Aspall (www.aspall.co.uk), the Suffolk-based UK cider-maker, is to export its award-winning products to Russia, America, Japan and Europe using new lightweight, recyclable beverage containers made by Petainer (www.petainer.com), the specialist plastics packaging technology business.
Petainer Kegs manufactured in PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) have been chosen because they are environmentally-friendly and less expensive than conventional metal kegs.
Aspall produces a range of high quality apple juice, ciders and vinegars. It is the first cider producer to use the innovative, low-cost kegs which offer substantial benefits both to brewers and to end-users.
The company has achieved a 55 per cent increase in its export business in the past year following growing interest globally for premium British cider products with genuine heritage and authenticity. Aspall forecasts that export sales will continue to grow at least at the same rate in the next 12 months and that the rate of increase is likely to surpass that of domestic sales, as international business becomes a key part of its growth strategy.
Henry Chevallier Guild, Aspall director and head of export, said: “Our export sales are particularly strong in Australia, where sales of Aspall Suffolk Cyder have grown eight-fold in the past five years.
“We have also experienced phenomenal success in Japan, with sales having doubled in the past 12 months.”
Aspall is about to launch its ciders into emerging markets such as China and India, as the company continues to pave the way for other British brands to export abroad.
Mr Chevallier Guild continued: “Export is a pivotal part of Aspall’s growth strategy. British food and drink is viewed very strongly in the global marketplace as consumers are drawn to British products with real history and heritage. Such products seem to provide a sense of reassurance; they can be trusted to live up to consumers’ expectations.
“We are delighted that we can meet these expectations by transporting our premium products in these environmentally-friendly, inexpensive PET containers. Trials and tests have shown that the Petainer Kegs deliver the product to discerning customers in an optimum condition.
“Quality is our principal consideration but we believe there are also important cost and environmental benefits for us in transporting cider in Petainer plastic kegs.”
Petainer Kegs are available in four sizes – 15, 20, 30 and 40 litres. They are designed for one-way use and have low-cost Micro Matic-compatible fittings which allow the containers to be connected to existing standard tapping systems.
Aspall has ordered 20 litre and 30 litre kegs for its draught cider.
In comparison with metal containers, Petainer Kegs offer substantial benefits to breweries, fillers and other users. These include lower costs and lower environmental impacts.
Petainer Kegs can be supplied either as complete, ready-to-fill containers or as preforms which are blown to full size on or near the site where they are filled. This further reduces their environmental impact and gives them a clear advantage over metal kegs and other plastic formats.
Mr Chevallier Guild added: “This is the first time we have used PET containers. Petainer has provided us with the perfect packaging format for our cider.”
Andy Carter, Petainer’s regional sales director for the UK and Ireland, said: “PET kegs are a significant breakthrough in the sales and marketing of volume beer and cider.
“Companies like Aspall recognise that using lightweight, one-way PET containers opens up new channels and market opportunities. This makes it possible for users to expand into international markets which would not be feasible with metal kegs.
“Petainer Kegs also provide a step change in environmental performance and substantial benefits in lower costs and reduced complexity of logistics.
“In terms of saving money, raising value, improving carbon footprint and safeguarding taste and quality, these revolutionary PET kegs offer 100 per cent better business.”