Archive for November, 2011

Magners method means more glorious glass

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Cider-maker Magners recently shared on Twitter a sneak peek of its new glass bottles – which we absolutely love!

 

Since 1935, Magners has successfully maintained its place at the forefront of the UK’s Cider market and, despite changing most things in their 75 year history, one thing that has always stayed the same is the company’s preference for glass bottles.

 

While the cider sports a new look label, it remains firmly in glass, which means that none of its special flavour will be lost. Also, as glass is an excellent insulator, it means that the bottle will stay cooler for longer, ideal for a cider that is designed to be served over ice. The bottles have retained the same shape and style, but now also feature William Magner’s signature embossed on the bottle shoulder, underlining the cider’s special heritage.

 

Glass is a friend when it comes to reducing food waste

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The recent new report from the Waste Resources and Action Programme (WRAP) gave many of us an unpleasant reminder of just how much good food is going to waste in our society. According to WRAP’s report, there were an estimated 7.2 million tonnes of household food waste in the UK in 2010. This is equivalent to a shocking 1 in every 5 bags of shopping being simply thrown away.

 

The good news is this figure is down from the 8.3 million tonnes previously recorded, but we think it’s still an awful lot of food going to waste. And it’s not just food we’re wasting – this habit is costing each family on average £800 a year.

 

But what can be done to help us stop wasting our food – and our money?

 

One small but effective action would be to use glass more often for food and drink packaging. Why is this? Because glass is inert, it means that, unlike other packaging materials, it acts as a natural barrier to bacteria and contains no chemical preservatives, artificial flavourings or additives. It’s also virtually impermeable to oxygen, which means it keeps food and drink fresher and fuller of their natural vitamins and minerals for longer. Glass is also easy to clean, sterilise and re-use, so it can store products again and again.

 

Over half of the consumers surveyed in a recent major research study thought that glass preserved the taste of food and drink the best. 48% of those questioned also stated that health and safety was the main factor behind choosing glass as their preferred packaging.

 

So if you want to reduce your own family’s food wastage and start saving money, begin with one simple change today and choose glass.

Does a paper bottle really benefit your health?

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We’re sure that when the first wheel was made, someone wondered out loud if it would work better if it was a hexagon shape. So it is with wine bottles. First we had plastic bottles, now someone has decided wine will be more environmentally friendly if it is delivered in paper bottles.

 

It’s a noble idea, but let’s just get one thing out of the way quickly – unlike glass and liquids, paper and liquids don’t mix well. That’s why the ‘paper bottle’ is actually lined with plastic. So your wine is not packaged in compostable paper, it’s really packaged in plastic which may contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) or other chemicals.

 

Glass is not a chemistry experiment

 

Glass wine bottles do not need plastic linings to keep their contents safe and drinkable. Unlike plastics, glass does not react with the contents of the bottle and no substances are leached into the wine. And in glass, the wine can stay fresh for many decades. A study by the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences (ISVV) in Bordeaux, France, found that the flavour and chemical composition of white wine changed within six months of being packed into single- and multi-layer PET bottles, or a bag-in-a-box. In glass bottles, wine actually tastes like wine, not a chemistry experiment.

 

The paper bottle’s makers argue that their version is lighter than glass bottles and therefore it reduces emissions – particularly during transport. Paper is lighter than glass, even when it comes with a plastic lining. But weight is not the only issue consumers should consider.

 

When talking about weight and comparing materials, a number of studies (see “The carbon impact of bottling Australian wine in the UK: PET and glass bottles” published by WRAP) show that many parameters must be taken into account in order to compare like with like. For example, is the packaging locally produced? Is it fully and effectively recycled locally or exported to third-party countries for processing? What is the recycled content of the packaging? The list of parameters goes on and on. Simply claiming your material is the most environmentally friendly doesn’t make it so.

 

Glass is the consumer’s choice

 

Unlike plastic, glass is made from sand and other naturally occurring raw materials. It is produced in local glass factories, near to where it will be filled. Glass is also 100% and infinitely recyclable in an effective local bottle-to-bottle system. And talking about weight, glass is now much lighter and stronger than it was 20 years ago. New glass bottles weigh about 300 g, not 500 g, and the industry is working hard to make them even lighter and stronger than ever before.

 

There’s also the matter of style. Can you really see yourself ordering wine in a paper bottle at a restaurant? Perhaps you can start by asking for plastic glasses next time you go out to see how it will feel. Glass adds class!

 

Switching from glass to plastics in the name of the environment makes glass the scapegoat. But it doesn’t necessarily reduce waste or the impact of packaging on the environment. By using arguments such as weight or breakability to define a ‘greener choice’, packaging decision makers are neglecting the bigger picture, and the voices of their consumers.

 

A recent independent survey of 9,000 consumers across 17 European countries found that 74% prefer glass as their packaging material (InSites, 2010). A clear majority (65%) choose glass because it best preserves the taste of the food or beverage it contains. And for special occasion beverages, 79% of respondents choose glass. This is one of the main reasons why wine producers pack their vintages in glass bottles.

 

But what do you think about buying your wine in paper bottles? Are they all they are cut out to be? Vote for your preferred type of wine bottle on Facebook and let us know: Plastic, Wine Box, Carton, Glass, Metal

 

 

 

Major brands celebrate glass!

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Given the recent activity from McDonald’s and Evian, it’s apparent that glass is still the best way to underline a brand’s unique quality and style. McDonald’s is giving away gorgeous retro Coca Cola glasses to celebrate Coke’s 125th anniversary, and leading mineral water brand Evian has launched a limited edition glass bottle with French fashion house Courrèges and online retailer MyWardrobe.com.

 

Both brands are providing extensive support for these glass special editions, with McDonald’s running a TV, outdoor and in-store campaign, and Evian creating an online hub with MyWardrobe.com called “The Courrèges Effect”. The hub offers its members exclusive access to bid for reissued Courrèges vintage shift dresses, as well as behind-the-scenes footage from the Courrèges fashion house in Paris.

 

Interestingly, the two companies have taken totally different methods to market the glass products featured in the campaigns. McDonald’s has played on the classic look and feel of glass to tie in with the iconic Coca Cola bottle. This theme is also apparent in its digital media approach, which includes a Flashback Booth phone app enabling customers to upload photos and give them a “retro-style makeover” which can then be published on Facebook.

 
Meanwhile, Evian has designed a bottle that is both modern and stylistic in design, which includes Courrèges signature pink and white detail, on the tall glass bottle. Evian has previously worked with designers Paul Smith, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix, on a series of limited edition bottles.

 

Heinz unveils on the go baby drink range

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We were disappointed to read last week about the packaging for Heinz’s new baby drinks range. Heinz has chosen 150ml plastic bottles for its new on-the-go baby drinks claiming that glass bottles were less convenient. We disagree. Glass is the only material that offers complete peace of mind on health – it is inert, requiring no additional layers chemicals to protect what it contains, making it the material of choice for baby food and drinks.

 

Glass is also now in many cases 40% lighter than 20 years ago, and is the only material to be infinitely recyclable. A typical glass jar or bottle can take just 30 days to go from recycling bin back to a new container on the store shelf.  What’s not to like?

 

We know that choice of packaging is important too – 84% of consumers across Europe want the right to keep choosing glass packaging (The European Glass Packaging Survey). Respondents were aged 18 and older and represented a cross-section of each country’s population. A copy of the executive summary and full survey is available on request.

 

So our plea to Heinz is – please keep glass on the shelf and let your customers continue to enjoy the choice.

 

What do you think? Post your comments below or share your thoughts with us on Facebook.