Tag Archives: packaging

Bowser Beer for dogs in PET bottles

You may have been reading about Coca-Cola’s launch of Life in Great Britain today, but a very different success story has been ‘brewing’ for the past few years, and it’s a dog’s life.

Bowser Beer from 3 Busy Dogs has emerged as a popular pet product that has enjoyed strong US growth. It was created in 2008 by Jenny Brown in Seattle, and is an all-natural chicken or beef broth drink that contains malt barley (B vitamins) and glucosamine for joint health. The doggy drink doesn’t contain hops, which can be toxic to them.

Bowser Beer in PET bottles from Amcor.
Bowser Beer in PET bottles from Amcor.

Sales have tripled in the last three years, and just goes to show that there’s a market for everything. It’s packaged in lightweight, shatter-resistant 12oz PET bottles (of course it is) from Amcor Rigid Plastics, which mimic the shape and colour of standard beer bottles. They are one-sixth the weight of glass bottles, unbreakable, less wasteful and recyclable, according to Kerry Drewry, sales manager for spirits, wine and beer at Amcor.

Amcor’s stock PET line for beer is also available with the KHS Plasmax Silicon Oxide (SiOx) barrier coating that seals the container from the inside to protect the contents from oxidation.

Plasmax is an FDA-compliant, enhanced passive barrier for oxygen-sensitive products. This ultrathin (less than 100nm) material is transparent and recycle-friendly.

So, don’t enjoy the 2014 World Cup on your own. Pop open a Peroni and a Bowser Beer and settle in with man’s best friend.


Advocating good hydration with the Vittel Refresh Cap

The caps and closures market seems to be getting better and better, showcasing new and innovative designs all the time. The latest one to catch my eye a few days ago was the Vittel Refresh Cap.

This is a cap designed by Ogilvy Paris (Ogilvy & Mather) that reminds people to stay hydrated throughout the day. It’s a simple concept (as most great designs are): a tailor-made cap pops a flag every hour to gently remind us to drink water.

I like it. I’m an advocate of drinking water for good health, as hydration is the key to our fundamental well-being. The Vittel Refresh Cap is a wonderful way to help promote hydration and is a fine example of innovation in the drinks packaging industry.

Wouldn’t it be great if Nestlé Waters takes this to another level and utilises clever labelling technology to complement the new closure, such as health advice and hydration information via augmented reality. I think there are opportunities to challenge innovation in packaging technology by using it for public information, not just advertising.

Interview with James Shillcock from Vivid Drinks

Vivid Matcha Drinks

I interviewed entrepreneur James Shillcock this morning via Skype. He’s the founder of Vivid Drinks, and a nice guy to talk to, sharing plenty of useful insights into setting up your own drinks business.

He had that familiar matter-of-fact approach to explaining how a business is set up, as if we all share his entrepreneurial skills; a point of view from the perspective of someone unhindered by fear of failing, or simply sparked by something more creative and ambitious.

We talked about working with the brilliant design agency BrandOpus, and the choices he made in eventually using Tetra Pak’s DreamCap closure.

Here’s the full interview. Let me know what you think.

An overview of Packaging Innovations Birmingham 2014

I’ve had a busy time lately putting content on FoodBev.com following Packaging Innovations Birmingham 2014, and this blog entry is a convenient place for you to see it all in one go.

Andreas Exarheas and Bill Bruce actually attended the event, and I caught up with them back in the office to talk to them about what they’d seen and what their thoughts were. The podcast for that interview is right here.

Andreas also wrote a blog about his first time at Packaging Innovations, while Bill conducted a few video interviews with some new faces and some more familiar to us, such as Stuart Kellock from Label Apeel.

In the following videos, Lucy Frankel from Vegware talks about procurement, sustainability and ‘eco packaging’, and how ‘clarity is key when it comes to compostable labels’.

Lars Liebscher from BASF talked to Bill about ecovio biodegradable plastic and the world’s first compostable coffee capsule. He also talked about the company’s association with Beanarella.

In this video, Nick Brewin from Silgan talks about the brand’s new microwaveable plastic can food container, and the unique manufacturing process that goes into making it.

Nathan Daniel from CS Labels discusses Color Logic technology, and provides a demonstration of the company’s augmented reality app using an iPad and a Madness Gladness beer poster.

Finally, we produced a modest gallery of photos, which you can find on our Flickr channel.

Review of Packaging Innovations 2014

I interviewed my colleagues Bill Bruce and Andreas Exarheas late last week and asked them about what this year’s Packaging Innovations show was like.

The gist of it is that the show was good, was well attended and had a few cool innovations to show off. Apparently, even the wifi access was decent, which is worth a headline in itself. (For those who don’t know, trade events are generally poor when it comes to providing communications for socially connected journalists.)

So, have a listen, and get in touch if you attended Packaging Innovations Birmingham 2014 and saw something amazing that we completely missed.

See also this big roundup blog, especially put together to provide an overview of the content we gathered from the event.

Every Can Counts celebrates good year for recycling with showcase video

I love this video, as it’s a celebration of the success of the Every Can Counts recycling programme over the last year. The programme targeted more than 600,000 people at six major UK festivals, encouraging them to recycle on-site.


Every Can Counts had a presence at events across the UK, including V Festival (both sites), Leeds Festival, Global Gathering, Download and Latitude, communicating the recycling message and engaging festival goers with on-site activities such as DJs, games and competitions.

Carlsberg UK joined the Every Can Counts programme earlier this year as one of the main funding partners, and staff from the national retailer and brewer took part in this year’s recycling activity at Latitude and Leeds festivals.

 Here’s to another great year of recycling cans, and in particular spreading a very important environmental message to a new generation.

Tetra Pak and the 6 mega-trends affecting the food industry

I was in Lund, Sweden, yesterday attending a press event at Tetra Pak HQ. The company is presenting a number of talks on the theme of environmental innovation.

Following a short introduction by Linda Bernier, director of public relations, Mats Enhol spoke to us about food industry trends. He’s director of food industry intelligence at Tetra Pak. His presentation about the key drivers that will influence Tetra Pak’s development plans as it approaches 2020 was positive, despite the demographic and economic challenges.

The company hopes to expand its operations in BRIC regions, especially as they’re resource-rich and haven’t necessarily taken to innovative packaging in the same way much of Europe has.

It’s interesting to note that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are Tetra Pak’s biggest customers, and it may be the influence (and business) of these two massive companies that determines Tetra Pak’s success in BRIC countries over the next few years.

For instance, both companies are moving into dairy products, so even though Tetra Pak doesn’t make packaging for carbonates, it may well reach a wider audience for its products through the innovation of others.

Charles Brand, VP of marketing & product management, presented Tetra Pak and the Environment and revealed some interesting facts from a recent Euromonitor study about consumer attitudes towards recycling:

  • Environment remains strategically important for industry, but cost is the top priority.
  • Majority of manufacturers and retailers consider environmental profile when choosing beverage packaging solutions.
  • Consumers’ environmental behaviour increasing, but convenience drives purchasing decisions and package preference.
  • Sorting for recycling remains most common environmental behaviour among consumers.
  • Cartons considered best environmental packaging in most countries.
  • Labelling is a useful environmental communication tool.

Thomas Stridsberg, director of product & development support, showed how the company plans to reduce its carbon footprint. Recycling of end-of-life products is key to the success of the company’s sustainability goals over the next decade.

He made an interesting statement:

“It’s more important to stop litter than make the packages biodegradable.”

Tetra Pak is helping to meet its goals by influencing and supporting its customers in things such as cleaning cycles in existing equipment (no need to replace current equipment), developing sustainable products and deploying environmental, pioneering product lines.

Ali Ahmadian, recycling programme manager, expanded on Tetra Pak’s recycling initiatives. Even though one of the company’s marketing lines is to go Unnoticed 400 million times a day, it would, however, like to be noticed by recyclers.

Consumer awareness is key to increasing recycling rates, so Tetra Pak is focusing on waste disposal, the recycling of beverage cartons into recycled paper or cardboard, and polymers into gas, steam and engine oil.

I’ll end this blog post with Tetra Pak’s Six mega-trends affecting the food industry, which are:

  • Increased demand for packed food, driven largely by developing markets.
  • Increased diversification and polarisation of consumer needs and customer offer.
  • Dynamics of food manufacturing industry are changing.
  • Competitive pressure increases with the emergence of new business models.
  • Environmental solutions a must-have for competitiveness.
  • Product safety: consumer awareness and concern driving stricter legislation and control.