International Marketing and Reusable Bottle System at Sinalco

Sinalco International GmbH & Co. KG is not yet represented in Mongolia. However, this could soon change in the wake of the meeting with Mongolian MP participants. Mario Mais, Marketing Consulting Manager, reported on Sinalco’s international activities and shared interesting insights into the company’s business model with his guests. Alcoholic beverages are manufactured and marketed locally by means of a franchise system. The German parent company is on hand to assist its partners throughout all stages, and provides support in the form of international campaigns, ideas for local marketing and the development of new beverages. These are adapted to suit the preferences of the respective market and vary accordingly in their sweetness, colour and carbonation. Particularly the colour is an important factor: unlike in Germany, in many other countries orangeade is not actually yellow but rather orange.

The participants were then given a tour of the production plant by Technical Advisor, Paul Högg. Up to 90,000 bottles of lemonade, apple spritzer, cola and water are filled every hour entirely automatically on six production lines. The reusable bottle system was of particular interest to the participants, as to date, the concept of reusing plastic bottles is unheard of in Mongolia – as it is in most other countries. The participants observed how the empty bottles were first sorted by machine following delivery. Bottles from other manufacturers are returned accordingly. In the next step, the lids and labels are removed. To ensure that bottles emitting odorous smells or containing residues are not brought back into circulation, a sensor test is conducted and the affected bottles discarded. The bottles are then cleaned in a large washing machine and disinfected. A so-called bottle detector then checks the bottles for damage. Before they are even filled, the bottles are labelled under tension without using any glue. After filling the bottles, the drinks are carbonated by adding CO2 under high pressure. The carbonation level can be adjusted to each individual beverage. In the final step, lids are applied to the bottles before they are packed in crates, stacked and delivered. The participants learned that filling the drinks in the thicker plastic bottles used in the reusable system works far better than one-way systems. The shelf life of beverages is also enhanced. The degree of production automation proved of particular interest. Human involvement is only required when there is a malfunction in the process chain.

After all of the participants in the mixed industry group had gained an overview of the company, two participants from the food industry spoke with Managing Director Mongi Goundi about the possibility of a future cooperation. The opportunity exists for Erdenetsetseg Bold, a representative from the Mongolian soft drinks producer APU, and Munguntsetseg Tolya, the managing director of food importer Naran Foods Co. Ltd., to introduce Sinalco onto the Mongolian market. Mongolia could therefore soon become the fifty-first country where drinks company Sinalco based in North Rhine-Westphalia manufactures and sells its products.

By Christina Morgenstern trAIDe GmbH, Cologne