• FreshFoods factory manager Ramon Alvarez, Mespic owner Fabio Garavini, and Esko technical sales manager Paul Asciak in the newly automated factory.
    FreshFoods factory manager Ramon Alvarez, Mespic owner Fabio Garavini, and Esko technical sales manager Paul Asciak in the newly automated factory.
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FreshFood embarked on a packaging automation overhaul to meet growing demand in the coffee bag segment.

The face of coffee in Australia is changing, and convenience is king for consumers. With this in mind, many are waking up to the fact that coffee-in-a-bag is a strong proposition.

And The House of Robert Timms is largely responsible for this trend.

The brand had successfully cornered a niche in the coffee category, and an increase in growth in this segment made it hard to keep up with the demand.

“The growth in this segment was strong, and we struggled with finding the capacity to get the volume needed to match the growth of the company – we were using 25-year-old equipment, and couldn’t keep up,” FreshFood factory manager Ramon Alvarez said.

“It was important that we didn’t change anything about our product – we wanted to keep the same coffee bag, which uniquely has a string and tag attached.”

Alvarez said the company’s original production regimen required intensive manual labour for the packing of the coffee sachets into retail take-home packs in three different formats – 8, 18 and 28 counts.

Further to this, the shelf-ready display cartons for each size didn’t follow any commonality for sachet loading, or any dimensional relationship for packing.

FreshFood made the decision to partner with specialist packaging equipment suppliers Mespic, which is Italy-based, and its agent Esko Australia, to come up with a new approach.

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