Packaging Industry in Greece

IndustrySouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2009

Complexity characterises the operations of most Greek packaging companies

The packaging materials industry is one of the most dynamic industries in Greece. It is estimated that there are 20,000 medium to large packaging materials manufacturers in Europe, with a total annual turnover of 150 billion EUR. However, Greece is the only European country where the packaging materials industry is not classified as a separate business sector. According to industry sources, the packaging industry is distributed among other business fields, such as paper products, publishing - printing and graphic arts, plastic - elastic products, wood - cork and relevant products, metal products and construction and non-metallic mineral products. Industrial operations that involve packaging materials production are included in the food products, agricultural products, beverages, pharmaceuticals - cosmetics, detergents and tobacco products industries.
Grouping packaging industries in Greece becomes even more complex due to the fact that many Greek companies produce more than one type of packaging material, eg rigid plastic packages and metal tins at the same time, while there are others for which packaging materials represents only one among several business operations, eg production of flexible packaging film and printing of film. Finally there are examples of companies for which packaging materials are part of their manufacturing as well as commercial operations.

Plastic packaging has a strong future
Despite the serious international petroleum crisis and the price fluctuations that affect the production costs of plastic packaging, the Greek plastic packaging industry continues to show increasingly dynamic growth trends. One of the main advantages of plastic packaging is the fact that it allows the safe transport and protection of many type of consumer products and that its average weight is significantly low compared to other packaging formats such as glass. Since 2005, plastic packaging has become a serious threat to liquid cartons as is particularly evident in dairy applications of fresh/pasteurised milk and flavoured milk drinks.
The fact that plastic packaging is not considered to have as positive an environmental profile as other pack types in combination with the current low rates of plastic packaging recycling in Greece are important issues that the Greek plastic packaging industry faces. However, as Greece operates under new European Directives regarding recycling of packaging waste, the issue of plastic recycling is being addressed and so the positive growth trend for plastic packaging will continue.

Among the Major Market Players

YIOULA was established in 1947. Its initial activity was the manufacturing of handmade glass tableware products. The company was only one out of fifty (50) producing hand-blown glass in Hellas. In 1974 following an ambitious investment plan in the technological and mechanical sectors, the company achieved a 100% increase in production capacity. The emphasis was given on the production of glass containers for the food and drinks packaging industries. In 1993 YIOULA acquires CRONOS GLASSWORKS S.A. which manufactures glass tableware (glasses, vases, jugs, ashtrays, etc). Having stabilized its leading presence into the Hellenic market, three years later YIOULA expands to the Balkan region by acquiring STIND A.D., a Bulgarian glass production factory based in Sofia. On the next year there was acquisition of another Bulgarian industry, DRUJBA A.D., situated in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Following the same philosophy, the two Hellenic companies, YIOULA and CRONOS are merged in 2002, under the common name YIOULA GLASSWORKS S.A. Two years later a "newcomer" is welcomed to the Group: New Glass S.A., that was part of the previous KITKA industrial territory. Based in Novi Pazaar, Bulgaria, NEW GLASS will be exclusively producing for the Tableware Market Segment.
Nowadays the YIOULA Group consists of 6 companies, producing in Hellas, Bulgaria, Romania and the Ukraine. Company’s 7 contemporary production sites with 15 fully-automated glass melting furnaces and 49 product shaping lines, manufacture annually more than 2 billion pieces of container glass, 125 million pieces of tableware, 52,000 tons of pharmaceutical glass and 650,000 square meters of textured/figured glass.

Flexopack is one of the major European flexible packaging manufacturers offering a great variety of products, with special emphasis in co-extrusion of barrier and non-barrier films. The company has a strong technical base in extrusion, bag-making, and printing. Company’s primary market is the food industry. Other markets include the printing/conversion industry, personal care, medical, and agribusiness packaging.
Production and conversion, warehouses, R & D center, logistics and administration of Flexopack are housed in two neighboring facilities of 15.000m2.
FLEXOPACK operates under an ISO 9001 Quality Management System since 1995. In May 2003 it has been accredited with the British Retailer Consortium (BRC/IOP) Standard, which introduces higher hygiene, product safety and quality standards for producers of food packaging.
Company is located in Koropi Attica, near the E. Venizelos Athens International Airport. There are two neighboring plants: The first and older one houses the film extrusion and the R&D center; in the second plant there are the printing, bag making and other conversion facilities. Warehouses are also located in the second plant.
Extrusion equipment is of 3, 5, 7 and 9 layers being able to produce barrier, high barrier and non-barrier multi-layer structures for food and non-food applications. Conversion equipment includes two flexo presses of 6 and 8 colors, several bag making machines for vacuum pouches and shrink bags, slitters, unwinders and other special conversion equipment.

Tetra Pak Hellas SA is part of the Tetra Laval Group, a group of companies with the expertise and capability to enable the liquid foods industry to collect, process, package and deliver their products to the consumer.Tetra Pak Hellas SA was established in 1983. From second half of 2008, apart from the markets of Greece, Cyprus and Israel, it’s also in charge for the markets of Romania, Bulgaria and Moldavia, creating thus Tetra Pak South Eastern Europe. Tetra Pak South Eastern Europe is maintaining offices in Athens, Bucharest, Kisinaou, Nicosia and Sofia.

Tesco was founded in 1963. It has been active in the Greek market supplying equipment, material and services for the process, packaging, refrigeration, storage and laboratory analysis in milk products and food and drinks in general. On a flashback, from foundation until 1972 when TESCO took over the modernization of the biggest milk processing plant and feta cheese production of DODONI Dairy in Western Greece, the company plays a leading role in local tenders and projects of the biggest agricultural cooperatives in the country. In Thessalonica, as well, TESCO becomes quickly the main partner and equipment supplier to AGNO Dairy. With the flourishing of privatization in the milk business and competition between ASTY and EVGA Dairies, TESCO takes over a sequel of projects in EVGA including the supply of ice cream production equipment from USA.
The cooperation with DELTA Dairy in the paper packaging of chocolate and white fresh milk since 1984, determines a course of innovations in the market and significant projects in the leading dairies such as FAGE and MEVGAL as well as in the majority of domestic Dairies.
TESCO’s long customer list is broadened and similar but coherent divisions within the company are developed such as those for processing, packaging, industrial refrigeration, quality analysis lab equipment and technical support.
In parallel, expertise is created in product areas such as milk, juice, yoghurt, ice cream, cheese and a certain emphasis is being given on new technology and novelty products.
The expansion of Greek enterprises beyond the borders, a significant example being that of the Balkans and set-up of production plants in countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia, create an outstanding activity especially in the ice cream and industrial refrigeration areas. Today, the company is in cooperation with Greek and foreign Dairy and Juice Plant, such as DELTA, 3E (Coca-Cola Greece), NESTLE, UNILEVER (ELAIS, ALGIDA - FOOD INVEST), FAGE, MEVGAL but also with some recently emerged firms who enter the market dynamically by producing high standard traditional products, such as VIGLA and KRIARAS.
TESCO’s presence in the Greek milk and juice market started in 1964 as the licensee of the German ZUPACK and at that time TESCO supplied 8 dairies with equipment and paperboard. When ZUPACK was acquired by its competitors and closed down, TESCO continued as agent of PKL, and supplied two filling lines for juice to SEKOVE.
Then in 1984, TESCO started a long and close partnership with ELOPAK a.s. and developed a successful market share.

The company was founded in Piraeus in 1926 and soon after that became one of the major players in the metal food packaging industry. In 1965, the company relocates to owned premises at Renti, where its headquarters and one of its plants are actually located. In 1983, an additional plant was established in Northern Greece, near Skydra in Pella prefecture. Since the creation of the company, its history goes in tandem with the development of the Greek Industry of Canned Goods and Greek Metal Packaging in general.
Today, ELSA is a big and modern metal can manufacturing company, with successful activities well beyond its national borders. Currently, ELSA is a leading manufacturer of
tinplate cans, cans for foodstuff and other goods, round-shaped drawn cans for fish and ready-to-serve meals, while it is also engages in the manufacture of rectangular drawn cans (dingley) for fish products and their respective easy open ends.
ELSA’s customers can choose from a wide range of cans for fruit and vegetables, tomato products, olives, olive oil, cheese products, pickles, meat products, fish products, and any other foodstuff that can be packed. The cans are manufactured plain or internally lacquered, according to the requirements of the product being packed, with a regular lid or an easy-open end (E.O.E.) and, naturally, with the customer’s choice of artwork printed on the outside.
During the last few years in the international metal packaging industry there have been important investments in the technology for the production of drawn cans. Keeping pace with these market trends, ELSA has become a leader in the Greek market for drawn cans, and is gradually expanding its presence in international market as well.

National Can Hellas S.A. was established in September 1999. It is located in the wider area of Salonica, in Methoni (Prefecture of Pieria), in the heart of the Greek peach production and only 40 km. away from the commercial port of Salonica, the second largest port in the Balkans. The establishment of National Can Hellas S.A. was the normal evolution of 7 years of commercial activity in the very demanding Greek market. From the very beginning the plant was equipped with highly sophisticated and efficient manufacturing equipment for the production of food cans. Company’s production lines are the outstanding result of the combination of highly sophisticated and fully automatic equipment for cutting, forming, testing and packing.

Hatzopoulos S.A. is located in the Macedonian region of Northern Greece and operates two production facilities in the outskirts of the city of Thessaloniki.
Since 1991, the company is a reliable European supplier, exporting 50% of our annual production to France, Serbia, Germany, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Romania, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Poland, Belgium, Holland, FYROM and many other countries.
Hatzopoulos S.A. is presently serving great brands throughout Europe, including FRITOLAY, PepsiCo, NESTLE, KRAFT FOODS, SARA LEE, PARMALAT, BIC and MULTIFOAM among others.
Company’s plant in Kalohori is one of the few plants in Europe that provide a state-of-the-art sanitary production environment. The plant was constructed with special materials and incorporates automated systems that filter and control airflow, temperature and relative humidity. Double doors, air curtains and air showers prevent insects and dust particles from entering the production areas.

The presence of Tsimis S.A. in the field of flexible packaging dates back to the late forties. Tsimis family made their first appearance in business with confectionery trading but very soon they expanded their business in the trade of packaging materials. They were the first to import regenerated cellulose films in Greece as representatives of LA CELLOPHANE S.A. In 1960 Alkiviades Tsimis acquires his first flexo press and begins an evolutionary course in the Greek Industry. Little by little TSIMIS S.A. became a converter of good reputation and established supplier of major Greek Foodstuffs manufacturers. In 1964 their first integrated plant in Athens begins its operation. This factory combined different converting processes including Rotogravure printing, lamination, wax and Hot Melt coating. As the years go by the know-how accumulation continues along with the many investments in modern technology turning the company to a producer of highly specialized materials such as: 8 color roto-printed films, coldsealable films, multilayer films laminated with solvent free adhesives. In 1993 a very perspective investment plan for technological advancement is elaborated. The first results appear in 1995. In May 1995 the company was approved funding of 3,2 million USD for an investment project of a total 14 milion USD having to do with the construction of a brand new factory in Lamia Industrial Estate. The same year TSIMIS S.A. becomes the first Greek company of the field to be accredited for the ISO 9002 quality assurance standard. In September 1997 the brand new factory in Lamia Industrial Estate begins its operation. In this factory exclusively newly constructed machines were installed, most of them unique in their kind in international level. Since then the company continues its evolutionary course geared by the many capabilities offered by the modern equipment. Many new products and new concepts are now included in the company’s range of products. It receives accreditation for the ISO 9001 quality assurance standard, and the year 2000 finds Tsimis S.A. having the biggest volume of Roto and flexo printed materials in Greece.
Tsimis S.A. manufactures a wide range of packaging materials for Coffee (production of triplex laminate for coffee packaging, materials for vacuum packing and normal pouches, alternative structures for cost reduction or improved appearance, printing of MAT materials, authentication packaging via the ’Stripe metallisation’ concept); Cosmetics (materials for liquid cosmetics of aggressive nature, 3 layer and 4-layer structures for packing of samples in magazines capable to withstand extreme pressures); Frozen + Dried Foodstuffs (metallised and triplex materials for deep freeze, materials with superb properties for puncture resistance and sealing through contaminated surfaces for powder soup packing); Ice Cream - cold sealable materials (highly specialized in coldseal coating, for various applications such as ice creams or wafers aiming to very fast packaging speeds; coldseal pattern coating, perlised coldsealable materials, one layer metallised coldsealable, reverse printed coldsealble laminates with full coating and pattern coating); Snacks, Biscuits, Croissants, Cakes, Soaps packaging - Hot melt coated structures and other specialities.

Mornos is one of the leading Greek packaging firms active in the following fields:
flexible packaging; industrial containers; plastic cups and other disposables; bottle crates; barrels; carton boxes; bag in box; paper packaging boxes; paper labels; iml labels. The company has a continually expanding presence outside of Greece with sister companies in France, Cyprus & Albania and export activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mornos’s Greece Head Offices and plant are located in Thiva in a 240.000 square meter site, comprising buildings of 47.000 square meters. Cyprus commercial company based in Limassol is distributing the company’s product range in Cyprus. In Albania a plant producing plastic barrels and irrigation pipes based in Georgousati, Argyrokastro is distributing the Mornos product range.
Mornos is manufacturing in non-food segment. Company supplies the chemical and detergent industries (Film PE//PE, film PET//AL//PE, film PE//PET//PE, paper boxes, promotional paper boxes); sanitary industries (wicket bags pe of various types, film pe, paper boxes); pharmaceutical industry (paper boxes, film pet/al/pe), tobacco industry. Product range of Mornos also include disposable products (cups of various capacities, plates, paper cups, cups of p/s, buffet items), barrels of various capacities suitable for chemicals, promotional bags and shopping bags, industrial products barrels jerrycans - tanks dairy pots - cheese containers plastic boxes of bottles, rigid packaging, dairy products ice creamsdisposable cups & plates, flexible packaging and paper packaging.

The manufacturing facilities of Pairis Pack are located in an area of 24,000m2 in Gorytsa district in Aspropyrgos of Attica. Company’s production line is focuced in a couple of segments. For ice-cream and dairy industry and olive oil, margarine and salad industries Pairis Pack is producing containers of various shapes and capacities with dry offset branding, containers with IML, paper containers, twin compartment containers for product and children’s presents, containers with sleeve external printing, film OPP single or double laminates, shrink film, cold seal application pattern or full, carton boxes, promotional carton boxes and etc. The needs of bakery, biscuit and puff pastry Pairis Pack satisfies with film PP or PE, CAST PP film printed and unprinted, cast bags with wicket, film PP//AL//PP, promotional paper boxes, paper boxes, barrier film printed and unprinted, paper boxes, promotional paper boxes. Product range of the company also includes packagings for Beverage, Brewery, water and juice industries, Chocolate, snack, coffee and baby food industries, Frozen vegetable and fish Industries, Pasta, legume and rice industries and etc.

ARGO was founded in 1970 initially as an R&D and innovative packaging laboratory serving Pharmaceutical Industry. Six years after, the company also started production of plastic bottles and closures for Pharmaceuticals. Argo was among few companies in the world in 1980, which first developed Co-extrusion technology for the production of multilayer bottles. Later on Argo developed production of collapsible tubes and sterile eyedroppers. During nineties Argo started geographical market expansion, building an extensive sales network. Establishing one more plant in Romania, Argo Rom Plastics strengthened its position in the North East European market.
ARGO is manufacturing a wide range of plastic containers in sizes up to 5l.
Company meets its customers’ specific requirements selecting the appropriate polymer resin and processing equipment from a great available variety: plastic resins: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate polyester (pet), glycol modified polyethylene terephthalate copolyester (pet-g), polyamides, ethylene vinyl alcohol (evoh). Argo’s product line also includes bottles for syrups, honey, dressings, mayonnaise, mustard, jars and pots for mayonnaise, snacks, single and multilayer bottles for ketchup and sauces, single and multilayer bottles for fresh and UHT milk, bottles for dairy based beverages, single and multilayer bottles for juice and fruit drinks.
For any specific need, company cans offers clear transparent or opaque containers, with various barrier properties, employing single or multilayer polymer structures.

Frigoglass Group is one of the leading manufacturers of Ice Cold Merchandisers (ICM) and solution providers worldwide. It has production facilities in Greece, Norway, Ireland, Romania, Poland, Russia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa.
Company operates in 14 countries while it distributes products in 100 countries worldwide. The parent company, Frigoglass SAIC, controls and manages the Group’s investments. At the same time, Frigoglass is also a manufacturer of commercial refrigerators with a plant in Kato Achaia, Greece. It started its operations in 1982 as the Industrial Division of Hellenic Bottling Company Group while it was established as independent legal entity in 1996, consisted of five companies (2 producing commercial refrigerators and freezers, 2 producing plastics and 1 producing metal crowns).
The main activities of Frigoglass are the manufacturing of commercial refrigeration units and packaging materials. All the manufacturing units of coolers belong to the commercial refrigeration division while packaging is divided into two divisions for more efficient supervision: PET resin and plastic and metal crowns. Nigeria, although it includes almost all of the above activities in addition to glass works, is considered as a separate division for better supervision.
The Company holds the 2nd place worldwide in the manufacturing of commercial refrigerators and freezers possessing 11 production facilities with a total capacity of 400,000 coolers, 4 sales companies and 23 representatives.
Nigeria Division represents 16% of 2005 Group Revenue. Nigeria Division holds the leading position in the local market, consisting of 8 production facilities. The sector’s main products are glass bottles and other glass industrial containers, commercial refrigerators, windscreens and windows for car industries.
PET Division represents 21% of 2005 Group Revenue. V.P.I S.A. where Frigoglass had a 51% stake constitutes the sole producer of PET Resin in the Balkans, having 80,000 tons annual capacity covering 65% of the Greek market and exporting 50% of the annual production. Its major customer is CCHBC. On December 15, 2005, Frigoglass announced the sale of its stockholding in VPI SA. The sale was completed on February 28, 2006, from which date VPI’s financial performance will cease to be consolidated in the Frigoglass results. Plastics & Closures Division consists of 1 production facility; 3P ROMANIA in Romania. The sector’s main finished products are plastic closures, plastic display rocks & garden furniture and plastic-metal crowns.

Crown Hellas Can S.A.
The principal activities of Crown Hellas Can Packaging Manufacturers S.A. are the production and sale of food, drink and aerosol can packaging. The Company operates in Greece, Balkans, Italy, Middle East, UK, France, Spain and the Netherlands.