After the lasting success of single-serve systems in the coffee segment, the next triumph is already under way in the beverage market: water is no longer ‘simply’ water – water is in motion. Today, water fountains serve many niche markets, promising additional value, a special flavour experience or both. Functional closures – a growing market between trend and health awareness.
The beverage may be particularly healthy or particularly en vogue – realisable market prices just speak for themselves. Some beverages have already gained a solid foothold, others struggle for consumer attention. The sector of energy drinks, in particular, proves that the ascent to an established brand in a non-saturated but complex market can be a rocky road for all but the top dogs. The marketing budgets of the large players are gigantic, and thus, the medium and small-size companies must adopt their own distinct sales strategies. A clear corporate identity plus market distinction are essential tools for all competitors. That’s where functional closures come in.
Functional closures are a perfect way to efficiently stage beverages at the POS. Functional closures show the buyer at the very first glance that value is being offered. Breaking the seal of the closure becomes an exciting moment of anticipation as the water changes colours, or nutritional contents are released. They tempt the consumer with a feeling of active involvement and self-determination. Functional closures do in fact have the potential to protect and preserve sensitive ingredients by material differentiation better than existing systems.
But what precisely are functional closures? One application of functional closures is a cap form that is secured to conventional PET beverage bottles. During production, the cap is filled with a substance such as a nutrition supplement. The consumer disperses the substance into the drink by manually opening the cap and pouring its content into the beverage. The closure cap consists of at least two elements. The modular machines from Optima’s CFL series automatically fill and assemble these elements. Design and structure of these closure caps are highly diversified, allowing for tailored formats reflective of a piece of contemporary art.
In the US, the machine concept of the Optima CFL machine series for functional closures is already being successfully implemented. First users of the German beverage market will soon launch their products. Because the concept of functional closures is not limited to the beverage industry, we are presently exploring additional markets. More innovative and creative applications are bound to hit the market soon. The Optima CFL machine concept offers the perfect technology for the safe, flexible and cost-efficient production of functional closures for countless applications.
Flexible – from starter model to high-performance machines
With the Optima CFL machine series, Optima Group Consumer offers machine solutions for the production of functional closures in a consistently automated process. The starter model Optima CFL1 achieves a maximum output of 50 units per minute. Designed as a high-performance line, the maximum output of a CFL can reach up to 1,000 units per minute. The monoblock machine allows integration of the required number of machine functions: the dosing system for the ingredients, assembly functions for the various components, and – as supplementary functions – as a sorting or density control. Special priority is attributed to the precision of the manufacturing process of the closures.