The market researcher predicts that PET will take a bigger chunk of the market, supported by CAGR growth of more than 5 per cent from 2009 to 2014.
Marlous Kuiper, head of alcohol research at Euromonitor, pointed to wine as one area where PET is making inroads.
“In wine, we are seeing glass bottles being reduced in weight and products being moved into PET, bag-in-box, and liquid cartons as lightweighting leads to lower manufacturing energy requirements and transport costs.”
Giving examples of the increased popularity of PET in the wine market, Euromonitor said that in 2010 the Swedish state alcohol monopoly, Systembolaget, began to stock red, white and rosé wine in a 750ml PET bottle.
And in the UK, the supermarkets Marks & Spencer and Waitrose began packing their private label wines in 250ml and 750ml PET bottles respectively.
The positive sentiment surrounding PET and wine is confirmed by APPE – the biggest producer of PET bottles in Europe. The company said at the tail end of 2010 that it had increased its production of PET wine bottles 45 per cent compared to 2009.
APPE said the UK is the ‘motor’ for growth in Europe while the biggest international buyer is Japan. The light weight of PET makes it particularly suited to export markets like Japan.
Euromonitor added that besides the environmental and cost argument for PET, the new bottles made from the plastic are now almost indistinguishable at a distance from those packed in glass.
The market research company said: “The new bottles could come to compete even in the high-end segment as they look very similar; only the feel and handling is different.”
It added that PET has growth potential in other sectors of the alcoholic drinks market, including spirits. Some supermarkets in the UK have begun to stock private label dark rums and brandy in PET bottles but Euromonitor suggests that it is white spirits that have most potential in the spirits category.
The researchers said: “Industry sources predict that PET bottles will achieve most success in white spirits categories like vodka, but expect that their usage will remain largely restricted to private label products.”