The original Tetra Pak tetrahedron tetrahedron and the automatic moulding and pouring machine for liquid food products into these packaging was developed by Dr Ruben Rausing in 1946. The packaging is called Tetra Classic.
Initially, there was little interest in the invention. It was only after the establishment of the company by Ruben Raussing and famous entrepreneur Erik Wallenberg in 1951, named AB Tetra Pak, that the packaging began to spread, initially in Sweden (the first machine was delivered in 1952), then in Germany (1954) and other Western European countries.
Construction of Tetra Pak and liquid boxes
Tetra Pak is an international Swedish roots corporation offering complete solutions for processing and packaging liquid and semi-liquid food containing particles. The aseptic packaging material Tetra Pak consists of three materials:
- paper, which provides stiffness of the packaging and can be printed,
- aluminium foil, which protects the food product in the packaging from exposure to light and oxygen, and guarantees impermeability to odours,
- a film made of polymer, approved for direct contact with food (e. g. polyethylene), which protects the paper from moisture and connects it to aluminium foil.
In 1961 the first aseptic milk packaging machine (UHT) was presented. In 1963, Tetra Brik was introduced to the market with a new shape – Tetra Brik, a cuboid. In the 80’s, Tetra Top – a carton bottle type packaging was introduced, in the 1990’s, further packaging was introduced: Tetra Wedge (clin), Tetra Fino (packaging of the pouch type) and Tetra Prisma (polyproduct with truncated corners, with a screw cap). In 2003, the Tetra Recart was introduced as an alternative to cans and jars. In 2007, Tetra Gemina Aseptic made its debut in 2007, and Tetra Brik Aseptic Edge in 2011.
In the 1970s, aseptic carton packaging was also introduced by the Swiss SIG (Combibloc). Nevertheless, Tetra Pak remains the market leader in this segment.
In the 1980s and 1990s, AB Tetra Pak developed into a large international capital group called Tetra Laval Group, headquartered in Switzerland, which holds more than 50% of the world’s market share in composite packaging and technological lines for aseptic food packaging (including ice cream, feta and wet pet food) and cosmetics. The company operates in 170 countries worldwide and employs more than 20,000 people. In 2015, the company achieved a net sales value of EUR 11.9 billion.