Innovation is embedded in our DNA and underpins our strategic goals of “Grow above market” and “Win at the customer”.

It helps us to anticipate and meet new customer needs, to target new categories and to enter new geographies. We spend approximately 3% of sales on R&D and operate research centres in Germany, Switzerland and China.

Innovating for new customer and consumer needs

We continue to introduce consumer-centric innovations designed to meet key trends and industry challenges. In many markets consumer segmentation reveals differing needs, with some groups looking for premium products while others focus more on value for money. Our relentless focus on innovation has allowed us to have many industry firsts and this continued in 2018.

Premiumisation – solutions for value-added products
All over the world, a growing number of brands are seeking to “premiumise” their products to meet consumer lifestyle aspirations. Premiumisation today is bridging the gap between the luxury and mass market to give consumers access to unique or innovative products that promise more. This trend is often reinforced by a society that is increasingly on-the-go, which creates new, more and different consumption occasions, such as snacking. For food and beverage producers, the benefits of these trends are clear. Consumers are willing to pay premium prices on value-added products with real benefits. SIG is helping producers capitalise on the rising premiumisation trend by delivering unique product and packaging solutions that enable brands to develop products that truly stand out in the market – with a premium taste, look and feel.

Flagship examples of SIG’s innovative solutions are:

  • drinksplus, our unique technology that makes it possible to aseptically fill carton packs with beverages containing pieces of fruit, vegetables, nuts or grains – adding extra value to our customers’ products
  • combidome, SIG’s unique carton bottle that combines the best features of a carton pack with the best features of a bottle – the large, centrally positioned domeTwist screw cap makes pouring and drinking straight out of the carton easier than ever before
  • combismile, a new generation of on-the-go packaging to help producers meet the growing consumer demand for mobile, healthy and individual food and beverage experiences. The combismile platform includes sleeve and closure technology and new filling machine types capable of filling two sleeve size ranges
  • Heat&Go, one of our latest innovations, meets the growing demand for safe, convenient and easy-toprepare hot drinks – a segment that was previously an untapped market for carton packaging

Affordability – new solutions to reach new consumers
In order to be accessible to more consumers, especially in developing markets, often referred to as the rising billions, food and beverage products must be affordable. Packaging innovations from SIG are supporting customers in lowering the entry-level for consumers and in hitting the right price points:

  • lite is a new packaging material option that provides essential protection for basic nutrition products
  • combiblocXSlim is a package format that offers nine small size choices (80-200ml) on a single filler with fast change-over times. It brings the flexibility to achieve affordable prices and to react to variations in consumer purchasing power

Sustainability – innovating to make the good even better
Life cycle assessments show that our cartons offer significantly better environmental performance than alternative packaging such as glass, HDPE or PET bottles, pouches and cans. But we are constantly innovating to make good even better. Our latest sustainable packaging innovation SIGNATURE is the world’s first aseptic carton pack linked to 100% plant-based renewable materials.


Transparency and interaction – “connected pack” solutions for the digital consumer
We’re living in a highly digitalised and on-demand world. Technology is shifting power from brands to consumers who can access information about businesses and products more easily than ever. And as consumers become more connected, they are becoming more discerning. They want to buy healthy, quality food they can trust and they want to know where it comes from, who produced it, where it has been, and how it got to their table. At the same time consumers want unique, individualised products that offer engaging content, interactive experiences and complete authenticity.

Using new digital technologies SIG has developed its unique Track & Trace system. This enables producers to locate every single pack in their supply chain – from raw materials, processing and filling to quality checks and logistics, right up to the supermarket shelf. All collected data is stored in one database and can be linked to each individual pack, thanks to unique, fraud-proof QR code printing technology. Consumers can easily access information about an individual product with their smartphone, while the company gains smart factory benefits with valuable insights into optimising production and logistics. In addition to improving product quality and strengthening traceability, SIG’s unique QR codes have opened up new marketing and promotional opportunities, allowing customers to engage with consumers in fresh and appealing ways.

Languiru story

Automated and connected factories and supply chains

As filling plants operate on an unprecedented scale, food and beverage producers are facing higher competitive pressures, ever-shorter production cycles and increased filling and supply chain complexity. They need smarter factory solutions that can utilise intelligence across filling plants and the supply chain.

Our experience in designing and implementing complete packaging lines means we provide everything from single-system solutions and optimised upgrades to complete turnkey solutions for intelligent, automated and fully integrated plants.

Our Digital Platform Strategy builds on more than 25 years of experience in connectivity to our filling lines operating in the field, supporting our customers in improving overall equipment effectiveness (“OEE”). The Digital Platform Strategy covers filling lines in the field and all SIG packaging material plants worldwide, and connects them to the filled aseptic carton packs.

2018 saw a number of important developments including the announcement of a strategic partnership with GE Digital and ServiceMax to power digital innovation in food and beverage packaging. The integration of Asset Performance Management (“APM on Predix”) and Field Service Management (“ServiceMax”) empowers SIG’s customers to move from preventive to predictive maintenance of their filling line assets. This digital service solution improves OEE and uptime of customer filling lines and can also provide new revenue streams for SIG. The integrated solution was developed during 2018 and went live in two regions in Q4. It will be rolled out globally in the course of 2019-2020.

GE Digital story

In addition, and as a complement to Digital Service, we launched our Remote Service solution, which can instantly connect a machine operator or service engineer anywhere in the world to a SIG service expert. With video-enabled smart glasses, we provide a secure live-feed to the expert who guides users on how to solve any fault or issue.

We partnered with Proleit and GE Digital to introduce “SIG Plant 360 Controller”, a new digital monitoring information and control system to optimise every angle of customers’ filling plant operations. SIG Plant 360 is a modular open software solution giving customers a full overview of their entire production – from raw material reception to warehouse, and from shop floor to top floor. In 2018, we entered into contracts with multiple pilot customers and are further rolling out the solution in 2019.