ITASCA, ILL. — Sports drinks are growing rapidly, as much aimed at the flustered family in a van as at big-time athletes, to fit our “very busy, extremely fast-paced and fast-moving” lifestyles, Derek Hindle of Global Closure Systems said at the Plastics News Plastics Caps & Closures Conference.
“They allow consumers to consume a beverage while in a nomadic, on-the-go lifestyle,” said Hindle, who is innovation and marketing director.
Global Closure Systems is just like the name says — a diversified closure giant. GCS molds 18 billion closures for beverages a year around the world, Hindle said. He added that 1.5 billion of those are sports drink closures, and most of those are flip-tops.
Giving the soccer-parent example, Hindle said we pass back drinks to the kids in the car and expect them to open it. So safety is very important, he said, citing two standards that are moving to become global. The audience laughed as he showed a video of a boy struggling — and yes, using his teeth — to get off a sports-drink lid.
GSC made one of the first flip-top closures in the late 1990s, for a company in France, Hindle said. In 1999, CGS came out with a kids-safe push-pull closure, he said.
Hindle said people remember the bad-closure experiences. In consumer research sessions, they shout them out. Then the researchers turn the tables and ask them their best sports cap experience. That technique yields information you never would get unless you first asked about the negative, he said.
Now Global Closure Systems is working on “intuitive tamper evident” systems — a market that is growing equity in Europe, he said.
GCS is headquartered in the Parisian suburb of Saint Cloud.