An interview with Stefano Pellegatta
The General Manager of Zeus Packaging Europe, Stefano Pellegatta, gave an interview to the famous Austrian magazine Regal. The interview is published in the magazine’s March issue along with Zeus Petruzalek advertisement. We share the English version of that article.
What was the turnover of Petruzalek in Austria last year?
2021 was a very challenging, but at the same time very successful year for Zeus Petruzalek Austria. We closed with a consolidated Petruzalek Group TO of 64,5 m€, with a + 12% vs PY, and a TO for the Austrian domestic market of 7 m€ , basically at the same level as 2020, even if as we all know there were challenges for some channels, HoReCa mainly, due to the COVID pandemic spread, but not only.
As you know our Packaging Industry is facing an unprecedented market situation where shortage of raw materials are driving price increases from suppliers. On top of that, we are all seeing transportation issues (Far East overseas shipping costs) as well as high pressures on energy costs (oil and electricity). Despite all this, our long experience, wide logistics & supply foot print, together with the know-how and resilience of our staff, allowed the company to perform very well, allowing us to maintain our ability to provide our customers with the goods and services they needed in every moment.
What are the plans for this year?
Our main objective for this year is to develop our market shares in the Austrian market, through a very strong and competitive offer of ECO friendly products, able to satisfy all the needs of the market in terms of performances and cost level through the above mentioned challenges. We also want to leverage the strength of a Group operating in more than 15 countries, increasing the efficiency of our ability to share the many innovations & success cases across those countries; this will happen though enabling faster and deeper synergies across the countries through a lean, best in class organization.
What were the highlight products?
Since last year, as an environmentally friendly company, we have been promoting sustainable films; the fully organic Nature Fresh cling film, Zeus’ exclusive BioXpand – BOPP and LDPE biodegradable films for food and non-food applications, and cellulose films.
As a result of marketing campaigns and our customers’ great care for nature, we have seen a wide increase in adoption of these solutions. This once again highlights that today’s companies on the Austrian market pay attention to the preservation of nature and uphold corporate environmental responsibility.
Do you see an increase in sales of packaging machines?
There is always a big meaning in selling machines, wherever a customer is really interested in getting the best out of the deep experience we have in this field, from the project design with our engineers to the installation, passing from state of art technical solutions. For example, we have built a successful partnership with the Italian Lafer Pack for Flow Pack technology. The company is one of the best in the Flowpack industry and uses the latest technologies in its machines. We have arranged for the owner of the Lafer Pack to join us in Austria for the purpose of meeting with a number of key customers in the bakery industry. We would welcome other partners would also like to participate in the on-site meetings to join us!
Another fresh project for this year that we are following is automatic dosing units for volumetric filling of liquid products such as juice, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, oil, essences, shampoo and similar products.
Additionally, we are expanding our technical service department, already staffed by top class professional technicians in Austria and the neighbouring countries, which will bring us new possibilities. The objective is always the same: to cover more and better all regions in Austria!
What were the main motives for Zeus packaging to absorb Petruzalek?
Petruzalek became part of Zeus Packaging family last year. From day one our new Group welcomed us with great care and, as you might know from the press releases, our new SH recently confirmed their trust in me personally and our Petruzalek Senior Management Team, expanding our responsibility from the Petruzalek Group to all ZEUS operations in Europe Mainland. We all enjoy the benefits of partnership within this new group, offering many opportunities in all fields. Back to your question, there were three main reasons for the high compatibility between ZEUS and Petruzalek:
1. Good geographical match: with the acquisition of Petruzalek, ZEUS can cover basically all of Europe
2. Good product range match: possibility to offer a wide, competitive product range not only in all applications for the food packaging but also in the agricultural and industrial ones
3. Good “chemistry” and matching cultures; without this we know, nothing can easily be done!
The Russian attack in Ukraine has been serious unexpected challenge for all of us. We have 50 employees based in Ukraine, as well as many suppliers and faithful customers. ZEUS and Petruzalek have been united in our efforts to assist our colleagues to try and ensure their safety, offering our support to anyone we can. We pray this conflict ends soon, we will work together to rebuild our legacy.
What innovations can be expected in 2022?
We are now working on a project to provide one of our loyal customers with new solutions for packing salads in paper trays packed in innovative MAP technology. Our goal is for this project to focus on sustainable films that will assemble well with paper packaging while taking care of our environment.