​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Tetra Pak history

The Founder of Tetra Pak, Dr. Ruben Rausing tells the story of Tetra Pak on the 25th anniversary of Tetra Pak in 1977.

1951 AB Tetra Pak is established in Lund Sweden, by Ruben Rausing. It starts as a subsidiary of Åkerlund & Rausing. On May 18, the new packaging system is presented to the press and attracts great attention.

1952 In September, the first Tetra Pak machine for tetrahedron-shaped cartons is delivered to the Lund dairy, Lundaortens Mejeriförening. The packing of cream in 100 ml cartons begins in November.

1953 The cream carton becomes increasingly common in Sweden. Mjölkcentralen in Stockholm, Sweden, installs its first Tetra Pak® machines. Polyethylene is introduced as the plastic coating for the paperboard.

1954 The first machines for the packing of milk in 500ml tetrahedron cartons are installed at Mjölkcentralen in Stockholm and Eskilstuna, Sweden. The first Tetra Pak machine to be exported goes to Alster Milchwerk in Hamburg, Germany.

1956 Tetra Pak moves into new factory premises in Lund, Sweden, on the site it occupies to this day. Development work begins on the aseptic packaging system.

1957 The first machine for milk in one-litre cartons is installed at the Linköping dairy, Sweden.

1958 The range of Tetra Classic® machines for tetrahedron-shaped cartons is extended to include the 200ml portion pack for milk and still drinks.

1959 Development work begins on the Tetra Brik® package.

1960 The first production plant for packaging material outside Sweden is started up in Mexico. The production capacity exceeds 1 billion cartons annually.

1961 In September, the first machine for aseptically filling bacteria-free milk is presented at a press conference in Thun, Switzerland. First delivery of machines to the USSR.

1962 An agreement is concluded with the Milliken Corporation for the marketing, in the USA, of the packaging system for tetrahedron-shaped cartons. Milliken Tetra Pak is established and construction of a packaging material factory starts at White Stone, South Carolina, USA.

1963 The Tetra Brik® package is launched in Sweden, first in Motala and then in Stockholm. The production capacity exceeds 2.7 billion cartons annually.

1964 The first Tetra Classic® Aseptic machine outside Europe is installed in Lebanon. The production capacity exceeds 3.5 billion cartons annually.

1965 Åkerlund & Rausing is sold whilst Dr. Ruben Rausing retains its subsidiary, AB Tetra Pak. Production of packaging material commences at a new plant in Rubiera, Italy. The Tetra Rex® package, a gable-top package, is presented. The production capacity exceeds 4.3 billion cartons annually.

1969 Two further factories for packaging material are ready for production – one in Forshaga, Sweden, and the other in Limburg, Germany. The first series of Tetra Brik® Aseptic machines are built. Tetra Classic® Aseptic machines, for one-litre cartons, are introduced. 

1970 A new Development Department is set up in Pfungstadt, Germany. In Arganda, Spain, a new plant for packaging material is set up.

1971 Production of packaging material is extended to two new plants, one in Gotemba, Japan, and the other in Dijon, France.

The total production of Tetra Pak packages exceeds 10 billion units.

1972 For the first time, Tetra Pak® exhibits in the People's Republic of China. This takes place at the Peking Trade Fair.

A training centre is opened in Nairobi, Kenya.

1973 The Latina factory in Italy commences the production of packaging material. The production capacity exceeds 11 billion cartons annually.

1974 Australia starts its own plant for packaging material.

1975 A major contract is signed with Iran, within the framework of an extensive social programme highlighting the protein supply. In Moerdijk, Holland, and Romont, Switzerland, production of packaging material commences in two new plants.

1976 The first test concerning the Tetra King packaging system takes place in a small number of shops in the area of Lund, Sweden.

1977 The total production of Tetra Pak® packages exceeds 20 billion units.

1978 Introduction of a new system of unmanned trucks for internal transport in the dairy industry. This system is installed at Arla's new dairy in Linköping, Sweden. A Tetra Pak® plant for packaging material is starting up in Monte Mor, Brazil.

1979 Tetra Pak delivers the first Tetra Brik® Aseptic machine to the People's Republic of China. A plant for the production of packaging material starts up in Great Britain. It is situated in Wrexham, North Wales. The production capacity exceeds 22 billion cartons annually.

1980 In Modena, Italy, an assembly and final testing station for filling machines are constructed. In Portugal, production of packaging material begins in a new factory. The total production of Tetra Pak packages exceeds 30 billion units.

1981 The Tetra Pak Group Management moves from Lund, Sweden, to Lausanne, Switzerland. The production capacity of packaging material is stepped up, as operations start at new plants in Berlin, Germany, Seishin, Japan and Jurong, Singapore.

1982 A new method for offset printing is developed by Tetra Pak.

1983 On August 10, Dr. Ruben Rausing, founder of Tetra Pak passes away. Tetra Pak commences production at new packaging material converting plants in Pakistan, Kenya and Finland. A technical training centre is opened at Tetra Pak in Lund, Sweden, for the training of staff from customer plants. The school can accommodate 600 students per year. The production capacity amounts to 33 billion cartons annually.

1984 Two new plants for the production of packaging material are started up, in Denton, USA, and in Venezuela.

1985 Two factories for packaging material are added to the list of production plants, one in Argentina and the other in Canada.

1986 The first Tetra Top® machine is delivered to Spain, following successful test marketing in Belgium of the latest packaging system for pasteurised dairy products. The total production of Tetra Pak® packages now exceeds 40 billion units.

1987 The inauguration takes place in Beijing, People's Republic of China, of a turnkey factory for the production of Tetra Pak® packaging material. Production starts at a new packaging material plant in Taiwan ROC. With the start-up in December of two machines in Fiji. Tetra Pak® machines in 100 markets.

1988 Tetra Pak starts production of packaging material in Kiev, Ukraine. Two new plants for packaging material are commenced, one in India and one in Turkey.

1989 Production starts up at a new plant for packaging material in the Republic of Korea. A factory in the north-west of the USA is established for the production of gable-top packages. The total annual production exceeds 51 billion packages.

1990 A ground-breaking ceremony takes place for the future Tetra Pak joint venture packaging material plant outside Budapest, Hungary.

1991 Tetra Pak acquisition of Alfa Laval, one of the world's largest suppliers of equipment and plants to the food industry, processing industries and agriculture, is finalised. The Tetra Pak Alfa-Laval Group is formed. A new plant for packaging material is inaugurated in Foshan, in the People's Republic of China. The production capacity exceeds 61 billion cartons annually.

1993 On January 1, Tetra Laval is created. The new Group of companies consists of four industry groups, Tetra Pak, Tetra Laval Food, Alfa Laval and Alfa Laval Agri. The total production of Tetra Pak® packages exceeds 60 billion units.

1995 Through acquisition of Tebel MKT, we broaden our competence's to include equipment for the manufacture of hard and semi-hard cheeses. Tebel is one of the leading manufacturers in its sector in the world. The total production of Tetra Pak® packages exceeds 76 billion units.

1997 Seven new factories were opened in 1997, thereby adding substantially to our production capacity. The factories are located in China, Colombia, India, Italy, Mexico and the UK. Three new packaging systems are launched: Tetra Prisma® Aseptic,Tetra Wedge® Aseptic and Tetra Fino® Aseptic. The production capacity exceeds 82 billion cartons annually.

1998 Two new factories open in a single facility in the vicinity of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Packaging material for carton packages is manufactured at one of the factories, and performs for PET bottles at the other. A new Tetra Top® package – Tetra Top® Mini GrandTab 250ml – was launched in Japan. The new package has a slim profile with rounded corners and a generous opening to facilitate pouring and drinking from the package. Production of Tetra Pak® packages amounts to 85 billion units.

1999 A new factory for the manufacture of packaging material was opened in Ponta Grossa, Brazil. Tetra Pak acquires the French company Novembal, which develops and markets package openings and closures.

2000 Tetra Pak publishes first Corporate Environmental Report (CER) for its global operations. An external organisation benchmarks the CER against other companies' reports and rates Tetra Pak among the reporting leaders.

2001 In February the 100th Tetra Fino® Aseptic filling machine is produced and delivered to China. The introduction of Tetra Top® cartons with reclosable screw caps causes an increase in turn-over by 20 per cent of Austrian Carinthian Milk. Novembal opens a new factory in Mexicali, Mexico. The production capacity exceeds 94 billion cartons.

2002 First launch of integrated processing and packaging line for soya products. The new line handles all stages in the processing and packaging of products. In September, Tetra Pak celebrates its 50-year anniversary.

2003 The Tetra Laval Group is extended with a third industry group, Sidel, which is one of the world's leading companies in machinery for plastic bottles. Tetra Pak launches the new packaging system Tetra Recart®. A technology that simultaneously sterilises the packaging material and the packaged product, to offer an alternative packaging solution for a number of food products, which have traditionally been packed in cans or glass jars. The production capacity amounts to 105 billion cartons.

2004 Tetra Pak has developed a new machine platform for chilled products. The Tetra Pak® C3/Flex machine is highly adaptable, with features that make it possible for customers to switch between different package volumes as easily as between different products. Tetra Pak produces more than 110 billion packages.

2005 Tetra Therm Aseptic Sensa is launched. It is based on a new technology for blending and pasteurisation of fruit-based beverages. A new Tetra Pak® A1 packaging line enables customers to enter markets at competitive price points. The production capacity exceeds 120 billion cartons.

2006 Tetra Pak® A1 filling machine is the world's most cost-efficient one with a capacity of 9,200 Tetra Fino® Aseptic packages per hour for the 250ml size. Tetra Therm Aseptic Flex sets a new standard for efficient UHT production. Tetra Therm Lacta milk pasteuriser offers an overall energy reduction of up to 12 per cent. Production of Tetra Pak packages exceeds 129 billion units in 2006, whereof China produces 23 billion packages.

2007 The first FSC™ (Forest Stewardship Council™)-labelled carton was put on the UK market by Tetra Pak. Tetra Gemina® Aseptic is the world's first roll-fed gable-top shaped package with full aseptic performance for juice and dairy liquid products. For the first time the screw cap on Tetra Top® packages offers the same functionality as bottles, as it is opened in one single twist.

2008 Tetra Lactenso Aseptic solutions for UHT milk production are setting new performance and sustainability standards, offering more dairy output from less input. Tetra Pak produces more than 141 billion packages.

2009 A new packaging material manufacturing plant is starting up in Hohot, China, to support the country's growing dairy and beverage industry. Over 1.5 billion Tetra Pak cartons to be FSC-labelled.

2010 Tetra Pak receives the Climate Award from the Swedish Forest Industries Federation. Part of the motivation for the prize, which Finn Rausing receives from H.R.H. Prince Carl Philip, is: "Tetra Pak also takes a responsibility for the forests the raw material originates from. Few organisations in the world have the same drive". During 2010 more than 8.5 billion FSC-labelled Tetra Pak® packages reaches the consumers.

2011 Tetra Evero® Aseptic, the world's first carton bottle for ambient milk, is launched. Tetra Pak launches the next generation of its successful cheddar cheese blockforming unit, Tetra Tebel Blockformer, which enables cheese manufacturers to improve environmental performance, reduce costs and minimise product loss. Tetra Brik® Aseptic Edge is launched in November, with a new look, improved functionality, lower cost and better environmental profile. 

2012 Tetra Recart® is opening a food development centre in Lund, Sweden. The new Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1000 Edge LightCap 30 is globally launched for milk, juices, nectars, wines, and other liquid products. 26.4 billion FSC-labelled packages reach consumers in 37 countries around the world. 

2013 The number of countries selling products in Tetra Pak® packages bearing the FSC label increased significantly, up by almost 40 per cent to more than 50. 

2014 Tetra Pak acquires Miteco, a leading provider of production solutions for carbonated soft drinks. Global delivery of Tetra Pak's bio-based caps reaches 2.0 billion, an 81 per cent increase from 2013.

2015 Tetra Pak launches the world's first carton package made entirely from plant-based materials, Tetra Rex® Plant-based, with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) films and high-density polyethylene (HDPF) closures derived from sugar cane. Tetra Pak acquires Obram S.A., a leading Polish provider of cheese technology solutions and equipment in Eastern Europe.

2016 Tetra Pak launches a new version of Tetra Pak® PlantMaster, the world's most advanced plant automation and information solution, enabling manufacturers to manage an entire plant through a single control and data management system. Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1000 Edge with Bio-Based LightCap becomes the world's first aseptic carton package to receive highest class of renewable certification. Tetra Pak acquires the Dutch cheese mould leader Laude.

2017 Tetra Pak is awarded the highest possible score by the CDP Forests Programme for its work in tackling deforestation. Two new Tetra Pak® E3 filling machines are launched allowing customers to produce both ambient and chilled beverage products using eBeam sterilisation technology. The new Tetra Fino® Aseptic 100 Ultra MiM carton pouch, an innovative solution for ice cream is launched, that allows liquids to be filled and distributed at room temperature, then frozen later. More than 300 billion FSC-labelled Tetra Pak carton packages has been delivered to store shelves.

2018 The new plant management service Tetra Pak® Plant Secure, and the Tetra Pak® Extrusion Wheel, a patented new design that produces stick ice cream products with large inclusions, are launched. Tetra Pak partners with global resource management company Veolia to enable all components of used beverage cartons collected within the European Union to be recycled by 2025. More than half a billion Tetra Rex® Plant​-based carton packages are delivered.​

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