Issue 64 | Water Innovation

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WATER innovation


foodbev com A world of food and drink

Italian Heritage Ferrarelle SpA President and CEO Carlo Pontecorvo

SPecial report

PET, rPET: a sustainable future



Flavoured waters

End of line packing


Product design

Global product innovation, business, technology and ingredient news 漏 Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

Issue 64 - January 路 February 2011

Inside this issue 5 6 12 15 20 41

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Still waters. Bottled water in the news.


Product innovations

Italian heritage

The latest packaged water launches.

Water Innovation interviews Ferrarelle SpA President and CEO Carlo Pontecorvo.

Tech innovations The latest technical news roundup.

Events Upcoming bottled water industry events previewed.

Insight End of line packing.



25 report Managing Editor Shaun Weston interviews Ustronianka Owner and President Michał Bozek about Ustronianka with Iodine.

Two newly published books look at where waters come from.

PET, rPET: a sustainable future

Product design

Water Innovation’s annual PET Special Report.


Steve Osborne of UK based brand design agency Osborne Pike looks at how brands succeed through telling a story with design.


Marketplace Water Innovation products and services guide.


Flavoured waters

Advertiser index.

From a twist of lemon to exotic superfruits, flavoured waters have come along way in their 25 year history.

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foodbev com A world of food and drink

Images: screen © Irochka, bottle © Filipe Varela, tomato © Mailthepic, carton © Photoeuphoria, cheese © Edyta Pawlowska, glass © Konstantin Tavrov, orange © Les Cunliffe, bean © Monika3stepsahead, biscuit © Picsfive, strawberry © Braendan Yong |

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011



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Still waters

by Bill Bruce


t’s been quiet on the bottled water industry news front since our last issue, with few major business stories reported on But bottled water has been in the news for other reasons.

Bottled water to the rescue Bottled water literally came to the rescue around the world over the past few weeks. Exceptionally low temperatures gripped Northern Europe in December, causing travel chaos and major water supply disruption as the big freeze caused substantial damage to water mains. In Northern Ireland, tens of thousands of households were left without water and several bottled water companies moved fast to ensure that supplies could reach those most in need. The Scottish government even became involved, sending lorryloads of bottled water to assist with the relief effort. In Australia, after ten years of drought, Queensland suffered the worst flooding seen for nearly 40 years. With fears of water-borne disease and major disruption to mains water supplies, the essential role that safe bottled water can play in the event of a crisis came to the fore.

Bottled water returns to council offices Stories of government departments and city councils in the United States outlawing

bottled water on supposed environmental grounds or to achieve budget cuts were commonplace throughout 2010. So I was pleased to read at the end of the year that bottled water is back in the city council offices in Galt, in Sacramento County, California. In 2007, the city council passed an ordinance to do away with bottled water at meetings. At the time, it cited the measure would save money and help it go green by producing less trash. However, when the city council was again debating the issue of bottled versus tap, two council members wanted to repeal the three-year-old ordinance. “The bottles are recyclable, the glasses we use are not, and they have to go through a special cleaning process. It takes 40 minutes to clean, prepare and set out glasses and water pitchers, compared to five minutes to set bottles out,” said councilman Mark Crews. At each meeting, there are a total of 14 people who could need water, and that created a lengthy chore for the city clerk every two weeks. The council voted to repeal the ordinance, and go back to bottled water at meetings.

Distributing bottled water after Northern’s Ireland’s big freeze

The biodegradable debate Finally, another story caught my eye when the Italian government banned polythene bags on 1 January. Italians are among Europe’s biggest consumers of plastic bags. “Every year each Italian uses 400 plastic bags and Italy in total is responsible for 25% of all plastic bags that are used and produced in Europe,” said Eva Alessi, a spokeswoman for the World Wildlife Fund. Environmental rights group Legambiente estimates that the ban will reduce Italy’s carbon emissions by 180 million tonnes a year. The nationwide ban on plastic bags has the goal of promoting more environmentally friendly bags made of fabric, recyclable paper or biodegradable plastic. It is the last part of that sentence which has Eleanor Reynolds of The Planet Bottle Corporation wondering if they ban plastic

bags today, could it be plastic bottles tomorrow? An intriguing, though worrying thought. For more, turn to our Special Report which begins on page 25.

Have your say... The PET, rPET: a sustainable future Special Report contains some interesting and contrasting views around recycling, biodegrability and lightweighting. What do you think? Have your say and write to

In the next issue • SPECIAL REPORT Caps and closures • FOCUS Sports waters • INSIGHT Energy and water management in the bottling plant • Event previews Vitafoods and Interpack Don’t miss out... subscribe today

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The Editor’s pick of the latest packaged water launches

Aqua Carpatica competes in Romania Greek-born Swiss businessman Jean Valvis (left), who built the Dorna water brand in Romania, launched a premium mineral water brand called Aqua Carpatica last September.

Naeve chooses frosted glass Naeve spring and iceberg water from Main Brook Waterworks from Newfoundland in Canada, is packaged in 37.5cl and 75cl Bellisima flint glass bottles that are frosted to create an icy look. Each bottle also features an ice-blue bar-top cork and icicle imagery.

The new brand will compete with Dorna, the water that Valvis sold to Coca-Cola in 2002. Valvis’ factory is near Vatra Dornei in Suceava county. This is the second recent major greenfield investment in the Romanian mineral water industry, following the opening of URBB’s Bilbor factory (see below).

The packaging design was by US based packaging solutions business O. Berk Company.

It is understood that the PET bottle pictured (right) will only be for the Romanian market and that elsewhere Aqua Carpatica will be sold in dramatic new glass bottles (left). Watch out for developments on

Share your innovations Send your new products to

URBB launches Bilbor Romania’s United Romanian Breweries Bereprod, best known as the brewer of Tuborg beer, has launched Bilbor Mineral Water in the middle of 2010. From a protected and unspoilt source between the Bistritei and Surhard mountains, Bilbor’s slogan is “purity of the heights”. The launch was supported by a media campaign including TV advertising.

Urleiten launches in O-I flint glass Following a successful market test of 3,000 bottles in 2009, Austria’s Urleiten has now begun its full commercial launch. To emphasise its premium quality, the Alpine spring water is packaged in flint glass 25cl and 75cl wine bottles - reminiscent of a classic Bordeaux bottle. Urleiten chose O-I to produce the new bottles because of the company’s flexibility and ability to deliver small orders as well as large. The long-necked bottle differentiates the brand, since this shape is rarely used for mineral water in the German-speaking areas of Europe. The package design was created by advertising agency Kastner&Partner. In 2011, Urleiten will begin offering its product in still and sparkling variants in beverage and wine outlets in Austria (particularly Eastern Tyrol), as well as Southern Germany and Northern Italy. © Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

6 PRODUCT NEWS Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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Montcalm opts for 100% rPET Montcalm mineral water, sourced from the heart of the Pyrenees Ariégeoises, has introduced a new 1.5 litre bottle made from 100% recycled PET. This move has resulted in a reported carbon reduction of 43% - saving 210 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2011. The launch was accompanied by a campaign encouraging consumers to sort and recycle their waste.

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Evian adds lighter rPET eco-bottle in UK Danone Waters (UK & ireland) has introduced its new 1.5 litre Evian eco-bottle in Great Britain. It has been lightweighted 11% more than the previous bottle, with its weight falling from 32g to 28.6g. With a new design featuring improved ergonomics, the new 100% recyclable bottle is designed to be easier to crush. The company intends to double the volume of rPET in the bottle from 25% to 50% during the next 12 months. Evian sources its rPET from Artenius PET Packaging Europe, in Beaune, France.

Ergonomic and environmentally friendly: Kirin wins awards TYR returns to nature

Japan’s Kirin Beverage Co recently won two international awards for the latest version of its ‘pecology bottle,’ with the judges in the Asian Star Packaging Contest 2010 “recognising the superiority of the product’s universal design, which combines technology and reduced weight.”

From the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York, comes TYR Natural Spring Water from TYR Water. With its slogan ‘Return to Nature’, TYR describes itself as 100% natural and 100% eco-friendly. It is packed in a 100% biodegradable eco-bottle and features a label made from a 100% postconsumer uncoated recycled paper with a toned down design that uses less ink.

Kirin has begun introducing new 2 litre bottles for its popular Alkali ion Water drink, with the new versions weighing just 35g when empty, 7g less than the old bottles. The company developed its first pecology bottle in 2003, reducing the weight to 42g from 63g. The latest version - the ninth generation of the pecology bottle - demonstrates a total lightweighting of over 44% in seven years. Claiming to be the lightest 2 litre bottle available, Kirin says the latest change will allow it to save “tens of millions of yen” every year as the PET used for the bottles will be reduced by more than 800 tonnes. The closures are now made from a single, lighter material and the labels are also a little thinner and lighter. The new easily squashable bottle’s easy-to-grip design incorporates a series of ribs and ridges that have been created to stop a bottle slipping out of a person’s grasp.

Japan’s trend to lightweighting Japan’s other drinks and water companies have caught on to the advantages of lean and green bottles, with Coca-Cola Japan, Suntory Beverage and Food, Asahi Soft Drinks Co and Ito En all delivering significant lightweighting developments in the past two years.

PET, rPET: a sustainable future Turn to our Special Report on page 25 to read the debate about the move to rPET and developments in oxo-biodegradble plastics and plant-based alternatives. Join the debate. Share your thoughts on PET’s sustainable future by writing to

Happy 60th birthday CCL 60 years of growth, innovation and success has made CCL a world leader in the specialty packaging business. With 60 production facilities worldwide and approximately 5,800 employees, CCL is the largest converter of pressure sensitive and film material for label applications and the leading producer of aluminum aerosol bottles, cans, and extruded plastic tubes.

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011



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Anti-Ageing Water

Hint gets together with Yogi Bear

Anti-Ageing North America has launched Nutra Resveratrol Anti-Ageing Water which contains its own patented, proprietary blend of Nutra Resveratrol. Nutra Resveratrol is designed to protect against free radicals and contains ingredients for the maintenance of cells, DNA repair and the immune system. It also features dimethylethanolamine (DMAE) which has been shown to reduce fine lines and wrinkes plus enhance brain function. Sweetened with Stevia, the five flavour range is packed in 20oz bottles.

In the United States, Hint water launched a limited edition Yogi Bear bottle for its unique Strawberry-Kiwi flavour to tie in with the new 3D movie ‘Yogi Bear’, which debuted in December, starring Justin Timberlake, Dan Aykroyd and Anna Faris.

Jeema Junior UAE based Jeema Mineral Water has launched a new, more conveniently sized 28cl bottle, designed for school lunch boxes and children on-the-go. Dubbed ‘Jeema Junior’ the new bottle has been well received and has delivered on the company’s goal of encouraging children to drink more water.

Nu20 - in a category of its own

Fashionable etc Water

According to consumer tests by US based NutriPure Beverages, its Nu20 enhanced water is in a category of its own, somewhere between SmartWater and VitaminWater.

A new premium English mineral water, etc, is hoping to gain some interest through sponsorship of designer Bryce Aime at London Fashion Week 2011.

It is available in three formulations: Immune, Complete and Energy, with a further ten formulations on their way.

Drawn from a valley ‘deep in the English countryside’, etc is available in both still and sparkling varieties in 33cl, 50cl and 75cl recycled glass and rPET bottles.

Iluliaq original iceberg water Located 190 miles north of the Arctic Circle on the west coast of Greenland, the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier has been a protected UNESCO World Heritage site since 2004. The glacier produces more ice than any other glacier on the northern hemisphere, filling the ice fjord with icebergs that are the source for Iluliaq Original Iceberg Water. Iluliaq is harvested by Kalaaleq people in the Ilulissat ice fjord the same way it’s been harvested for centuries. Kalaaleq people know the three different type of ice: the blue ice, transparent and hard, comes from melted snow that froze again; the Basal ice, tainted with mud and rocks comes from ice that rubbed on the basalt rocks; and the Glacial ice, pure and white, untouched, is the source of Iluliaq water, saved just before it will melt in the ocean and become salt water. Then the ice is brought to the bottling facility in Ilulissat. It’s melted naturally, slowly, because energy is rare and precious in Greenland. To ensure the unique quality of the water, elegant glass bottles and stoppers are sterilised by autoclave and individually filled and sealed, on demand, for each customer. Iluliaq only produces water on demand and does not keep any stock to ensure that only the freshest water is sent to customers. Each bottle is dated and the name of the customer is written on the label. Iluliaq avoids unnecessary carbon emissions by taking advantage of free capacity on ships returning to the mainland. © Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

8 PRODUCT NEWS Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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SoBe Lifewater adds electrolytes PepsiCo’s SoBe Lifewater brand has introduced two new flavours featuring electrolytes and made with the all-natural zero calorie sweetener, PureVia.


The launch of Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade and Macintosh Apple Cherry SoBe Lifewater was promoted by ‘Gossip Girl’ actress Jessica Szohr “shedding her inhibitions - and unleashing her inner lizard” in Costa Rica, wearing nothing but a SoBe Lifewater skinsuit. The sultry photo spread, the second installment of the SoBe Lifewater skinsuit series, appears exclusively in the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Third Fine Water Summit The 3rd Fine Water Summit will be held at Vidago, Portugal, from 24-26 March. It will focus on the rise and fall of the environmentalist campaign against bottled water and a global messaging

position as well as new technologies and the science of bottled water health claims with presentation from medical researchers and geologists. For more information, and to book your place, visit

R TE EN W NO 6 categories – 24 awards Following the success of the 2009 Beverage Innovation Awards and the InterBev 2010 Beverage Innovation Awards, we are now focusing on the fastest moving beverage category with the 2011 Beverage Innovation functionaldrinks Awards.

functionaldrinks © Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011



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Kiwaii travels to US Kiwaii 100% True New Zealand Spring Water – which originates from the Blue Spring in Putaruru, Waikato, New Zealand – has gained distribution in the United States, through Premium Healthy Spring Water Inc.

Water for Water A new ethical bottled water business called Water for Water has been launched in Australia by entrepreneur Danielle Saleh. 100% of the business’s profits go towards facilitating pure drinking water in Calacoon City, Philippines. Water for Water is sourced from a spring at the foot of the Yarra Ranges, east of Melbourne, Australia.

KiwiPhil gives water to the world KiwiPhil, from New Zealand based Ethical Water Brands, gives all of its profits to water aid charities around the globe. The KiwiPhil message is simple: ‘buying a bottle of water in New Zealand helps give water to someone in the world who needs it’. KiwiPhil was the brainchild of winemaker and entrepreneur Michael Daymond-King, and two long time friends, Paul Burgin and Janine.

Make-over for Hwila

New look for Luna and Lara

Swedish design group Neumeister has given a new look to Hwila, a natural mineral water from Swedish brewer Abro.

Chadwicks, part of the Flexible Packaging Division of the Clondalkin Group, has given Eauvolution’s Luna and Lara Pure spring water a lift with new shrink sleeve designs using the brand’s twin characters ‘Prince Tabby’ and ‘Princess Tara’ to appeal to children.

Bearing the legend ‘Europe’s best carbonated water’, the range features natural and lemon/lime in cans, three flavours in PET and four variants in glass.

The sleeves are printed in 8-colour UV Flexo on 50 micron film and feature the Luna and Lara ‘Guide to Drinking Water’ on the reverse, accompanied by rhymes and colourful images, creating a healthy product designed to appeal directly to children.

La Fantana introduces bag-in-box to Romania Bing@ launches in India Raipur based entrepreneur Ashok Keswani of Neha Enterprises recently launched Bing@ packaged drinking water with a ‘Pure and Refreshing Taste’ in Mumbai city. This marks the company’s first foray into the fast growing Indian functional and enhanced water market. Pictured is Bollywood stat Shifanjali Shekhar at the Bing@ launch party.

Romania’s La Fantana has launched a 10 litre bag-in-box option for its household water cooler customers. Developed with Rapak, there is a choice of simple metal stand to aid dispensing or, for added convenience, a small electrically powered mini-water cooler.

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

10 PRODUCT NEWS Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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Red dot for Liz and silver award for Evian Soon after winning the ‘best new packaging innovation’ category in the 2010 Water Innovation Awards, Germany’s Hassia Mineralquellen was honoured with a red dot communication design award for the design of Liz. Liz was chosen from over 6,000 candidates from 44 countries. The Offenbacher design agency das markenhaus was responsible for the design and the flexo-printed no-labellook WashOff label (used for returnable glass bottles) is produced by CCL Label GmbH. Meanwhile, Evian was chosen as the silver winner of Beverage World’s Global Packaging Design Awards 2010. After many years using paper labels, the internationally famous French Alpine water from Groupe Danone has changed to highly transparent, self-adhesive labels by CCL Label GmbH. In keeping with the premium image, emphasising innovation and creativity, the brands Aramis and Athos have been re-launched. Evian one way and returnable bottles are being labelled with contemporary transparent labels produced by CCL. The ultra-transparent, self-adhesive pressure sensitive labels combined with the intensity of the colours create an elegant and exquisite appearance which supports the brand image. José Murer, Head of Packaging Development at Evian, commented that he believes the plastic label is the future for the glass market and that it gives rebirth to his company’s glass portfolio. Issue 64 - January · February 2011


Tech innovations Retrofit compressor energy recovery solutions Atlas Copco Compressors has launched a new range of retrofit energy recovery kits for its GA11-90 rotary screw compressor range which enable up to 94% of the energy from wasted compression heat to be recovered. For use across a broad spectrum of process industries, the new range of stand alone, plug and play energy recovery units, ER S -1,-2, and -3, can achieve between 72% to 94% of energy recovery in the form of hot outlet water, at temperatures of up to 90°C. Over 45% of all industry applications use hot water in their processes. Atlas Copco’s ER units enable pre-heated water to be used in these processes to reduce the use of traditional energy sources and, at the same time, to lower the amount of CO2 emissions. Running cost reductions can be achieved both in applications involving intermittent use, such as central heating, or in the continuous duty

of providing process hot water. With up to 94% of the electrical energy employed in compressed air production being converted into heat and subsequently lost through radiation, the introduction of these retrofit kits will enable operators to make substantial reductions in fuel consumption. At the same time, it is possible to achieve indirect process savings by reducing the maintenance costs of associated equipment and, in specific applications, overall process efficiency can be boosted by up to 20%. Look out for our Insight on energy and water management in the bottling plant in the next issue of Water Innovation magazine. Subscribe today, visit

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Appe addes high quality PET label printing Appe, formerly known as Artenius PET Packaging, is investing in excess of £1 million in a new printing facility for its PET bottles and containers. Installed at the company’s Gresford factory in the UK, the Kammann printer offers silk screen printing in up to four colours, including special effects such as metallics, on round, oval and conical containers in a wide range of sizes from 40mm to 450mm high. The machine ensures extremely accurate print registration to create high impact designs that help to deliver brand differentiation and on-shelf appeal. “This is a major investment which enables us to offer an added value service to our customer base,” explained Appe’s Martene Midwood. “The quality of print is excellent and will help to

reflect and reinforce brand positioning, while customers will also benefit from a ‘onestop’ service delivering ready decorated containers to their filling lines.”

Coca-Cola Hellenic scoops three top prizes at the Fleet Europe Awards 2010 in Brussels Coca-Cola Hellenic won the International Fleet Safety of the Year award and was placed second and third in two other Award categories. The company, which operates its fleet of over 20,000 vehicles across 28 countries, received the accolade at the Fleet Europe Awards 2010, which took place in November at a glittering gala dinner held at the Brussels Stock Exchange. The International Fleet Safety Award recognised

the successful implementation of a safety project for Coca-Cola Hellenic’s fleet, using original tools and programmes to improve driver safety, including the mobileye active fleet safety system.

The second place International Fleet Manager of the Year award was for having successfully developed an international fleet management strategy and implemented an efficient car policy. Coca-Cola Hellenic came third in the International Green Fleet of the Year award, in recognition of its Safe & Eco drive programme. In 2009 the company reduced its fuel consumption by 6.3%, with a further 1.5% reduction in

the first half of 2010. This is equivalent to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 7,600 tonnes over the 2009-10 period.

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

12 TECH NEWS Issue 64 - January · February 2011

Tech innovations Bericap opens in Singapore Bericap has established a production facility in Singapore, to provide a direct service to customers in the ASEANzone, which were previously served by a sales office and deliveries from Bericap China and other Bericap facilities. It will become the nucleus for further expansion of sales and production facilities in Southeast Asia.

Initially, it will mainly produce closures for the non-food and beverage market, but production of beverage closures will soon follow. One of the products to be produced by Bericap Singapore is a screw cap with folded tamper evidence band for the agrochemical industry. The manufacturing process of the closure plus additional safety features make the closure difficult to copy and supports anti-counterfeiting measures. Bericap Singapore is also able to produce the 1-piece closure technology DoubleSeal for carbonated beverages or hot filling.

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Bacteria detection in less than seven hours Hygiena International Ltd has launched EnSURE, a small portable rapid detection system that can make several different test measurements using a new bioluminogenic test principle. The tests include Micro-Snap, Zymo-Snap and Super-Snap. Micro-Snap provides test results in just seven hours and can be used to verify surface cleaning efficacy in industrial processing applications, plus product quality and safety with both potable and process water supplies. The system utilises a new bioluminogenic test principle in Hygiena’s existing snap valve device with a more sensitive luminometer, called EnSURE.

The system has been validated for the detection of specific bacteria including Coliform, Enterobacteriaceae and E.coli at very low levels and in a variety of sample types. Testing can be undertaken by an individual in laboratory conditions, or in site locations without the need for additional personnel or laboratory equipment.

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

14 TECH NEWS Issue 64 - January · February 2011


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2011 diary essentials 9-10 March

Italian Mineral Water Conference One of the world’s leading markets, the Italian mineral water industry will be holding its first conference about topical issues in Napoli. Organised by Zenith International, in association with Mineracqua, the event will include a plant tour to leading brand Ferrarelle, a conference with the theme ‘Sustainable future’ and international market briefings. The conference will include sessions on: market realities presented by Zenith International; promoting the integrity of mineral water with Mineracqua, Sanpellegrino and Karlovarské Minerální Vody sharing experiences from the Czech Republic; market opportunities within vending, horeca and private label; and environmental action with speakers from Krones, San Benedetto and Ferrarelle. The conference will be sponsored by leading industry supplier Krones and Bericap. “The industry faces a number of challenges, not least the economic situation, pressure from tap water and environmental lobbies, along with a competitive retail and horeca environment,” commented Mineracqua President Ettore Fortuna. “The conference aims to address these issues, while also focusing on areas of growth and opportunity.” Zenith International Chairman Richard Hall added: “We are delighted to be working with Mineracqua on this event and look forward to delivering a topical programme that enables the industry to share insights and best practice. The event will bring together producers, suppliers, customers and other industry partners to gain a complete overview of market trends and to provide the insights necessary for sustainable business planning.” For more information, visit

29-31 March

7th InnoBev Global Beverages Summit Zenith International’s 7th InnoBev Global Beverages Summit, in association with the American Beverages Assocation and sponsored by Tata Global Beverages, CSI Closure Systems International and Bericap takes place in Washington DC, US from 29 to 31 March. The event will include the 2011 Beverage Innovation functionaldrinks Awards Gala Dinner. The awards are now open for entry. Visit for more information.

13-15 September

8th Global Bottled Water Congress 20th Brazilian Congress of International Mineral Water Expo-ABINAM 2011 Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, is the exciting location for Zenith International’s 8th Global Bottled Water Congress. the 20th Brazilian Congress of International Mineral Water, and Expo-ABINAM 2011. The joint event, will be held at the Windsor Hotel Barra, and includes the Brazilian Mineral Water Association (Associação Brasileira de Indústria de Água Mineral) annual Trade Show Expo-ABINAM which features 50 exhibitors. The Brazilian event will include the 2011 Water Innovation Awards Gala Dinner - details will be announced soon. The Congress is sponsored by Bericap. For more information, visit Issue 64 - January · February 2011


Ferrarelle Italian Heritage Number four in the Italian market, Ferrarelle natural sparkling mineral water has been bottled since 1893 and is now available in more than 40 countries around the world. With its main markets being Italy, the UK and the United States, its main focus is the out of home market, in particular fine and casual dining restaurants, top hotels and delicatessens. Ferrarelle has a long history. Founded in 1893, in Riardo, in the province of Caserta, it was briefly owned by Danone in the late 1980s, before returning to independent ownership in 1991 when the LGR Holdings created Italaquae Ferrarelle SpA. Water Innovation interviews Ferrarelle SpA President and CEO Carlo Pontecorvo.

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Water Innovation interview How does an independent business with such heritage operate in today’s competitive and multi-national dominated world? What are the reasons for Ferrarelle’s sustained success? The main reasons are competitiveness applied to all the levels in which we operate: an efficient working organisation, a high quality production system, and a wide and efficient communication

system. And lastly, not being a multi-national company, we can develop relationships and respond quickly. Ferrarelle was traditionally sold in glass but is now also available also in PET. What are your most successful formats and do changes in those over the years reflect changes in consumer behaviour? At 20% of its sales, Ferrarelle is one of the few brands with a high percentage of bottled water in glass. In PET, our best selling bottle, especially in

Carlo Pontecorvo © Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

16 COVER STORY Issue 64 - January · February 2011

Italian Mineral Water Conference - see events, page 15

supermarkets, is the 1.5 litre. Consumers and the market have provoked the move towards PET, but its use has led to big debates about its environmental impact. Nevertheless, while glass bottles can be recycled 100%, PET can also be almost completely recycled, but only if consumers follow

those ‘green’ rules which we are so keen to communicate. The bottled water market is changing all the time, with new challenges. Did the recent ‘anti-bottled water’ campaign led by the Co-op supermarket chain come as a surprise, and how did you counter it? The Co-op initiatives educate consumers to the various possibilities of consumption and to environmental sustainability which we consider correct, as we support the same principles, and for which reason we have a good relationship with them. Nevertheless we do not agree with or appreciate the campaign led by the public water companies, which we consider to be unjust and not clear advice for consumers: the comparison between bottled or public water cannot be made as these are two different products each with their own peculiarities - one being a pure bottled source water and the other not. The campaign therefore can only provoke greater misunderstanding among consumers. In the light of changes in the market and new pressures, how important is the Italian Mineral Water Trade Association Mineracqua? Mineracqua is the main mineral water association which is particularly important for our company since it helps us in educating our consumers, and is the main voice defending our market.

Ferrarelle aims to be present in just a few selected outlets to preserve the high profile of the brand

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Ferrarelle is a carbon neutral company. What were the main challenges you needed to overcome to achieve this and are there other environmental sustainability challenges still remaining? Ferrarelle is very aware of it environmental impact. Our

Ferrarelle’s Unicef partnership has resulted in potable water being available to 60,000 people in Chad and to 13,000 children in 44 schools in Eritrea product itself comes directly and physically from nature so logically we are devoted to the environment. For example, thanks to the photovoltaic power plant we installed in Riardo, in 2008 - the biggest

We are very proud of our involvement in the ‘Parco Sorgenti di Riardo’ project in the whole central-southern Italy - we now employ only alternative and renewable energies.

We are also very proud of Ferrarelle’s involvement in the new ‘Parco Sorgenti di Riardo’ project, inaugurated just two months ago - which is restoring 145 hectares of historic Italian landscape - thanks to the essential collaboration of FAI (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano) - the Italian main environment fund which protects the landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of Italy. This is the first time FAI has partnered with a private company. This area is home to Ferrarelle’s source and features several historic and beautiful sights such as Masseria Mozzi, the ruins of the Taverna Saliscendi and next to them the beautiful historical centre of Riardo, dominated by its great medieval castle.

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011


Ferrarelle Click here to subscribe

Ferrarelle SpA’s brands include: • Ferrarelle, the only certified natural sparkling mineral water since 1893 • Natia, the companion of Ferrarelle in the hotel, restaurant and catering channel • Boario, the most historical brand of thermal mineral water in the Milan area • Santagata, natural sparkling water, which is very successful in the Naples area • Vitasnella, a Danone brand licensed in Italy to Ferrarelle

Snapshot of the Italian bottled water industry • At just short of 194 litres, Italian consumers stand at the top of the European consumption per person table, significantly above second-ranked Germany, with 159 litres. • Consumption per person has dropped slightly over the past two years, falling from a high of over 198 litres in 2007. •

Growing competition from tap water, with its economic and environmental credentials, is also thought to have negatively impacted on bottled water consumption. Consumption per person is predicted to show a slow rise over the coming years, as the economy improves and consumer purchasing patterns adjust accordingly. By 2014, the figure is anticipated to reach over 196 litres, although still short of the peak recorded in 2007 due to the impact of tap water campaigns promoted in several areas and through media.

• Still water holds the lion’s share of the sector, accounting for 58% of the total volume in 2009 of 11,605 million litres.

© Alessandro Rizzolli |

• The Italian bottled water market saw value growth of less than 0.5% during 2009, and whilst the increase itself was negligible, it does contrast against a wider backdrop of a regional decline in value of 0.7%. Source: Zenith International

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18 COVER STORY Issue 64 - January · February 2011

End of line packing

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You’ve sourced your water, worked with a designer and PET expert to create the perfect bottle, selected just the right closure and applied a label that completes your brand message. You’ve tested everything, put the whole package together and now you’re at the end of the bottling line. So what next? Water Innovation takes a look at the end of the bottling line.

Today the options for delivering bottles to retailers and other outlets seem endless. In-store, the demands of promotions and multi-packs have coincided with the need to use less material and make every square millimetre of every part of the packaging work hard for the brand. From still popular case erectors and sealers and cartoners, shink-wrap seems the most essential move for many. Sometimes known charmingly in the US as ‘bundlers’, shrink-wrapping provides the opportunity to sell in bulk and add promotional information while at the same time using less packaging material.

NEWS Packing lightweight glass with a soft touch


esponding to the challenge of gently packing lightweight glass bottles, Standard-Knapp has introduced the Versatron case packer with Soft Catch technology, designed for high-speed packing of fragile containers.


There is no room here to look at conveyors, coding and labelling or even at the increasing use of robots that can pack 24-7 without ever taking a break. All these subjects will be covered in future issues of Water Innovation.

Water Innovation will look at palletising and robotics in more detail in a future issue

Unlike many traditional case packers which simply drop containers into their respective packaging, the Versatron case packer gently catches each container to ensure that each package is filled without damage. This unique feature allows for maximum productivity and a reduction in machine downtime while dramatically reducing breakage. A two-axis servo system allows the Versatron to

Sandard Knapp

With gentler handling, less material can be used to make the whole bottle. The ‘Soft Catch’ feature allows users to reduce the shock energy by 80% over a conventional drop packer. Taking 80% of the shock energy away enables the use of thinner gauge bottles as well as thinner glass. actually catch the product as it descends into the case. The lift table moves the case to the ‘up’ position and waits for a full grid. When the grid is full, the riding strips shift to the side and initiate the bottle descent. The lift table simultaneously moves the case downward on a velocity curve that ultimately achieves the same speed at the point of contact in a similar way one would catch an egg, by cradling it gently and securely.

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20 INSIGHT Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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CASE STUDY Cooroy adds shrink packing to penetrate grocery channel


ith the installation of a new bottling line, Queensland, Australia, based bottled water business Cooroy Mountain Spring Water expects to double its production capacity. Managing Director Greg Dinsey said the $2 million production line will help the company continue its rapid expansion and growth. “The production line will allow the business to produce larger quantities of Cooroy Mountain Spring Water more efficiently,” he said. “Instead of bottling approximately 220 bottles per minute, we will have the capacity to bottle more than 500 per minute,” he said. “The significant increase in production quantity will allow us to expand the Cooroy Mountain Spring Water brand in 2011 helping us to remain competitive in the Australian marketplace, while also continuing to meet our requirements as a contract packaging service provider.” Dinsey also said the new line also furthers Cooroy Mountain Spring Water’s commitment to recycling and ensuring production processes are environmentally sustainable by saving on processed water use by 90%.

The line features a shrink wrap and tray shrinking capability, using recyclable plastic, to allow the company to package products more efficiently and cost effectively without compromising the quality. “Ideally the shrink wrap capability will help us penetrate the grocery channel as it will give us the capacity to package spring water in packs of 6, 8, 12 and 24 - something we couldn’t do before,” he said. Dinsey said Cooroy Mountain Spring Water has maintained strong sales results and continued growth throughout 2010 despite the economic downturn, allowing the company to push forward with its expansion. “The global financial crisis provided us with the perfect opportunity to remain proactive and focus on business growth which has seen the expansion of our product range, distribution points and now our bottling capacity,” he said.

Cooroy Mountain Spring Water Managing Director Greg Dinsey with one of the new multi-packs

Cooroy Mountain Spring Water now has the capacity for 500 bottles a minute © Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011


End of line packing NEWS

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Multi-lane multi-packing tandard-Knapp has introduced the Tritium Multi-packer. With single, double and three lane configurations, it swiftly arranges products into compact pack patterns and wraps the configurations in film, thereby eliminating the need for trays and pads. The Multi-packer then sends the packs through an energy-efficient heat tunnel to tightly shrink the film around each multi-pack producing a consistent, wrinklefree bull’s eye and bottom seal.

iGPS recyclable allplastic pallets are 30% lighter than wood pallets

Nirvana uses iGPS pallet system

N Standard Knapp

The Tritium Multi-packer features both an innovative Robo-Wand wrapping section and precise servo-driven film cutting system. These features allow for wide product range capabilities, as well as increased speed and reliability. To facilitate machine maintenance, many steel chains have been replaced with timing belts which require no lubrication and create a quieter machine. In response to customers’ requests for a more easily accessible film feed, StandardKnapp has designed the Tritium series to include a pull-out film feed module. Operators can now quickly pull the film feed out on rollers for convenient inspection and maintenance. Printed or registered film is used to wrap each multi-pack, which provides a larger area for product information and allows retailers to stock their shelves faster and



with less waste. A company’s marketing message can now be printed on the translucent film to promote the cost-saving multipack purchase. In response to the increasing industry pressure toward sustainability, the Tritium Multi-packer boasts a lower carbon footprint than competing multipackers. Thanks to its energy efficient heat tunnel, and a reduced amount of overall packaging material used, customers can now experience a greener, more cost-efficient packaging process.

SEEN AT BRAU Multi-pack carriers Spotted on the Schoeller Arca stand at the Brau trade show in Nuremberg last November were these multi-pack carriers from Peter Suhling. Made from 100% recyclable PET and sold in pallets of 5,000, three water companies are currently using them - Gerolsteiner, Peterstaler Brunnen - which produces Black Forest Water for the US market - and Wüllner, with Carolinen Brunnen.

irvana, a New York based producer of bottled water, has started shipping its spring water products across North America on Intelligent Global Pooling Systems (iGPS) platform. Nirvana bottles water only from its proprietary spring located on 2,000 acres of Adirondack Mountains in New York. iGPS Company is a provider of plastic pallets with embedded radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, through which shippers and receivers can track shipments throughout the supply chain. Nirvana Vice President Mo Rafizadeh said that the company’s vision is to be the most environmentally conscious bottled water brand in the world, and iGPS helps it to achieve this goal. “By utilising iGPS’ lightweight allplastic pallets, we not only reduce our environmental footprint dramatically, but also gain the benefits of a higher quality platform and significant operational savings versus pallets made of wood,” Rafizadeh said. iGPS Chairman and CEO Bob Moore said that Nirvana is a model of environmental consciousness and the company shares Nirvana’s goal of

reducing harmful carbon emissions, which makes its partnership all the more gratifying. iGPS claims that all its recyclable all-plastic pallets are 30% lighter than wood pallets, cost less to transport and are better for the environment. The company further claims that its pallets do not absorb fluids that can cross-contaminate food and, because they cannot harbour wood-boring insects, never require treatment with toxic pesticides or fungicides.

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

22 INSIGHT Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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CASE STUDY Earth2O Inc and the Arpac Brandpac BPMP-5000


he uniquely named Earth2O company of Culver, Oregon, US, began bottling single serve bottles of mineral water in 1991. It added new lines in 1996 and then more recently it installed a new retail line for six different PET bottle sizes including 1 litre and 1.5 litre at rates of up to 300 per minute. The retail bottles were originally packed in corrugated trays but the company soon realised the benefits of moving to shrink wrap without any corrugated, which led to the installation of one of Arpac’s newest high-performance continuous motion multi-pack shrink wrappers - the Brandpac BPMP-5000. The machine is ideally suited to this application because it can be adjusted for different bottle sizes and collations in less than fifteen minutes with little engineering input required. Brandpac machines can also be set to run with both corrugated and shrink

wrap if the customer receives such a demand from the retailer. The Brandpac range has market-leading accuracy of print registration. Given that the primary reason customers choose continuous motion, single reel overlap shrink machines such as the Bandpac is to take advantage of the attractive graphics available today, the ability of the Brandpac to more accurately apply the film was a key reason for it being the machine selected for this application. A further advantage of this machine is that it can register the film on the actual artwork rather than requiring an

unsightly black block to be printed just for print registration purposes. Arpac designed and supplied the complete conveyor system for this installation, which underlines its ability to provide a full turnkey service to its customers, thereby ensuring each piece of equipment in the line integrates effectively with both upstream and downstream machines - a common issue with large system installations if not correctly project managed.

Total control Arpac Europe

A very recent development for the Brandpac range is the option of HMiQ - Arpac’s new control panel with integral operating instructions, diagnostics, fully detailed manual and machine performance statistics. The HMiQ is particularly impressive because

The Brandpac range has a compact footprint

it includes the ability to transmit many aspects of the machine’s status via email or text to machine operators, maintenance engineers, production staff, management and even direct to Arpac’s technical support department; all without compromising the security of the customer’s network systems. Arpac believes this is a first on this type of machine and signals the company’s commitment to ensuring its machines deliver the highest rate of return on its customer’s investment.

NEWS Award winning solutions

of the case packing system used, whether lateral or vertical.

End of ine packaging machinery company Cermex won two awards at the Emballage trade show in Paris last November.

Cermex’s SD58 vertical case packing module – the only one in Europe to integrate Fanuc's new 6-axis parallel-link robot – was awarded one of the seven ‘Coups de Coeur’ by the Pack Experts committee. With two additional axes, the new robot better approximates the movements a human hand can make.

Cermex’s ProSelex received an ‘Oscar de l’Emballage’ in the ‘Peripheral Equipment’ category and an ‘Innovation Coup de Coeur’ for its SD58 vertical case packing module.

products that arrive continuously on a conveyor. For handling three or more different formats, the module is the obvious choice compared to turning and spacing systems using scrolls.

ProSelex is a servo-driven comb that moves at high speed along two axes to form batches from

It can been used on all types of secondary packaging: RSC, wraparound blanks or trays, regardless

Also previewed in Paris, before its worldwide launch in 2011,

Cermex’s new VersaFilm seamless shrink wrapper family was met with excellent reviews.

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011


FoodBev com A world of food and drink

Water news, opinion and interviews

PET and rPET: sustainable future

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here is no doubt that the advent of PET transformed the bottled water industry in the 1970s, but that sustainability is now top of the agenda. Today, three issues seem to dominate: the use of rPET, coupled with the need to educate consumers on their role in closing the recycling loop; oxo-biodegradation to deal with non-recycled bottles; and the use of plant-based materials. In this Special Report, Water Innovation looks at the issues, and canvasses some mixed opinions.

Page 24

Page 28

Lightweighting: How low can you go?

Second life: rPET in the spotlight with Glas Water

Page 25

Page 30

Dean Bellefleur looks at the PET innovation agenda

2010 green bottles: WI reviews some of last year’s top futurefriendly PET packages

Page 32

Page 34

The case for rPET with oxo-biodegredation by The Planet Bottle President Eleanor Reynolds

Husky: Preforms from 100% rPET

Page 33

Page 35 Award winning design: sparkling Isklar by Blue Marlin Brand Design

The case against biodegredation? by Petcore

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PET’s green agenda


aking the most of every possible resource not only makes sense but also delivers measurable pay-back for the economics of bottled water production, while making a contribution to environmental sustainability. It may even provide a brand benefit through differentiation. So recycle, recover and re-use have joined the reduce and replace agenda. At the end of December, the International Bottled Water Association released a report showing that the bottled water’s recycling rate in the United States had doubled in the past five years.

produced for the IBWA by the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR). In 2004, the recycling rate for PET plastic bottled water containers was 16.62%.

The US recycling rate for PET plastic bottled water containers stood at 31% for 2009, according to data from two new studies

“We’re glad to see a significant 37% jump in the use of rPET, both in bottled water products and PET bottles in general,” said

Tom Lauria, Vice President of Communications at IBWA. “The doubling of the recycling rates for bottled water containers over the past five years is encouraging, but also a reminder that more needs to be done to expand recycling efforts and collection methods across the country.” Meanwhile, in the UK, the world’s first on-pack label which lets shoppers know which packaging can be recycled has signed up its 100th company.

brands and retailers in adopting the On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL), which was launched by retailers’ group the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The BRC now plans to shift its focus toward raising public awareness of the label and encouraging consumers to recycle as much as possible.

Belu, Britvic, Cott, Innocent, GlaxoSmithKline and PepsiCo have joined a string of major

To keep up to date with developments in PET recycling worldwide, visit

LIGHTWEIGHTING How low can you go?


ith raw material and fuel prices rising unpredictably and increasing pressure to ‘go green’, it is hardly surprising that lightweighting moved towards the top of the agenda in the last few years. According to the European Federation of Bottled Waters, the average weight of an empty 1.5 litre PET bottle reduced from 50g in 1986 to 35g in 2009, but still we see the bottles getting lighter and lighter. At the end of November 2009, we put a movie called ‘A brief history of lightweighting’ on to the YouTube channel. It started in 2005 with Nestlé Water’s ‘Ploc’ 33cl ‘closure-less water bomb’ which weighed only 4g. Next up, from 2007, was Sidel’s No Bottle, a 50cl bottle which used just 9.9g of PET and introduced the company’s Flex techology.

2008 saw Krones’ NitroPouch – a 50cl water packaging concept weighing just 6.6g. It relied on its internal pressure to keep its shape but at the time many thought this was about as low as you could go in bottle lightweighting. One year later and maintaining the 6.6g weight, PET Engineering presented a fully stable package concept called the Bottle Fly.

Sidel’s Flex technology was put to good use in Nestlé Water North America’s Eco-shape bottle which at introduction delivered a 50cl bottle weighing in at a mere 12.5g.

Meanwhile, Niagara Bottling had been working with Krones to launch the Eco-Air bottle across the United States. It weighed at just 9.17g and it now in its third development.

In Europe, Coca-Cola Hellenic swiftly followed with its 50cl Danube bottle which weighed only 15g.

Nestlé Waters’ 50cl Eco-Shape bottle also shed some more weight and by the middle of 2009 was down to 10.4g.

Closures and substantially reduced neck-heights have also had a major role to play in the lightweighting story and the movie highlights Bericap’s Hexalight 29/25 – a 1.4g closure on a 2.4g neck; and Corvaglia’s optimised neck finish/cap concept which can deliver a 0.95g closure on a 1.75g neck.

Bringing the story up to date We put an other movie onto’s YouTube channel at the end of 2010, called ‘20 future-friendly bottles of the year’ (see page 28). It features more on lightweighting but also looks at rPET, PLA, recycling initiatives and so much more. So does that bring the lightweighing story up to date? Well, not really. At the K 2010 trade show, Krones premiered a container that you had to actually pick up to believe. The Krones PET lite 4.4 - a featherweight of just 4.4g. This 33cl PET container was

developed using Krones’ NitroPouch concept. With wall thicknesses of between 0.10.06 millimetres, it withstands an internal nitrogen pressure of 1.5 bar. And the weight of the neck finish, a customised Bericap Hexalite, at 1.3g, is also minimal. So is that as low as you can go? Needing that internal pressure, is it really a pouch, rather than a bottle? Have your say. Write to Water Innovation:

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

26 SPECIAL REPORT Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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Dean Bellefleur wonders what’s next for PET

PET innovation agenda

Dean Bellefleur is an international expert in consumer packaging design focusing on the challenges of redesigning packaging to meet both environmental and humanitarian needs. To this end he is a frequent guest speaker and continues to provide innovative insight through his writings.


arbonated, bulk, commodity, soft drinks were the applications that in essence catapulted the PET bottle into the marketing landscape as the disruptor of choice. Since PepsiCo’s launch of the first commercial 2L PET bottle in 1970 the proliferation of the PET bottle has been unstoppable.

Originally introduced as a retail lost leader the bloated and shapeless 2 litre PET bottle with its inherent handling inefficiencies has since conquered the lucrative on-the-go segment. Despite its initial shortcomings, packaging artisans have crafted a highly desirable container that appeals to the senses. So desirable in fact, that today the PET bottle is in the consumers face 24/7, be it on the shelf or littering the landscape. Notwithstanding the crusade against PET that is currently being waged over the hormone disruptor bisphenol-A and environmental contamination, its popularity is not waning. In its bid for legitimacy the PET bottle now delivers the elixir of life, H2O to the masses. A brilliant strategic move made viable by economies of scale. With this snapshot in mind let’s dig a little deeper into the genesis of the PET bottle and its innovation agenda. Spawned from a ‘test tube’/ preform, the achievements of the PET bottle should not be blown out of proportion. The race to own the beverage market accelerated the deployment of what can only be described as rapid concept development prototypes. Particularly in the late 1990s we saw equipment suppliers jockeying from one equipment platform to another. Sales arguments bent on exploiting the benefits of a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ operation versus a multi-stage blow-mold station were penny wise. The competitive landscape wasn’t defined as yet and the flurry of acquisitions only revealed the path of least resistance. PET bottling was still anyone’s game. In fact, beverage producers were happy if they could install production units

faster than they became obsolete. Speed was of the essence; bottling speeds, speed to market, payback all of which were predicated on the speed of innovation. Those were the pioneering days of the PET bottle. But what of the innovation agenda for PET bottles? In an exhaustive effort to beat down the cost of the PET bottle ‘lightweighting’ took centre stage. The infatuation we’ve seen with lightweighting, creative as the results are, is fast approaching the boundary of flexible packaging. Too close to flexibles could be perceived as a technological regression and reminiscent of the Doypack era to many.

Rapid deployment of regional PET reclamation centres should be on the global beverage scorecard for 2011 Think closures and ask yourself should this not have been the first design priority? The consumer is all too well acquainted with spilt milk. It wasn’t until 1992 that a re-closable opening was introduced to the gabletop carton. Incidentally that was 23 years after Neil Armstrong’s walk on the Moon. Well today, there are more pressing concerns than the rate of closure development barrelling down on PET bottles. Lifecycle Management the new age religion and Wal-Mart’s packaging scorecard are driving packaging agendas today. Have no fear. There’s an upside to

these distractions. The windfall is that the packaging industry gets to rebrand itself as green and in doing so rewrites history without appearing as the villain. Packaging, traditionally the afterthought and poor cousin of any marketing campaign now leads the assault on post consumer waste. How so you ask? Left in the hands of the consumer a spent PET bottle is but litter for the dropping. Social and environmental considerations however, can no longer condone this abdication of brand responsibility. The heat is on and I’m not advocating incineration of waste. Surely the advantage goes to the brand owner that recovers their post-consumer waste for lifecycle management. As to the specific management model, let’s avoid the paralysis of debate and look to the activity in the marketplace for guidance. A note of caution, don’t be swayed by dominant ideology. Case in point, Frito-Lay’s’ 100% compostable Sun Chips bag was apparently too noisy for the consumers’ comfort to remain on the shelves. I would argue that composting is highly dependent on ‘ideal conditions’ to be considered an efficient waste management solution for FMCG’s. Biodegradable or recyclable, is the solution so elusive that the obvious has been overlooked? Or is industry intent only on engineering a solution worthy of a Nobel award? In nature, consumables are grown with an inherent regenerative seed; fruit, berries and flowers alike. Why then should the PET bottle not imitate nature and seed future bottle production from its’ essence? All too obvious an apple seed does not yield a watermelon

so expectations should be realistic. As in nature, seeds are transported by designated agents and deposited where they will flourish. Resin identification codes today facilitate recognition of PET containers for retrieval and then the ball is dropped. Lacking is the consensus on the technology that will initiate a sustainable closed lifecycle management process. Critical is the infrastructure to accumulate the mass of recyclable PET that the system is so dependent on. Complete the picture as per nature’s design and rPET will be a viable solution. Beverage brand owners can then make bold statements to the effect that they reclaim every bottle they put out into the market place and in doing so have closed the loop on recycling. At Drinktec in 2009, Krones showcased its bottle-to-bottle recycling process, emphasising economy, energy efficiency coupled with chemical avoidance to produce recycled PET flakes for the world to behold. It appears that both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have become enamoured with biopolymer solutions and in doing so are mired in development quicksand. The launch of Frito-Lay’s SunChip bag resulted in a hasty recall and Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle is but a 30% solution to an industry apparently in crisis. So when is a PET bottle not trash? When it’s converted to rPET I would say. Rapid deployment of regional PET reclamation centres should be on the global beverage scorecard for 2011. As capacity builds innovation can once again focus on functionality of the PET bottle.

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011


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Second life: rPET

Article Courtesy of Glas Water (


s the demand for bottled water has risen, along with a sense of consumer environmental consciousness, it has become increasingly sensible for companies to provide water in bottles made of 100% post-consumer product 100% rPET bottled water. Polyethylene teraphthalate - PET - is a synthetic plastic produced from oil, and experts estimate that there is not nearly enough of it in reserve to go around.

Oil price fluctuation When oil prices fluctuate, the expense of making new plastic also fluctuates, providing a strong financial incentive to switch to rPET bottles and more and more places are starting to do so. Currently, PET is in high demand all around the world. Only about a third of it is used for beverage bottles, while the rest of it is used in polyester clothing. However, this means that PET availability and expense can vary greatly depending on the demand for other materials. Given that all PET is refined from crude oil, the price of oil can affect the PET market as well. Using rPET creates a price cushion that prevents the overall price of PET from fluctuating as severely. Unfortunately, the rapid fluctuation of oil prices also makes it difficult for recycling

facilities to make a consistent profit from the recycling process, which has been a major barrier to rPET development, to say nothing of the fluctuation of available recycled material).

Conservation Conserving used plastic bottles is as important as conserving fuel in a car, if not more so. Water bottles, after all, can be more easily reused than used petrol. This

Every time rPET is used, it uses a bottle that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill somewhere makes it an easy way to cut down on a society’s carbon footprint in comparison to less practical decisions such as deciding to walk to work. When you buy 100% rPET bottled water, the entire product has come from another

Glas Water has a new line of green, earth friendly water bottles. These are made from 100% post consumer plastic (previously recycled bottles / containers). By using recycled PET Glas Water no longer uses virgin plastic resins, reducing environmental waste by using a post consumer recycled material. Recycled PET plastic now has the symbol rPET.

bottle or PET product, resulting in greater savings than if you use a bottle that is only partially composed of recycled material. Recent advances have made the entire process more cost-effective, and between that and the environmental benefits of using rPET exclusively, fully-recycled bottles only make sense. And of course, every time rPET is used, it uses a bottle that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill somewhere.

Recycling While economically designed bottles have made leaps and bounds reducing the amount of landfill plastic, recycling is even more effective. By buying rPET bottled water, consumers support the recycling process and send a message about environmental consciousness on all levels. Of course, they also have to recycle bottles so that there is more to use! rPET technology is not entirely perfected at this point - it requires support from conscious consumers who are willing to support recycling technology. This helps researchers develop better ways of recycling the bottles into new ones, which in turn lowers the overall costs of using rPET in bottles. In addition, consumers are the ones who bear the responsibility of recycling the bottles themselves. Often it is the availability of recyclable material that limits the spread of rPET use.


Glas Water offers a wide range of custom bottle designs including several using exclusively 100% rPET

Over the past two decades, the PET resin industry has grown by leaps and bounds, spurred by a combination of high demand for PET and increased consumer

consciousness over plastic waste. As bottled beverages, especially custom bottled water, have become more popular, bottle designers have been under pressure to come up with more environmentally friendly (and economical) designs. Bottling companies have in the past experimented with plastic bottles that use less plastic overall lightweight container designs that have the strength of last-decade bottles, but are much lighter, meaning less plastic ends up in the bottle and consequently in the garbage bin. This is known as ‘lightweighting’. But there are drawbacks to the overall process. Experts believe that while new bottle designs greatly shrunk carbon footprints in the past, further lightweighting may not yield significant improvements. Instead, they may only result in less stable bottles that break during the forming process or when being transported to stores. Even worse, lighter bottles can be harder to recycle, due to the amount of impurities that are introduced during everyday use.

The case for rPET So the bottled water industry is looking for other solutions to reduce the environmental impact of making new bottles. One increasingly popular solution is to use recycled plastics to make new containers, otherwise known as rPET. This is a difficult process

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28 SPECIAL REPORT Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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that involves rendering PET down to reduce the impurities before molding the plastics into a new bottle. If impurities remain, it can result in discoloring or a weaker bottle that can blow out during the molding process. Due to the impurities, only a small amount of a recycled bottle can be incorporated into a new one - but as advances in recycling continue, each new generation becomes more and more ecologically-friendly. The process of creating rPET bottles is not without drawbacks, and has only begun to be economically feasible on a large scale. Recycled plastic has a limited lifetime as each successive generation of bottles gathers impurities that can affect later bottles down the line. Coloured bottles that are then recycled can only make other coloured bottles, which are less useful for sunlight disinfecting processes and generally considered to be less valuable - and the addition Issue 64 - January 路 February 2011

of new dyed plastics to common usage makes it more difficult for recycling companies to sort the plastic into colour - segregated bins. Even so, it is widely considered the next step in ecoconscious packaging. Over the last few years, bottle companies have made great strides, combining the increased efficiency of lightweight bottles with the incorporation of more rPET in the bottles themselves, reducing the carbon footprint on two fronts. rPET bottled water is becoming more popular, which itself acts as a cost reducer by incentivising the continual improvement of the purification process by recycling companies, who then pass the improved products to the bottling companies. If continued advancement in the realm of environmental savings is possible, it depends on the improvement of recycling technology so that the use of rPET becomes the rule rather than the exception.


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2010 green bottles


t the end of 2010, Water Innovation published its top 20 future-friendly bottles on, accompanied by a gallery and a movie on YouTube. Here we review some of those 20 packaging initiatives.

Reduce, reduce, reduce ‘Reduce, reduce, reduce’ was the war-cry throughout 2010 with lightweighting going perhaps as far as it could go for bottles. Some stunning design and engineering solutions took the weight of preforms and the height of necks (and closures) about as low as they might possibly go.

Replace, replace, replace So next came ‘replace, replace, replace’ with more and more brands opting to use increasing amounts of recycled PET (rPET) and some choosing to replace traditional petrochemical-

derived PET with a proportion (and sometimes all) of material derived from plants. Bio-degradable and compostable solutions continued as a limited trend too, but with the realisation that until more industrial-scale composting facilities exist, this remains an idea still perhaps ahead of its time.

Recover, recycle, re-use Of course, if you want to re-use PET, you need to recover it, so ‘recover, recycle, re-use’ became the next mantra. We still look back at the multicompany PET-2-PET initiative in Austria to see best practice in action, but look to initiatives which educate consumers at

Every time rPET is used, it uses a bottle that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill somewhere point of purchase as the biggest and best way forward.

The three ‘r’s At school in the UK we used to talk about the education essentials of ‘reading (w)riting and (a)rythmetic - but now the environmental lobby ‘owns’ all the ‘r’ words.

consider that old material can have an efficient and effective second life. And talking of education, take a close look at a couple of those brands where it is the communication with the consumers which is perhaps the most important initiative. While governments slowly move to ensure that appropriate collection systems are in place, they stand little chance of proper success without consumer support. From CocaCola Japan’s twistable I Lohas bottle to brands such as Nestlé Waters’ Re-source, or Echo Beverages’ Eco Water, effective consumer engagement may prove as important as rPET itself.

We started with ‘reduce’, added ‘replace’ and moved swiftly on to ‘recover, recycle, re-use’. But we are also seeing: ‘refresh’ being a strong link between what water essentially does and the new approach to packaging; ‘rethink’ when it comes to using plants rather than oil; and ‘revive’ when we

Of course, talking of all the ‘r’ words, if you are a frequent visitor to or a subscriber to Water Innovation then you’ll know that we regularly and reliably report, review and revitalise all that’s new, inspiring and innovative in the bottled water industry.

Easy Bottle from San Benedetto, Italy: First carbon neutral bottle in Italy

Echo Water from Echo Beverages, United States: 100% rPET, consumer education

The following selection is in alphabetical order, and not a ranking.

Belu, UK: 50% rPET UK based Belu, which is 100% carbon neutral and claims to have introduced the country’s first plastic bottle made from corn rather than oil, launched a new 50cl bottle made from 50% recycled plastic - delivering a 46% carbon saving compared to its virgin PET equivalent.


Drench from Britvic, UK: Local rPET

Britvic’s Drench was the first to use UK-sourced post consumer recycled plastic in its bottles. The inclusion San Benedetto’s Acqua Minerale Echo Water was one of the first in the of local (UK) rPET in Drench bottles Easy bottle is the first carbon neutral industry with a 100% rPET bottle, ensures less energy is used in mineral water bottle and the only one bottles and sells only locally to reduce manufacturing, reducing each of its kind in Italy. the environmental impact of shipping bottle’s carbon footprint by water. The label clearly educates the approximately 6%. consumer on their recycling role. © Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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Future-friendly bottle collection

companies, including TYR Water, which features in our Innovations section on page 7.

At the end of the article on we said “if your planet-saving contribution isn’t on the list, then let us know.” We heard from several

We intend to create an annual collection of environmentally friendly water packaging, so please send your initiatives and innovations to:

Eco-Air III Bottle from Niagara Bottling, United States: Lightweighting

Eco-Shape from Nestlé Waters North America: Lightweighting

Niagara’s Eco-Air Bottle was first launched in 2009. Now on version three, Niagara’s 50cl bottle weight has reduced by 27% over the last two years. The new 9.17g design claims to be over 55% lighter than the average 50cl PET beverage bottle being sold in the US market.

The Eco-Shape bottle from Nestlé Waters North America - applied across the Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Poland Spring, Ozarka and Zephyrhills brands - has been lightweighted to use 30% less plastic with cap size reduction and a smaller label.

I Lohas from CocaCola Japan: Recyclable, lightweighted, 30% plantbased, consumer education

Nika Water, United States: Carbon-free, consumer education, 100% rPET

Visit to see the 2010 green bottles movie

Greener Bottle from Groupe Danone’s Volvic, France: 20% sugar cane waste derived bottle Danone’s Volvic 50cl ‘Greener Bottle’ is made from 20% sugar cane waste. It has a 38% lower packaging carbon footprint and a 16% lower total life cycle footprint than the previous 50cl Volvic bottle.

Describing itself as the only 360˚ solution, US based Green Planet Bottling uses bottles made from Ingeo plant based material. It also believes in ‘local’ bottling, ensuring consumers receive water bottled less than 500 miles away.

PlantBottle from The Coca-Cola Company, United States: 30% plant-based material

Re-source from Nestlé Waters North America: 50% rPET, consumer education

Nika offsets its entire carbon footprint I Lohas educates Japanese consumers through a reforestation project in Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle is made from to twist empty bottles before recycling. Nicaragua. Nika has partnered with up to 30% plant-based renewable The original ‘twistable’ lightweight schools to finance the purchase and material made from sugar can waste bottle has now been realised in a 1 litre recycling of empty plastic bottles. and/or molasses. It is 100% recyclable square format which uses 30% plant Its 50cl bottle is already made from and is currently in Canada, the United derived material. 100% rPET. States and Denmark. © Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011

Green Planet from Green Planet Bottling, United States: Ingeo PLA

Nestlé Waters North America’s Resource brand now uses 50% rPET. Launched exclusively in Whole Foods Markets outlets across the US, the packaging connects the consumer to the recycling and re-use agenda.


PET, rPET: a sustainable future Click here to subscribe

The case for rPET with oxo-biodegradation


aunching originally as Planet Green Bottle, demand from early adopters led to the creation of The Planet Bottle Corporation (TPB) which uses Reverte technology - developed by UK based Wells Plastics - to make it oxo-biodegradable. Water Innovation talks to TPB President Eleanor Reynolds. The Planet Bottle is designed to oxo-biodegrade through the inclusion of Reverte additive. What is Reverte and how does it work? TPB is manufactured with 100% rPET supplemented by Reverte which renders its oxobiodegradable. Oxo-biodegradable technology has been used for 20 years to biodegrade plastic film and bags and has been legislated by many countries. There is a movement by countries to eliminate plastic bags - and we believe bottles will follow. Italy has banned plastic bags unless they are biodegradable (see page 5). The Planet Bottle deals with the problem that 72% of PET bottles go to landfill or the environment and are not recycled. Many bottlers are using increasing proportions of rPET. Does TPB use rPET and does Reverte work with rPET. For over a year we have been advocating a total switch to 100% rPET - with Reverte - to deal with the reality that some companies are largely unsuccessful in their weak pursuit of a socially responsible position on recycling and reuse. Nonbeverage PET bottles are largely not recycled.

US ethical water Give is packed in a The Planet Bottle

A biodegradable additive is starting to be demanded by the consumer as a necessary permanent total solution. We think that recycling is good, but 100% rPET with Reverte is best. The inclusion of rPET has led to the opportunity to educate consumers about their roll in closing the recycling loop. How do consumers react to the concept of biodegradable and is their understanding and acceptance growing? TPB was invented out of the perception that the consumer was beginning to have real concerns on the impact of plastics on the environment. It is generally believed that plastic bottles will last in landfills or the environment for perhaps 1,000 years.

We think that recycling is good, but 100% rPET with Reverte is best PET plastic bottles were invented only 60 years ago and we already have a problem. The answer is 100% rPET for the 100 billion PET bottles recycled and oxobiodegradable for the 300 billion not recycled! Consumers today are educated more than ever, children are assisting them in their purchasing decisions. The educational

curriculum in elementary schools in the United States includes knowledge and education devoted to eco-friendly concepts. Consumers are demanding ecochoices when it comes to the decision factor on shelf. They analyse packaging and brand owners have noticed this and are continuously seeking innovative packaging concepts. To reinforce this, we work with brand owners to carry the TPB logo which clearly identifies the greenest choice on the shelf: ‘The Planet Bottle Bottles that won’t cost The Earth!’ Can Reverte work with plant based PET options? TPB is manufactured with 100% rPET and is oxo-biodegradable over 10-20 years. The PlantBottle is manufactured from 35% sugar cane and 65% from virgin PET pellets - therefore ‘biodegradable’ over perhaps 1,000 years. PLA based bottles are growing rapidly. Only the smaller companies can go the road of PLA because of the needs of collection and industrial composting. Likely a positive long-term movement. Availability and price are an issue. We see PLA as a good thing. What have been TPB’s greatest successes? TPB’s early successes were predicting the future. Our success stories are coming only from brand owners who are serious and willing to do their homework. As examples: Alberta has a deposit law and 80% recycle rate for PET bottles. A large private label company in Alberta received the exclusive contract for the G-8 and G-20 Conferences in Toronto. We have a contract with a branch of the US Military that wants

PET bottles to disappear 10-20 years after they pull out of Afghanistan. We are negotiating to go to 100% rPET with Reverte with a water company in Quebec where the largest competitors have already gone 100% rPET. Brand owners doing their homework find that 100% rPET is not enough if they are to convince the consumer that they are eco-leaders. TPB is working with brand owners who are eager to be first to market with the greenest bottle on the planet, swaying consumer purchase power from their competition. What next for TPB? It is obvious to TPB that the early adopters can have a first move advantage by going to 100% rPET before their competition. TPB has an easy time selling to a competitor who has been trumped by a rival brand that moves to 100% rPET and misses the oxo-biodegradable feature. The biggest impact of TPB will likely come from the non-water category. TPB offers premium brand owners a process or method to enhance their brand by sending a strong eco-message to consumers by packaging or bottling their branded products in containers that have been manufactured with the qualities afforded by oxo-biodegradable technology. From household chemicals, personal care, food and drug, wines, spirits, beverages. everything PET, everything should become the greenest bottle.

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32 SPECIAL REPORT Issue 64 - January · February 2011

© Bruxov |

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for crops is high. There are many factors to be considered when calculating the total environmental cost of supplying this ‘renewable resource’.

No second life Is renewable the right description for this type of product? Surely this is a oncethrough system? Crops are grown as a feedstock, harvested as a chemical resource, put through an industrial process and at the end of their life are degraded to greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) and water. There is no re-use, no second life for these products, certainly no recovery of the energy used to make them. Who amongst us feels this type of process is the way forward? Can we afford to waste this or, for that matter, any other resource? The term renewable resource should be replaced by the term repeatable resource as crops can be re-sown.

The case against biodegradation?


ccording to Petcore – PET containers recycling Europe – writing in PETplanet magazine, ‘biodegradation’, as a word is very confusing to non-experts. The dictionary defines biodegradation as the process of being broken down by bacteria. Members of the public will tell you that plastics don’t biodegrade and they will tell you plastics stay in the environment for years, as though this were a bad thing. It is acknowledged that plastics need to be fit for purpose and have a required service lifetime. In the view of many however, if plastics biodegrade, break down or ‘disappear’ they would be more environmentally friendly materials. Do they expect them to degrade as soon as they hit the ground?

What is the full environmental cost of ‘true’ biodegradable plastics? These are the plastics that are based on food crops such as corn. In this process industrialists extract the organic carbon from plants grown using modern agricultural techniques. It is this long and convoluted process that many claim to be environmentally friendly. The biopolymer industry uses phenomenal amounts of energy. The energy drain starts with the manufacture of tractors, seed drills, fertiliser spreaders, harvesting and drying equipment. It uses energy from fossil fuels and electricity. In addition, the water footprint

Perhaps an even more confusing use of the word biodegradation is the peculiar case of forced biological action. Here specific chemicals (additives) are mixed with conventional polymers in such a way that microbes can break down the additive in the plastic, weakening the polymer matrix and resulting in very, very fine but pure polymer particles. This is another waste of materials. Whilst we need technological understanding and technical expertise, all conventional polymers can be recycled over and over again - they are a truly renewable resource. However, the use of ‘eco friendly’, biodegradable additives produces many noneco-friendly problems. It takes a truly renewable resource, a conventional polymer, and renders it completely nonrenewable by breaking it down into a form that cannot be recovered, even using the very high level of development skills

demonstrated by the plastics recycling industry. Biodegradable additives in plastics packaging, especially PET, have been recognised as a major concern for the recycling industry. Claims from manufacturers that their additives have no effect on PET recycling are not backed by publication of any scientific evidence that this is so. In particular there has been no approach to the EPBP (the European PET Bottle Platform) or APR (Association of Postconsumer Plastics Recycling) so that these types of additives can be fully evaluated and approved by those with an interest in

rPET can be used for all virgin PET applications including many that stress durability and physical performance the recycling of PET. Indeed, APR has published its serious concern about this type of technology and the impact of such additives on the recycling process. As well as other outlets, rPET can be used for all virgin PET applications including many that stress durability and physical performance. Buyers of rPET want not only the sustainability features of recycled material, but assurance of performance. Degradable additives that weaken products or shorten the useful life of PET will have a negative impact on post-consumer PET recycling. As we have reported before, in 2008 46% of all PET containers were collected for recycle in Europe, a great track record we feel sure will continue. This sustainability must not be sacrificed on the altar of biodegradation.

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011


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Preforms from 100% rPET


usky Injection Molding Systems recently announced that it could now successfully manufacture preforms with up to 100% post-consumer food-grade recycled PET flake using its HyPET Recycled Flake (RF) system. Water Innovation talked to Husky’s Business Manager for PET Systems, Nicolas Rivollet. The agenda for PET has moved from lightweighting to the use of rPET in the past 12 months. Husky has already achieved breakthroughs in lightweighting with the EcoBase and has now enabled the use of 100% rPET in preforms. What has led these developments - your own continuous R&D programme or pressure from customers? Husky has long been committed to sustainability and to providing our customers with innovative solutions to achieve this goal. We have seen that our customers want to be more sustainable by lowering part costs, as well as reducing scrap and material usage, while maintaining part performance and quality. We have continuous R&D efforts that allow us to provide our customers with incremental improvements in these areas. We have also introduced differentiating solutions that have broadened the ability to lower costs and reduce the environmental footprint of the entire beverage package. For example, our EcoBase preform design extends lightweighting potential and our HyPET Recycled Flake

(RF) system enables the use of recycled flake for high level recycled material content in plastic bottles. What were the biggest challenges in achieving stable preform production from rPET rather than virgin PET? The key challenge when increasing the amount of recycled material in plastic bottles is to maintain system performance and high bottle quality.

There is still scope for more widespread adoption of lightweighted bottles Recycled flake adds to this challenge because of the difference in physical properties and behavior between flakes and pellets. Our HyPET RF system addresses these challenges with an injection unit that is specifically designed for recycled flake.

The HyPET Recycled Flake (RF) system

System enhancements include an extruder design for improved processing of pellet and flake blends, two shooting pots, as well as inline continuous melt filtration. With this, and contrary to conventional systems, HyPET RF helps to maintain the shortest cycle times and best quality levels from zero to 100% recycled flake content. Many companies now claim to be including either a proportion of plant-based plastic material or agents designed to accelerate bio-degradability. What is Husky’s view of these developments - are they truly sustainable? Plastic produced from renewable resources is an interesting alternative. In the short/midterm, given the availability and cost of material from both renewable and non-renewable resources, some players are looking at a combination of materials. The success will

depend on production economics and complete life cycle inventory. Regardless of whether material is initially produced from renewable or non-renewable resources, recycling bottle-tobottle will help reduce costs and environmental impact. With post-consumer waste collection improving (making the use of rPET more of a reality), and with lightweighting perhaps having gone ‘as low as you can go’... what next on the sustainability trail for PET? In terms of lightweighting, there is still scope for more widespread adoption of lightweighted bottles. The lightest water bottles on the market still only represent a small percentage of all bottles in the world. Most bottles are still much heavier, so there is significant potential to reduce resin usage. But trying to get every bottle down to the lightest weight is not the goal. Each application is unique in its performance requirements due to differences such as filling equipment, cappers, shipping distances and conditions. The same circumstances apply when increasing the amount of recycled content in plastic bottles as all packaging is unique and has specific performance and quality requirements.

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34 SPECIAL REPORT Issue 64 - January · February 2011

Success through design

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Award winning design


hen Isklar decided to add a sparkling variant to its already successful still water in its multi award winning facetted PET bottle designed by Blue Marlin Brand Design, the same agency took up the seemingly impossible challenge of creating something equally impressive. The brief was simple enough. All the client wanted was ‘Wow’. Having already created the unique facetted bottle for Isklar still glacial natural mineral water, the challenge was to replicate the stunning, distinctive crystalline design for the sparkling variant. And what a challenge it turned out to be. Meeting it involved redefining the bounds of possibility in packaging.

The pressure is on Bottle manufacturers said it couldn’t be done. Sparkling water bottles are cylindrical because the considerable pressure exerted by carbonated water pushes outwards and flattens the sides. Creating a facetted bottle that mirrored the dazzling design of Isklar’s still mineral water and that could withstand those pressures seemed a near impossible task. The final solution represented a triumph of creativity and determination. Isklar and its agency.

Reinvention Blue Marlin wrestled with every known configuration of materials to create a stable bottle. In the end, it had to reinvent plastics geometry in a radical new way to make it happen. Each and every one of the bottle’s 174 facets was analysed and modified. Each was given a unique curvature profile and a series of beading on the facet border; together with a petaloidal base, they created a structurally sound sparkling bottle that matches the unique beauty of the still water.

Designed to succeed Isklar introduced its sparkling version to complement its successful still water in March 2010. It had strong initial success with the larger format bottle (975ml) achieving the dizzy heights of fastest selling SKU after eight weeks in the market.

Isklar Sparkling is a gently sparkling water with millions of tiny bubbles that make it lightly refreshing and pleasing to the palate without being overpoweringly fizzy

Back to the drawing board: design stages in realising Isklar’s ‘impossible’ bottle © Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011


Flavoured waters

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t all began with a twist of lemon or lime and now consumers can choose almost any flavour they can imagine. But flavoured bottled water is a relatively new phenomenon. Perrier With A Twist of lemon or lime did not arrive in the United States until spring 1985 - that’s only a little more than 25 years ago. While traditional and perhaps obvious fruit flavours remain popular, recent years have seen the introduction of herbs, spices and botanicals with the aroma often being as important as the taste. This all sits well with the trend to more natural products. Fruit flavours are generally naturally sweet to the palate and there has been a long

standing tendency to sweeten most beverages which has often meant adding calorific content to a drink - water - which by definition is the best zero-calorie beverage available! To the rescue has come a new range of sweetener options such as Stevia but there also seems to be a trend to truly natural and less sweet offerings. © Wacpan |

Water Plus niche growing


enith International Senior Consultant Martyna Zimakiewicz gave a presentation on flavoured and functional water market trends at the 7th Global Bottled Water Congress in Gleneagles, Scotland, in November.

Defining Water Plus The presentation used four definitions: • Plain water – mineral, spring or purified water without added flavourings. • Flavoured water – mineral, spring or purified water with added flavourings. • Flavoured functional – mineral, spring or purified water with added flavourings and with added functional ingredients, such as botanicals, vitamins, minerals, oxygen or other, as well as flavoured waters marketed with functional positioning. • Water Plus – a general term for flavoured and flavoured functional waters.

asked: Plain but functional? Flavoured water or fruit drink? Flavoured water or CDS? Functional water or sports drink? There is no doubt that categories are blurring, presenting a bewildering choice for consumers and a challenge for retailers. While bottled water commanded 40% share of throat of the entire soft drinks arena in 2009, Water Plus accounted for just 2%. A niche, but one that is growing steadily. Water Plus accounted for just 4.3% of 109 billion litres

of global bottled water volume in 2004 but had grown to 6% of 151 billion litres by 2009. In terms of value, 9.2% of $73 billion in 2004 had grown to 13.2% of $106 billion in 2009. The world’s leading Water Plus market is the United States, with flavoured/functional outselling flavoured. A similar, but lower volume story can also be found in Japan and China. In some markets such as Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Mexico and the UK, the flavoured/functional

segment is tiny when compared to flavoured water. It comes as no surprise that the ‘big four’ lead the way with Danone in front and Nestlé Waters in fourth place with its predominantly plain water portfolio.

And next? As consumers learn more about the natural anti-oxidant benefits of fruits and flowers, perhaps more of tomorrow’s flavoured waters will gain functional status?

Zenith International

Some waters feature so many ingredients that they seem to fall more into the soft drinks category and others add simple flavours and even aromas in very subtle ways. Martyna showed a range of recent product launches and

Zenith International

Blurring categories

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36 FOCUS Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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2011 Flavour trend predictions


ensient Flavors’ 2011 flavour trend predictions list was developed using the company’s proprietary trend framework that filters trends from the broad, macro level down to the flavours themselves. The list encompasses flavours inspired from multiple macro trends including health & wellness, sensory and personalisation.


Native to Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, the cherimoya has a tropical fruit flavour with slight cream and green notes.

“Sensient’s flavour trend predictions offer food and beverage manufacturers opportunities for innovation with up-and-coming flavours that consumers will be clamouring for in the months and years ahead, ensuring that manufacturers stay ahead of the curve,” said Emil Shemer, Director of Food Solutions at Sensient Flavors.

Grains of paradise

Sensient Flavors 2011 flavour trend predictions include:

Native to Africa, these dried seeds offer a complex flavour profile with earthy, woody, citrus, herb and heat nuances.


Widely grown and consumed in Peru, aguaje is a highly nutritious fruit with a bright orange flesh and a sweet taste that has been compared to a carrot.


Popular in South America and the Caribbean, hibiscus offers a tart, tangy berry flavour.



An Ethiopian spice mixture, berbere is a blend of cayenne pepper, allspice, cardamom, cloves, fenugreek, ginger, black pepper, and salt.

Grown in the tropical areas of Asia, pandan offers a uniquely sweet flavour and aroma.


Grown in Colombia and Ecuador and thought to boost energy, borojo has a pleasantly sweet and sour taste.

Ceylon cinnamon

Used widely in England and Mexico, Ceylon cinnamon has a complex flavour with a citrus overtone and is less sweet than cassia cinnamon.


Native to Peru, the yacon is a vegetable that has a distinctly unique flavour that is fruity and earthy and is compared most commonly with an apple.


Officially known as the Yang Mei and native to China, the yumberry has a pleasantly tart and sweet flavour profile.

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011


Flavoured waters

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Water and more


ater plus beverages have exploded over the years as they fulfil the most important consumer demands for natural, light and healthy beverages. Water Plus beverages include flavoured water, aqua plus and aqua fruit beverages. Innovative product ideas provide modern refreshment in a market segment that is being constantly diversified. Water Innovation talks to Döhler about three key trends in Aqua plus.

Flavoured water pure refreshment and taste

with fructose and deliciously aromatic, providing light and pure refreshment.

Six billion litres of flavoured water are consumed around the world each year - and the world’s thirst has certainly not been satisfied yet! Combining water with multifaceted fruit flavours and sweeteners, flavoured water offers pure refreshment as well as the foundation for a wide variety of product variations. While lemon, apple, orange and strawberry have been the most popular flavours up to now, superfruit aromas such as acerola, pomegranate, cranberry and blueberry are becoming increasingly popular.

The naturally derived sweetener stevia is increasingly gaining importance in response to the low/zero calories trend. The sensory attributes of stevia are considerably improved thanks to the Döhler Sweet Flavour Technology. That is what gives Döhler’s flavoured water concepts their particularly sugar-like taste.

A new range of Döhler flavours is creating interesting and diverse flavours, such as ginger, green tea, jasmine, spearmint or mojito. These non-fruit flavoured waters are subtly sweetened

Aqua plus - an extra ‘plus’ in fruit and functionality The focus for Aqua plus is the added value created by the addition of fruit juices and/ or functional ingredients such as vitamins, herbs or tea extracts. Aqua plus beverages are available in many flavours, from domestic to exotic fruit combinations. Vitamin Water,

Country Water, Aqua Tea and H2Go! are the current trendsetters in the Aqua plus segment, for which Döhler has developed an entire range of new product concepts. Vitamin water is a modern and very successful application of aqua plus beverages. Particularly the younger generation is excited by the diversity of these products. A wide product positioning spectrum, including Relax, Vitality and Protect, is achieved through the combination of tasty fruit flavours and appropriate vitamins and functional ingredients. Aqua plus products with herb and blossom extracts, which follow the trend of ‘back to the old days’ or ‘back to nature’, continue to enjoy high demand. The product line Country Water, developed by Döhler, combines 3% fruit juice not only with domestic herbs such as juniper or lime blossom, but also with exotic blossoms such as jasmine or passion flower. Products featuring tea extracts are very successful at the moment. The positive worldwide market development of approx. 10% annually in the segment of ready-to-drink teas confirms this trend. Döhler offers aqua tea beverages as an alternative

to the classic ice tea, which are regarded by many consumers as too sweet. Various fruit combinations were combined with tea extracts from rooibos, green tea or white tea to create tasty and refreshing beverages. Tea extracts are also a component of the H2Go! concept, which combines mineral water with 5% fruit juice and caffeine. The active ingredient caffeine, which consumers know well and view positively, is used here only in its natural form. This makes H2Go! a healthy alternative to classic caffeinated beverages such as coffee, cola or energy drinks.

Aqua fruit - natural, healthy fruit sensation Aqua fruit beverages fill the gap between Aqua plus beverages and fruit splashes. Containing 15-30% juice and only 20 calories, they are a light and healthy alternative to classic carbonated soft drinks. The idea of naturalness is also the focus for Aqua fruit beverages. That is why no preservatives or artificial colours are used, as is the preference for all near-water products. Whether for sport, beauty, health or wellness, aqua plus beverages offer a variety of positioning options, so you can choose what fits best with your brand image.

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38 FOCUS Issue 64 - January · February 2011

To see a review of all winners, visit Click here to subscribe

Award winning flavoured waters Three companies were finalists in the Best new flavoured water category of the 2010 Water Innovation Awards. Here, we review what makes them special and how the flavours came to market.

Rajec Bylinka Summer Storm and Mystery of the Trees


inning the category was Rajec Bylinka Summer Storm, a limited edition flavoured water from the Czech Republic’s Kofola Holding. Water Innovation interviewed Rajec Brand Manager Lucie Blahova, about the inspiration behind the herbal Summer Storm and the company’s other category finalist, Rajec ‘Mystery of the Trees’ chestnut flavoured water. When most bottled water brands are happy to stick with lemon, lime or apple flavours, what was the inspiration behind choosing to go with a herbal formulation as the flavour for Summer Storm?

chose the extracts very carefully and tried many combinations of seasonal herbs before we found the final flavour for Summer Storm.

Rajec is a natural spring water, so nature has always been a strong inspiration for us and played an important role in the development of new products. The market is full of fruit flavours, but we were looking for real innovation. That’s how we had the idea to use herbs, because their beneficial health effects are well known to consumers.

The name of the limited edition - Summer Storm - excited curiosity. Rajec Bylinka products are quite successful in the market and thanks to its light and balanced taste, Summer Storm gained consumers’ favour really fast and initiated great interest. The chestnut flavour for Mystery of the trees is an even more surprising flavour. What made you choose it? We were thinking about the extracts of trees for a long time. We have chosen couple of trees, which are really close to our hearts and then it was a question of development. We were charmed by chestnut because of its unusual, strong and slightly sweet taste and also because of its amazing aroma.

How did you choose the final herb combination? We wanted to create a truly refreshing summer flavour. We

What was the consumer reaction to the flavour?

Were there challenges in getting the flavour just right? Rajec Bylinka ‘Summer Storm’ and ‘Mystery of the Trees’

We did not know how the product would taste. We mixed significant

Kofola Holding’s Rajec Brand Manager Lucie Blahova receives the award for Summer Storm at the 2010 Award Innovation Awards number of samples and then within a blink of an eye we have got the idea to add oxygen to it. Oxygen gives to the product its fine taste and highlights the irreplaceable taste of the chestnut. What was the consumer reaction to the flavour? Chestnut is the real phenomenon. Its launch led to enthusiastic response and within few months the chestnut water has gained great consumer popularity and a lot of loyal fans.

Pear and vinegar flavour


nother unusual finalist in the flavoured waters category of the 2010 Water Innovation Awards was Canadian Mineral Water Developments’ Gize+ Pear-Vinegar flavour. Water Innovation asked Hanna Meyer about the flavoured water’s development. What was the inspiration behind choosing the unique Pear-Vinegar flavour?

fruit vinegar, as the taste of the fruit is preserved by the high-quality vinegar.

Beverages with tasty premium fruit vinegars offer an interesting choice in the flavoured water market, and will continue to grow in popularity. Gize+ PearVinegar takes advantage of the special properties of premium

What were the challenges in communicating the low GI benefits to consumers? Gize is a luxury product, so it is very important to us that we use only

the very best ingredients, such as Fruit Up from Wild. And while we do not feature the health benefits of our ingredients in our advertising, we can rest easy knowing that we have done our best for the purchasers of our products. How have consumers reacted to the flavour? The response to this interesting flavour has been extremely positive. Discerning water drinkers, gourmets and experts from the catering and hotel trades have all been impressed.

This shows that, thanks to the unique mineral content and taste perfection of our luxury water and this extraordinary flavour, we have succeeded in meeting the highest standards. Germany’s most famous water sommelier, J M Riese, had this to say after a water tasting: “Gize is one of the finest and most exciting luxury beverages I know of. Pear-Vinegar is a unique and breathtaking composition that is both pleasantly sweet and delightfully spicy, topped off with a hint of fine carbonation.”

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Elderberry and white tea Slovenia based Radenska’s non-carbonated Oaza elderberry with white tea is sweetened with fructose and preservative-free as it is aseptically filled. The company said: “The beneficial effects of the refreshing elderberry were well known by our grandmothers because they prepared various drinks from its leaves and blossoms.

Elderberry is one of most efficient ingredients for eliminating toxins from the body. “White tea is an old Chinese elixir of long life and beauty. It is prepared by selecting the finest, youngest and unopened leaves and buds of the Camelia Sinesis tea plant. Due to minimum processing, it contains a high level of anti-oxidants which strengthen the immune system.”

Maximise taste, minimise calories trend that is influencing the whole bottled water segment is the strong demand for native, classic citrus and exotic fruits. At the same time, reduced-calorie, lowcalorie and zero-calorie drinks are experiencing another surge in growth in light of the ongoing discussion on overweight and obesity. Wild offers a range of solutions which respond to the challenge of making these drinks taste as good as their sugar-sweetened counterparts, without any impact on the fruity flavour. When looking at European product launches in 2010, market data shows that native and citrus fruits are on top: peach, lemon and raspberry are the most trendy fruits in the flavoured water category in combination with sweeteners. strawberry, pink grapefruit, blackcurrant and apple belong to the top ten flavours as well. Exotic fruits such as goji, yuzu, kalamansi, or pink guava are still full of potential. Well-known fruits can also be combined with superfruits such as pomegranate, cranberries and aronia. This helps to convince consumers to try near waters and flavoured waters with yet unknown but interesting and appealing fruits.

Sugar-free flavoured water Manufacturers do not only want to stimulate demand for their products through

new flavours, but also create low-calorie drinks. These have steadily gained importance over the last few years, driven by consumers’ concern for weight management. Wild offers Sweet Up, a premium sweetening option that tastes great and contains absolutely no sugar, to meet the trend needs of sugar-free drinks. Using Sweet Up, beverage manufacturers can significantly cut calories or even replace the sugar completely. Moreover, drinks produced with Sweet Up also win over consumers with their full-bodied flavour, as was confirmed in consumer tests conducted by Wild in co-operation with a renowned external institute.

Zero-calorie sweetener Stevia A natural option to create reduced-calorie, low-sugar or sugar-free products is Stevia. The sweetener is on everyone’s

lips as manufacturers await EU approval of the ingredient. Wild anticipates this in 2011, and correspondingly has already put all of its efforts into developing a Stevia portfolio. Sunwin Stevia is perfectly suited for a broad range of beverages such as near water and flavoured water.

the perception of the ‘bitter’ flavour. The addition of natural, functional Wild Resolver flavour extracts fully rounds out the taste of products using Sweet Up as well.

Wild Resolver for an authentic sweet taste Be it natural Stevia or other high intensity sweeteners: bitterness reduction is an important need for many of them to improve their consumer appeal. Their typical taste does not harmonise with every flavour. Manufacturers can utilise Wild’s Resolver to overcome this. Resolver is a natural flavour extract that eliminates the bitter taste of products containing sweetener combinations. It makes them taste virtually as if sweetened with sugar. Wild’s Resolver influences those taste receptors on the tongue that are responsible for the perception of bitter taste. It blocks the receptors without triggering

Source: Rudolf Wild GmbH & Co KG


Sunwin stevia from Wild provides great taste in a variety of reduced calorie, low-calorie or zero-calorie near waters

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40 FOCUS Issue 64 - January · February 2011

Ustronianka with Iodine Click here to subscribe

Ustronianka with Iodine was highly commended in the ‘Best new functional water’ category of the 2010 Water Innovation Awards. Managing Editor Shaun Weston recently conducted an interview with Ustronianka Owner and President Michał Boz˙ek which can be heard in full by visiting water innovation interview The Ustronianka water source produces well-mineralised water with low levels of sodium, making it suitable for family consumption. What have been the biggest developments over the past thirty years? We are a family company, employing 540 people, and have 100 sales representatives in Poland. We produce a wide range of pack sizes from 33cl to 19 litres, including a sportscap ‘active’ option and water in large 5 gallon bottles for water coolers.

We sell mainly in Poland but we also export to the United States, UK and Ireland. Our capacity has grown from 700 bottles per hour in 1980 to 90,000 bottles per hour today. Realising how unique our products are, we continue working hard to expand the range of our exports. How is Ustronianka active in flavoured and functional waters? We have to meet consumer expectations, which are much more demanding and discriminating than they were 30 years ago. We know that functional waters will hold a more important role in the future and have recently introduced a novel functional water in Eastern Europe in the form of water with iodine. At the same time we continue developing new formulations and to this end we have set up a special new product development and implementation team. When entering the functional arena, why was iodine the first choice? We know from the WHO iodine study and work by Professor Zbigniew Szybin ´ski that almost 2 billion people worldwide suffer from a shortage of iodine. Polish hospitals and educational institutions were eager to work with us as they are concerned about this problem. We have been working closely with the Jagiellonian University Medical College. Ustronianka with Iodine has also won special recommendation of the Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital Research Institute in Łódz´ and a positive evaluation

by Prof Zbigniew Szybin ´skii who confirms high systemic availability of the iodine found in our water. Salt has been iodized for some years now and we know that Polish people consume more salt than their western counterparts. In the west an average of 5mg a day of salt is consumed while in Poland this can be as high as 12mg a day. Scientists have found that iodine added to salt sublimates very quickly and is released to the atmosphere. Iodine has a decisive impact on the development of the brain and nervous system. Many functional ingredients have an unpleasant flavour. Iodine is not the first ingredient you think of when you consider adding value to water. What were the challenges in adding iodine while maintaining Ustronianka’s distinctive fresh water taste? We wanted to create a bridge between the knowledge of the medical establishments and what the consumer can find on the shelves in the store. Regarding the taste, a minimal amount of carbon dioxide goes well with iodine which has only traces of flavour. Our water and its chemical composition has a very specific character and contains only 5mg sodium. I would like to mention an interview with a scientist who observed that many men in the south of Poland did not qualify to join up in WW1 as they had extreme iodine shortage and so suffered from goitres in the neck. Iodine is extremely crucial

Michał Bo z˙ek set up his bottled water company in Poland in the 1980s - when the country underwent tremendous changes following the solidarity movement. From 150 bottling plants producing flavoured and mineral water then, the nation now has around 20 major players for child development from the foetus in the mother’s womb. It is particularly important for development of the nervous system including the brain. Do consumers understand the iodine offering. How have you communicated the benefits and what has been the reaction in the marketplace? Ustronianka with Iodine can be found in many stores in Poland and even major supermarkets such as Tesco. We observe steady sales growth. In Poland, it won an award for being ‘Best product for mother and child’. Our marketing people report back that the response to this product has been favourable and that its taste is ‘very good’. For the complete podcast interview, visit

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Reviews of two very different recently published books

Realms of water: a journey with Nestlé Waters


ndreas Larsson, who was recognised as the best sommelier in the world in 2007, Ghislain de Marsily, a hydrogeologist and member of the French Académie des Sciences, and Yu Hui Tseng, world renowned tea master . . . What do these people have in common? The answer is, they specialise and must know everything about water, its origin and nuances of its taste. The experts in this field joined their efforts to present a photography book called ‘Realms of Water - a journey of understanding to the sources of natural mineral water’. The book is a joint project by Editions Textuel and Nestlé Waters International which sponsored the initiative. This glossy 200+ page edition uncovers the secrets of origin and production of 15 of the company’s mineral water trade marks, including San Pellegrino, Perrier and Vittel.

It also tells more of the sources of the mineral water across the globe and unveils the secrets of its natural production process. The book is an attempt to change the consumer’s attitude to mineral water. Photographer Sandrine Alouf, who has been specialising in capturing natural landscapes, travelled to 15 water sources located in France, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Lebanon, Vietnam, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. As result of her creative work, the

book unveils marvelous views of water springs, rivers, as well as landscapes of the nature surrounding water. Hubert Genieys, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Nestlé Waters, who commissioned the project, said: “Mineral waters have particular benefits for health. Their composition never changes if the surrounding environment is protected. We wanted to celebrate these beautiful landscapes and why it is important to conserve them.”

Book review Geochemistry of European bottled water


The atlas follows from the successful Geochemical Atlas of Europe (giving variations in surface water and shallow sediment chemistry), and aims to provide a reference of groundwater variations across the continent. Bottled water was used because it provides “samples” from a wide range of sources simply by purchasing product. The initial sections provide background to bottled waters, summarise European geology and land use and compare bottled water to tap water

and two different ground- and surface waters. The main part of the atlas gives the composition of a wide range of parameters across Europe (there are waters with elevated levels of silver, but I don’t expect that the waters are more expensive). The data are presented graphically and as bubble plots on a European base map. While very technical, and this is its aim, the atlas clearly presents data and explains the reasons

his atlas, compiled by the Geological Surveys of Europe, is aimed at groundwater professionals but will also be of interest to bottled water technical specialists. The book is reviewed by Zenith International Water & Environment Director Dr Ric Horobin.

for some unusual effects of the use of bottled water as a source (for example, why few waters show parameters above the legal limits). An interesting reference book, if not exactly coffee table material.

‘Realms of Water’ is available in bookshops throughout France and can also be bought online at Amazon and Fnac. For more information, visit

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

42 SOURCE Issue 64 - January · February 2011

Product design

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Telling the right story through packaging

by Steve Osborne


n episode one of a recent series of BBC films about ‘The Foods that Make Billions’, bottled water was presented as ‘liquid gold’, on account of the incredible amount of value added to this basic commodity by marketing. The growth of this market, one which quadrupled in size globally between 1990 and 2005, seems all the more impressive when faced with the fact that the principal competition (tap water) is available virtually for free. Whilst megatrends towards health and wellness and convenience have played a large part in this success, the real reason why bottled water sells is because it tells a great story. As a life-giving, essential element of human existence, water has a pretty good story already; but in what one commentator described as the ‘high point of global capitalism’, the various brands of bottled water have embellished this message with their own unique nuances to create ‘20-30 varieties of something that almost by definition doesn’t vary’. The secret, as with all branding, is in the storytelling, and the history of the bottled water market is one of having the right story at the right time to (excuse the pun) tap into consumer motivations. From Perrier’s brilliant exploitation of the brand as a symbol of French sophistication, and Evian’s story of pristine Alpine purity, to Pure Life’s message of affordability for everyone,

water brands seem to have an inexhaustible supply of ways to appeal to consumer desires. But how many stories can be told about bottled water? Which ones are spreading and growing the market? And how can a new brand hope to compete with the established players around the world? To answer these questions look no further than the packaging designs on supermarket shelves. Packaging, after all, is the thing that people buy, hold, drink from and ultimately dispose of; a physical object where the brand story is literally in the consumer’s hand.

Start with the bottle It sounds obvious but it’s very hard to create a powerful and unique story for your brand if it is sold in a bottle that looks and feels like everyone else’s. For packaged goods ‘the packaging is the product’, and the physical attributes of the pack (elegance, clarity, slimness etc) become transferred to the perception of the product, and the brand. The process is called ‘sensation transference’ and is one of the most powerful concepts in design. This principle is well

Perrier’s symbol of French sophistication understood by bottled water designers, who have created a plethora of different forms, each telling a brand story in 3-D.

How many stories? In seeking to answer this question it quickly becomes evident that the category is split into two very different start points: not still and sparkling, but brands whose stories depend on the source, and those that don’t.

Geology, geography and history It’s natural that ‘source’ is extremely important to many brands, since it is the reason behind their claims of purity, as well as any special properties or proportions of the trace ingredients that make mineral waters different at all. The number one symbol by some distance is a mountain landscape, though clearly this is not going to be unique unless the mountains have their own sub-plot to enrich the story. Volcanic rocks (Volvic) and geothermal sources (Argentina’s

Palau) provide an interesting and differentiating twist. Source stories can also be told about countries or regions with a perception of pre-industrial, unspoilt charm. Scotland’s Highland Spring tells a story of ‘organic land’, whilst Fiji claims its water is ‘rain that fell more than 450 years ago, which has been percolating ever since through layers of silica, basalt and sandstone’. DMZ is a brand from the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, which for all the wrong reasons turns out to be one of the world’s most unspoilt places. It may be true, but it isn’t a great water story. No stone is left unturned in the search for ever more esoteric locations to find ‘the ultimate’ water, including icebergs, glaciers, deep sea, the rainforest and, why not, rain. So far these are all niche stories and brands, but with some smart design and marketing, one of these could easily become the next Fiji. Water sources can also add value through their historical and cultural importance. It’s always

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890. Issue 64 - January · February 2011


Product design

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source becomes of marginal importance, since the purity and even the ‘active’ ingredients can be provided by technology.

Acqua Panna counts the Romans and the Tuscan Medici family amongst its past patrons good if you can start a brand story with: ‘Legend has it . . .’ , and in one such legend San Pellegrino’s Acqua Panna counts the Romans and the Tuscan Medici family amongst its past patrons. The packaging tells the brand’s long and rich history through an ornate label which iconises the lion’s head fountain from the Medici’s Villa Panna. Sold as a fine table water to accompany food, the label transports you to a place where you can almost taste the focaccia!

Function gets emotional The World Health Organisation gave the bottled water market a major boost when it made the world aware of the need to drink eight glasses or 1.5 litres of water each day, to replenish the body’s lost fluids. Whilst this fact does not favour any brand in particular (or even bottled water as a category), some brands have deliberately focused their story on this functional aspect of water. The interesting thing about a functional water story is that

No surprise perhaps, that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both entered the US market with ‘manufactured’ waters, though the stories told by Dasani (restorative power) and Aquafina (allAmerican, non-elitist) were very different. Perhaps the biggest success in the market’s history comes from Nestlé Waters’ Pure Life, which saw the opportunity very early on to manufacture water, locally, all over the world, and sell it at an affordable price in each market. As a result the brand has a dominant position in many of the emerging markets where growth is now highest, and its ‘bottled water for all’ story seems to outperform the traditional source stories. China’s leading brand Wahaha (until recently a joint venture with Danone) offers both source and manufactured products, but takes equal if not greater pride in the latter’s technological achievements: ‘Wahaha purified water takes the reverse-osmosis high-tech from the US, and the first-class facilities of the whole production line, including the production of bottles and caps, the filling and labelling, are all imported from foreign countries like France, Germany, Japan and Italy’. From a design perspective the absence of a source does present some storytelling challenges, with the dominant solution an abstract

impression of hydrating blueness. Physical packaging also tends to be relatively generic, which whilst suiting the non-elitist story being told, does little for brand differentiation.

The new ethics of water Perhaps the biggest challenges facing the market in the coming years are environmental and humanitarian. Critics point to the irony of Western consumers having a large choice of bottled waters, transported from around the world, whilst a significant minority of the world’s population has no access to safe, clean drinking water. As ever brands have taken on these challenges by creating new business practices and telling new stories. Some new ethical brands have positioned themselves as ‘aid agencies in a bottle’, and have very powerful stories where 100% of profits fund projects to bring clean water to those who don’t have it. Some mainstream brands have adopted similar activities at a promotional campaign level, but

just as with CSR activities in the coffee and tea worlds, it can’t be long before a major brand goes ‘fully ethical’. It’s impossible to enter this world of doing good for people without having a similar commitment to the planet. This means that brand packaging needs to have its own supplementary story, which for most will be about recyclable or recycled PET, or even new plastics entirely. Earth water is all about funding African water projects, but its new plastic bottle also promises to be 100% biodegradable within five years.

Wrap-up Whatever story a brand of bottled water tells, it is obvious from the examples we’ve seen that the chance of having this story noticed, and valued, depends to a large degree on the ability of its packaging design to tell that story really well. We’ve focused on the primary packaging in this article, but multipack design has a large part to play too. Less the brand story in your hand but often its representative on the shelf, multipacking tends to mask the bottle shape, but does provide a bigger canvas to get the message across. Despite the increasing complexity of the market dynamics, my advice is to keep your story simple and clear. Just like the water inside. Steve Osborne is Managing Director of UK based brand design consultants Osborne Pike

© Water Innovation 2011. Reproduced with the kind permission of FoodBev Media - For details about syndication and licensing please contact the marketing team on 01225 327890.

44 EXPERT OPINION Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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46 MARKETPLACE Issue 64 - January · February 2011

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