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Sidel designs plastic beer bottle that looks like glass

By: Bill Bregar

July 2, 2014

In what could be a Holy Grail moment for beer in plastics, Sidel Group has launched what it calls the world’s pasteurizeable lightweight PET beer bottle with a standard “champagne” base — not a petaloid-shaped base with feet.

The bottle also accepts a crown closure, mirroring the closures found on glass bottles.

The new bottle weighs just 28 grams, 86 percent lighter than glass beer bottles, Sidel officials said.

When packaging beer it is critical to prevent oxygen from entering and carbon dioxide from escaping. The Sidel bottle can use single-layer material blends and Sidel’s Actis gas-barrier technology. That gives a six-month shelf life, the company said.

Sidel officials also are fighting back against what they say are misperceptions about beer in plastic, like the common belief that beer gets warmer quicker. Sidel’s studies show PET keeps beer just as cold, for the same amount of time, as glass.

The base is a key. “For many consumers, a petaloid base is associated with other product categories such as carbonated soft drinks or sparkling water, and therefore when it appears on a beer bottle it can negatively affect the brand perception,” said Christophe Bunel, head of packaging care at Sidel. “But increasingly, consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of PET, because they experience it as the preferred packaging material of choice in other food and beverage areas in their life. So to help producers and consumers alike make the transition we wanted a bottle that looks like glass, but has all the benefits of PET.”

Sidel, a division of Tetra Laval Group, is based in Hünenberg, Switzerland.

The North American unit, Sidel Inc., is in Norcross, Ga.

Tel. 678-221-3000, www.sidel.com.