Sales & Marketing Director at Beatson Clark, Lynn Sidebottom, explains why, when it comes to packaging with class, you simply can’t beat glass…
Plastic, aluminium or cardboard containers may appeal to some food and drink manufacturers but when it comes to the environment and
recycling there’s no packaging material on the planet that compares with glass. Not only does glass manufacture require fewer raw materials and produce fewer CO2 emissions, glass is endlessly recyclable without any loss of quality or purity – something which cannot be said for other materials. Research has shown that when you assess the complete life cycle of a glass container from the extraction of raw materials to its reuse or recycling, glass has a lower carbon footprint than other materials. In Western Europe glass containers produced 0.110kg of CO2; aluminium produced 0.122kg of CO2; and PET plastic produced 0.152kg of CO2.
Glass can be used in direct contact with food, drinks and pharmaceutical products no matter how many times it’s been recycled – indeed, it’s the only single layer packaging that doesn’t require additional layers to protect your food and drink.
Glass is also very good at protecting products from the environment: amber glass protects products from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays, which is why many medicines and drinks are sold in glass containers, and glass preserves products for longer than other materials – for example, the typical shelf life for preserves in glass is 18 months. No wonder consumers repeatedly confirm in surveys that they prefer glass and trust it as the safest packaging material for food and drinks.
GOT THE LOOK
These are just some of the reasons why more and more food and drink producers are turning to glass packaging. But another important
consideration is aesthetic: unlike plastic, aluminium or card, glass has an undeniable visual appeal and lends an aura of quality and craftsmanship to any product.
If food and drink producers are in two minds about which packaging material is best for their product it’s easy to convince them of the unique selling points that glass enjoys. Glass has always been perceived as a premium, high-quality product; in a recent survey by Friends of Glass, 69% of consumers believed that glass packaging suggests quality, 81% of consumers thought glass containers are more attractive than other materials, and 73% believed glass lends the most prestige to the product. What’s more, a resounding 84% of the women surveyed said that they thought beer would taste best when it had come from a glass container. A recent poll in the Daily Telegraph also found that 64% of people prefer the taste of beer from glass, while only 13% preferred aluminium cans.
Thanks to the latest advances in technology, there are now countless different options when it comes to the look and feel of a glass container – leaving aside the different shapes, styles and colours that are available, glass designers can also use embossing techniques, sleeving, printing and frosting to make their container stand out from the competition.
As a simple, inexpensive way to create a distinctive and original bottle design, creative embossing is an option that is being taken up by more and more food and drink producers who ask for their brand, logo or message to be embossed on the glass container itself.
For some brands a bespoke design like this is not a cost-effective option, but it’s nevertheless possible to source a unique bottle without
going to the expense of a new design. Standard bottles can be customised by having a motif or message embossed onto the finish moulds, which is more cost-effective than investing in a fully bespoke design and allows smaller volumes to be produced.
A creative approach to embossing can really allow a brand to stand out. At Beatson Clark we have recently invested in the latest sculpting software to make our embossing more defined as well as easier to manufacture, and 10 out of our last 17 NPD projects this year have been embossed.
Three iconic brands that we are very proud of are excellent examples of this: our bespoke 330ml embossed bottle for Robinson’s Old Tom, our 750ml embossed Brooklyn beer bottle and Meantime Brewery’s sleek 330ml Champagne-style bottle.
A relatively new idea we’ve been working on at Beatson Clark is multiple embossing. We recently produced four distinct versions of the same bottle for a customer from one production run, each with its own embossed design; this gives consumers the choice of four different designs on the shelf and makes the bottle something of a collector’s item… at no extra cost.