Sidel, a global provider of liquid packaging solutions, recently launched the world's first-ever pasteurisable lightweight PET bottle for beer with a non-petaloid base. The innovative bottle supports a crown cap, which together with the non-petaloid base gives the bottle the appearance of glass, but with all the advantages of PET. The new bottle weighs only 28 grams, which is up to 86% less than an average equivalent glass bottle, according to Sidel data.
According to a recent Euromonitor report, the beverage market in Africa currently stands at 56 billion liters. Beer ranks second amongst various beverage categories, constituting 22 per cent share, with bottled water being the first with its 55 per cent share of total beverage market. South Africa is the leader in beer production with 3,445 million liters, followed by Nigeria with 2,048 million liters and Angola with 1,032 million liters. Ongoing, focused marketing with product innovation are expected to continue to be the main drivers of demand and thus growth within beer category across the African continent.
When packaging beer it is critical to prevent oxygen entering and carbon dioxide escaping the package. The new bottle design can achieve this with different solutions, such as single-layer material blends and Sidel's proprietary Actis™ gas-barrier technology. As a result, the beer bottle can protect beer qualities for up to a six-month shelf life.
"We want to help beer producers take advantage of the flexibility, lighter weight, sustainability and lower costs offered by PET, by producing a bottle that was more attractive to the next generation of beer consumers who want their drinks packaging to be more sustainable, convenient and user-friendly," explains Georgios Diakakis, Regional Commercial Manager at Sidel. "We have noticed that consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of PET, because they experience it as the preferred packaging material of choice in other food and beverage areas in their life," he added.
For many years there have been misperceptions around beer in PET. For example, some mistakenly think beer in PET gets warmer quicker. In fact, in Sidel's studies, its beer bottle kept beer cold for the same time duration as an equivalent sized glass bottle, with much less wall thickness and hence much less material weight. Taste is also another misperception, with some consumers falsely believing beer tastes better, for example, in cans instead of PET bottles.
Sidel has been helping producers package their beer products for over 40 years. The company is currently in conversations with some of the world's leading, and most well-known, beer producers on how to bring the benefits of PET to beer using its new bottle design and packaging technology.