To meet the two-digit market growth from carbonated soft drinks consumers, Oman Refreshment Company (ORC), a franchisee of PepsiCo International, has recently acquired a new production line from Sidel, the leading global provider of PET solutions for liquid packaging, which will enable the Omani bottler to increase its production capacity.
ORC operates in different categories of the food and beverage market in Oman. The carbonated soft drinks category is the company's main focus, which includes Pepsi, Mountain Dew and 7UP, to name but a few. ORC has an 89% market share of this category. According to industry estimates, carbonated soft drinks were the most consumed beverage items in Oman with 362.4 million litres recorded at the end of 2014, and a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.3 per cent over the next five years.
Since February 2015, ORC has been operating a Sidel MatrixTM Combi12 line which produces carbonated soft drinks in a 2.25 litre format at a speed of 18,000 bottles per hour. The new complete line, based on the cost-effective technology of the latest generation of Sidel Matrix equipment, will help the Omani company increase its bottling capacity through the reliable and proven Sidel Matrix system. "Our collaboration with Sidel started around 16 years ago. Since then, we have built a strong relationship based on mutual trust, reliability and efficiency," said Youssef Ezzikhe, General Manager of ORC. "With the growing local demand for our products and carbonated soft drinks in general, we approached Sidel again to obtain a production line which will enable us to increase production, and eventually achieve a stronger competitive edge."
"One of the driving factors in our decision to choose Sidel again was the efficiency with which their machines operate and prompt response on after sales service. By using their machines, we will be able to increase production, cut cost and potentially reduce raw material consumption," said Rosel Ocampo, Head of Operations at Oman Refreshment Company. Challenging the conventions of PET container production, the modular Sidel Matrix platform includes major technological improvements to meet the needs of the liquid packaging industry. It offers a wide range of possible configurations to cover any possible need, with each configuration delivering a high level of performance, along with a low environmental footprint.
The line also offers significant potential to reduce the consumption of raw materials and costs, particularly in terms of the amount of PET material required to produce the bottles. Despite the challenges presented by the carbonation process in terms of the bottle format, lightweighting has been applied to the 2.25 litre bottles by Sidel's Packaging Services team, part of the Sidel Services™ business unit. To produce the lightweighted bottles at high speed, an integrated blow-fill-cap solution - the Sidel Matrix Combi - was the obvious solution. Because of the neck-handling and positive transfer of bottles between blow moulding and filling, the Sidel Matrix Combi is not bound by the limitations imposed by air conveyors. Moreover, its overall efficiency, its compact size, ergonomic design, easy maintenance and lower energy consumption all contribute to cost reductions.
"In order for us to extend our equipment and services to a wider audience, we've established a solid presence in the region, and we are delighted to see the continuous success and growth that our customers are achieving. By providing innovative solutions, we are enabling beverage producers to keep up with the growth in the industry in their local markets and also at the regional and global levels," said Harbinder Kathuria, Regional Commercial Director, Greater Middle East and Africa Zone at Sidel.