Graham Packaging says the debut of its Escape bottle design for use with Honest Tea’s brands represents a wider business strategy in boosting market share across food and beverage markets by pushing weight reduction and other value measures in its packs.
Beyond bottle use, the manufacturer claims that the Escape design is particularly suitable for many single-serve pack applications with rollouts soon expected for wide-mouth plastic jars.
“We are always looking for ways to take costs out of the system - like reduced weights - while providing features that consumers want, [for example,] integral grips,” states the company.
A key part of designing the Escape product, which Graham Packaging says has been initially released as a single use pack for tea, juices and isotonic drinks, was to offer a smooth walled polyethylene terephthalate(PET) alternative to glass bottles.
Outside of solely focusing on beverages, Mark Leiden, PET business manager for the group, says that Graham Packaging is constantly looking to adapt innovations from one segment like food, drinks or personal care to another.
“As part of our overall Sustainer family, Graham Packaging has reduced weights in nearly every bottle we produce,” states Leiden. “The Escape bottle is just one example. For instance, our 64 ounce PET bottle for juices now weighs only 61 grams versus 84 grams just ten years ago.”
The Escape design, which is globally available to consumers, makes use of a device known as continuous motion activator (CMA) following filling and capping processes.
The system allows a manufacturer to invert a base within a bottle, creating slight overpressure in the pack. Graham Packaging says this overpressure can create a glass-like rigid feel in the packaging, albeit with reduced weight.
Paul Kelley, senior engineering manager for PET at Graham Packaging, says that about a twenty per cent reduction had been made possible in the weight of the Escape pack alone, adding to overall production efficiency.
"It takes fewer resources to make the bottle and fewer resources to transport the bottle," claims Kelly. The manufacturer says it is now working with various other consumer goods companies in developing the Escape design specifically for their operations.