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Packaging Strategies: What does the Sidel acquisition mean to Tetra Laval's current position as well as its customers' and competitors' positions? How will you approach the marketplace with Sidel?
Goran Grosskopf: We will approach the marketplace with Sidel as a separate industry group, keeping the Sidel name, with its own market channels. Of course, we will try to take advantage of the global presence of Tetra Pak where the knowledge in the group about international marketing could help Sidel. We will make sure that we have separate market channels [for Tetra Pak and Sidel]. We still believe that to get a real drive and focus, the carton business needs to focus on cartons and the plastics business needs to focus on plastics. Otherwise, it won't work.
P.S.: Why was Sidel attractive to Tetra Laval?
G. Grosskopf: We entered plastics 10 years ago and have not been that successful. We revisited our plastics strategy at the end of last year , again asking if we want to be in plastics. We came to the conclusion 'Yes, we want to be in plastics because that's where the growth potential is in liquid packaging.'
P.S.: Do you perceive that growth potential to be in the United States or worldwide?
G. Grosskopf: Worldwide -- primarily in the mature markets in the U.S. and Western Europe, but also in emerging markets. They're becoming much more sophisticated. Cartons will probably continue to grow slowly -- there's no real big growth in carton packaging. We don't believe glass will grow at all. On the contrary, it will probably decrease. Cans might be reasonably stable, but no real growth. So for a company to be focused on liquid packaging, I think we need to be in plastics because that's where the growth will come from. The next question is how do we want to be in plastics. We have experimented over the last 10 years with different strategies. I think the last five years we've had a very good strategy believing that we could do everything, trying to build up small businesses everywhere.
P.S.: Was that a false assumption...was that the wrong approach?
G. Grasskopf: It might be an approach for you to be in the plastics business if you are really big right from the beginning. But to start and build a plastics business that way will never, ever fly. I think you have to focus on something, and I think that explains why we were not successful. You tend to loose focus when you are …