Ceres, the innovative fruit juice brand, will soon grace supermarkets shelves in brand new packaging created by mechanisation and technology not seen before in this country.

Pioneer Foods has made a R100 million investment in the ‘Combismile’, a packaging solution made by SIG which includes design and manufactured components from Germany, USA, China and Italy.

The first machine of its kind in Africa, the Combismile has a remarkable output of 24 000 200ml packs per hour, which is almost three times faster than older technology lines. 

Pioneer Foods supply chain executive for Groceries, Franco Weyers says, “The Combismile production run at the Ceres factory in Gauteng is now far more efficient and cost effective.”

Ceres Fruit Juices is committed to minimising and managing its environmental impact wherever possible, and this new 200ml Combismile pack is made from sustainable plant-based packaging, making it among the most environmentally friendly packaging solutions. The packs are recyclable and the layered carton includes plastic and cardboard with an inner foil to prevent oxidation. This allows the juice to remain sterile at ambient temperatures for one year. 

With its curved, modern shape, the carton is easy to grip and allows for convenient consumption.  “From a logistics perspective, we’re able to optimise palletisation by accommodating more units on a truck. This means less damage to our roads and fewer carbon emissions,” says Weyers.

The Combismile unit will initially produce the 200ml fruit juice pack but is fully adjustable to produce other pack sizes with ease.
“The machine has been in production since September 2019 and so far we have re duced wastage substantially.” Weyers explains.
“We are achieving excellent filling accuracy on this line, which translates into further benefits.”

Beverly Wilson, Marketing Manager of Beverages at Pioneer Foods says, “On the go consumers with ever-changing lifestyles are the new reality. The differentiation, the volume and product flexibility of the Combismile pack makes it ideally suited to the ever-demanding drinks market, and offers our discerning consumers something that is fresh, modern and in line with the superior craftsmanship they have come to expect from Ceres juices.”