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The Future of Beer in PET Packaging – new multi-client study launches

Pira International is launching a new multi-client study to assess the opportunities for beer in PET packaging.

The study is aimed at brewers, brand owners, packaging converters and suppliers who need to understand the market potential for beer in PET, technology drivers and barriers, consumer acceptance, hot topics and a realistic timeline for adoption based on primary research.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is showing increased demand from a number of different categories including juices and nectars, ready-to-drink (RTD) teas, functional drinks, flavoured waters and beer.

PET bottles are convenient, practical, lightweight, unbreakable and better for the environment.

However many brand owner remain reticent when it comes to using PET packaging for beer. Market and technology barriers include:

  • Product sensitivity to the damaging effects of oxygen and the development of suitable barrier technologies.
  • Developing good barrier protection while not adversely affecting the recycling chain.
  • The ongoing perception that plastic bottles taint the flavour of alcoholic drinks.
  • Consumer preference for other materials such as glass.
  • The development of competing plastic technologies such as polyethylene naphthalate (PEN), although it does have a high price

Despite not taking off on a large scale, there is still a huge amount of interest in the potential for beer in PET due to the many perceived advantages:

  • Eliminating breakages in production during high speed filling.
  • Cost savings in production by blowing bottles on site from preforms instead of getting glass bottles delivered in.
  • Cost savings across the supply chain - PET bottles are lightweight and recyclable.
  • Greater convenience - screwcap neck removes need for a bottle opener
  • Market penetration in applications where glass is not suitable
  • Range of colours and sizes

The advent of new developments such multilayered bottles, which permit producers to pasteurise the bottle with the beer inside, preventing oxidation, are helping challenge some negative perceptions and create opportunities for brewers, brand owners, packaging converters and suppliers.

Another exciting technology development is active packaging. The beer market is the single largest end-use application for oxygen scavenging closures, where it absorbs the oxygen that is accumulated after the bottle has been filled. These closures continue to remove oxygen throughout the product's life, which means the packaged beer will have a lower oxygen content than when it was first filled.

With a number of technology solutions taking off and increasing interest from brewers and brand owners, Pira International has decided now is the perfect time to launch a new multi-client study on the future of beer in PET packaging.

The new study will explore the full range of technology solutions, provide a thorough assessment of the feasibility and challenges of each solution, forecast likely technology developments to 2015. In addition, the study will provide a full market assessment, with quantitative five-year forecasts for each application based on extensive primary research across the value chain and consumer focus groups.

Subscribers will receive a detailed market study showing current and future likely uptake of beer in PET packaging, focusing on output measured in both volume and value terms. The market will be segmented by packaging technology, serving size and geography (global region and key country). The study will be published in Q1 2011.

About Pira International
Pira International - the worldwide authority on packaging, paper and print industry supply chains.

Established in 1930, Pira provides strategic and technical consulting, testing, intelligence and events to help clients gain market insights, identify opportunities, evaluate product performance and manage compliance.