he future is bright for the aseptic packaging of dairy and processed foods in North America. That’s the conclusion of a 2012 study by the research firm Markets and Markets. Among the reasons the Dallas-based firm cites for optimism are: increasing demand for packaged food, changes in the food manufacturing industry, more emphasis on product safety and changing food habits. Milk accounts for the major market share (42%) of aseptically packed products followed by other beverages (38%); the rest is made up by other dairy products.
These trends would not surprise one U.S. milk processor. Agropur, St. Paul, Minn., is thriving in contract manufacturing aseptic and extended-shelf-life (ESL) dairy and nondairy beverages. About half of the plant’s production is in long-shelf-life products. The dairy also processes HT/ST (high temperature/short time) milk in formats ranging from paper half-pints to plastic gallons.