packaging made milk safe, sterile, shelf-stable, and easily attainable.
Likewise, the production of cheese had to shift dramatically to keep up with the ever-rising demand.

Modernizing the ancient art of cheesemaking.
Today’s cheese producers have accelerated ancient techniques and improved on manual methods to create the same cheeses we know and love faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Milk is collected en masse and quickly cooled to a precise 4°C for safekeeping. Post pasteurization, it’s often still curdled and coagulated with rennet, but recent advancements have led to the discovery and use of plant- and microorganism-based rennet substitutes, ensuring cheese is safe for vegetarians, too.

With streamlined production practices and smarter machines like these, complex, multi-step processes like cheddaring can now be done under one roof. Even blue-veined cheeses that require bacterial growth for coloring, flavoring, and finishing can now be crafted with a calculated precision that ensures bacteria like P.roqueforti (responsible for Roquefort cheese, of course) can develop perfectly (and tastily).

While cheese has changed a ton over the years (and millennia) our love of it hasn’t. And as food tech continues to evolve, the future of fromage looks brighter and brighter.

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Brought to you by We make food & beverage cartons that protect what's good by keeping the food inside them safe and sound. Recyclable and made with renewable materials, every single carton is part of our groundwork for a shared, healthier future. Learn more

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