LYNN SIDEBOTTOM, Sales & Marketing Director at Beatson Clark, explains why glass remains first choice in packaging…
Perfect taste preservation, 100% recyclability and the ability to communicate premium quality to consumers – these are all characteristics of glass that are well known in the packaging industry. Little wonder then that, despite competition from plastic and aluminum cans, the use of glass as a primary packaging material continues to grow. According to the latest market research from Research and Markets, global glass packaging market volume was
estimated to be 47,000 kilotons in 2013 and is expected to reach 60,847 kilotons by 2020.
But it’s no accident that the glass packaging sector is staying ahead of the game: manufacturers like Beatson Clark are constantly innovating and coming up with new products and services to make sure that glass bottles and jars remain the best option for customers when it comes to helping build their brand.
Glass has always lent itself to a creative approach to packaging design; it comes in different shapes, sizes, colours and designs and offers so much variety to suit the individual needs of each customer. The shape of the bottle can be used to convey a brand image, and some brands adopt distinctive shapes that make their products really stand out from the crowd. Two good examples of this are Jim Beam Original Bourbon Sauce and a new Margarita-flavoured Gose beer brewed by Stewart Brewing and Hawkshead Brewery.
Last year we designed an embossed sauce bottle for Jim Beam whose shape echoed the outline of the replica 1940s American Stillhouse at the Jim Beam distillery in Kentucky; and this year Stewart Brewing chose our standard amber 330ml Vichy bottle with a crown neck finish to give their experimental beer a continental look on the shelf
and to differentiate it from the two breweries’ other products.
Many brands nowadays are getting creative with glass in order to leverage their position in the marketplace. Another of our customers, Ridgeway Brewery, was one of the first to choose our new embossed standard beer bottle, which has the words ‘Craft Beer’ embossed around the shoulder.
Our embossing options are really popular with customers at the moment. We are producing a lot of bespoke containers which feature embossing, such as the award-winning bottle for STORY Drinks’ range of fruit pressés; but many customers are opting for a more cost-effective service. Smaller producers which may not have the budget for a bespoke container can have customised embossing without the high volumes associated with bespoke packaging. By adding embossing to the finish moulds, brands can add bespoke embossing to a standard bottle from as little as 150,000 units and with tooling costing less than that of a fully bespoke container.
At Beatson Clark we offered a screen printing option to Bedlam Brewery, one of the new breed of young craft breweries which are moving away from the traditional look and seeking to appeal to a younger audience. But if
budgets are restricted we offer a very wide range of standard containers in many shapes and sizes available from stock, so even the smallest brewer or food and beverage producer can differentiate their brand from the competition.
Of course, superior aesthetic quality and visual appeal are not the only reasons why glass makes such a great packaging material for food, beverage and pharmaceutical products – there are many environmental benefits to consider too.
Glass is 100% and infinitely recyclable, and as such it has a big advantage over all other packaging materials. These days, brands understand that the environmental impact of their products is an important component in how customers choose what they buy, and the news from the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) that glass recycling has now reached 73% across the EU can only be good for the glass industry.
Another key factor in favour of glass is its ability to protect and preserve the quality and taste of its contents for long periods. As a barrier to contamination, glass is excellent; it can be used in direct contact with food, drinks and pharmaceutical products no matter how many times it has been recycled, and it is the only single layer packaging material that doesn’t require additional layers to protect your food, drink and medicines.
In recent years we have seen great creativity shown by packaging designers using novel materials, new technologies and innovative techniques to give their clients’ products the edge. What’s certain is that glass is more than holding its own in a very competitive market, and I’m confident that it will continue to be the pre-eminent packaging material for many years to come.