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Case study III – How We Cracked the Deal For Fresh Yeast Packaging Products

Case study III – How We Cracked the Deal For Fresh Yeast Packaging Products

Case study III – How We Cracked the Deal For Fresh Yeast Packaging Products

Speflexibles has been supplying wrappers for packaging fresh compressed yeast for more than 20 years now. Fresh compressed yeast is actually a live bacteria which is used in bakeries for making dough for bread, cakes and other products which require fermentation.

Fresh yeast has to retain right amount of moisture as well as temperature in order to maximize fermentation when mixed with flour to make dough. Another complication that arises while packaging  live bacteria is that they give off carbon di oxide, while they are alive, which has to be continuously released  from the packaging or mould formation will happen.

Other than the micro-environment inside the packaging what continuously changes and affects the packaging is the macro-environment outside. In order to be commercially viable a fresh yeast block should have a shelf life of 30-45 days. Though it is expected that the fresh yeast will always be stored under refrigerated conditions, however, during its journey from manufacturing unit to distributor and further to retailer and finally to the baker, temperature and moisture variations are un-avoidable. The packaging has to be robust enough to withstand transitions of temperature and moisture.

After the initial experience of supplying wrappers for packaging of fresh yeast to one company and learning  and adapting and developing, the production stabilized and we started supplying to all the yeast manufacturing units in India. This gave us the confidence of approaching companies abroad that manufactured fresh yeast.

We explored, got in touch with companies from Australia, Vietnam, China, Columbia, UK etc. Initially customers abroad were reluctant. The main cause was that though the product that they manufactured was similar but the environment in their respective region was not. There were countries which were colder and drier like in Europe and there were countries which were  hotter and humid like South America. The requirements for packaging were different and on top of that people were always wary of procuring material from far away to avoid a scenario wherein if the goods were not upto mark, there was no way of returning them or rectifying them.

Our first success was in exporting to Australia, principally because of two reasons. Firstly, the packaging they required was quite similar to the one we supplied domestically in India and secondly, because they were ready to work along with us and ready to persevere to get the best out of us.  After initial success their R&D team gave us new target characteristics to achieve i.e. shelf of fresh yeast should increase from 30 days to up to 45 days. This was quite a stiff task considering that the moisture levels had to conserved for 50% more time without adding a great deal to the cost of the packaging. We began experimenting with raw materials, speaking with technical consultants and preparing samples which we could test-out within our own facilities. Slowly and gradually, by the method of hit and trial, and after sending 3 trial rolls in to Australia one after another, and in a span of 6 months we finally got a pass grade. Our material was accepted and the Australian plant started procuring all its packaging from us all the way from India.

In the meantime not everything went according to plan and we did not succeed everywhere. There were problems with freight costs being too high in supplying material to factories located in distant interior areas. At some places, we could not match client expectations in first attempt and they were not ready to give us a second chance.