Ruben Rausing and the Invention of Tetra Pack

On this day, June 17 in the year 1895, the inventor of the liquid food packaging Tetra Pack was born in Sweden. His name was Ruben Andersson who changed his family name to Rausing which means the lad from Raus, the place where he was born.

Ruben Rausing
Ruben Rausing (Credit: wiki commons)

Ruben was the son of a successful master painter. He attended Stockholm School of Economics and later obtained his Master of Science in Economics from Columbia University. He worked in a well-known printing company where he met his would-be business partner, Akerlund. Together, they established the first packaging company in all of Scandinavia. The business however, was not very profitable and Akerlund soon sold his shares to Ruben.

In 1944, Ruben patented the plastic-coated carton tetrahedron but it was not yet a viable packaging material. Continued research was done and in the mid-1960s, the aseptic technology was developed and the Tetra Brick was introduced. At the beginning of the 1970’s, sales began to explode when it became the packaging of choice of liquid food producers around the world. Almost 30 years had passed and millions of dollars were spent on research to develop this product.

Ruben died in 1983 at the age of 88. He had three sons with his wife Elizabeth. His second son, Gad, is now the majority owner of the company having bought out the shares of his brothers. In 1981, the company’s headquarter was moved to Switzerland.

Today, Tetra Laval, the mother company of Tetra Pak, is the biggest packaging company in the world with more than US$12 billion in revenues and more than 25,000 employees.

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