Why Spirits Manufacturers Choose PET Bottles over Glass

Spirit Bottles

Based in Malmö, Niklas is responsible for PET packaging sales across the Nordics and has a background in selling packaging to the food and beverage industry. With his proximity to our Lidköping factory, he can support and advise the best technical solution for your needs, whether utilising Petainer’s existing product range or advising on bespoke project briefs.

Niklas Zetterström - Petainer Nordics Sales Manager

In some countries, customers perceive PET packaging as less premium, why is this different in the Nordics?

The Nordics, with its pure water and long distilling history produces some of the world’s biggest spirits brands, especially in the vodka category. With these brands often citing the beauty of the regions they’re produced in, coupled with a Nordic focus on sustainability, it was only a matter of time before brands revaluated their packaging choices to make them greener. We’re seeing more brands moving in the past year to turn their focus on the packaging as well and not just what is in the bottle. The shift for most is moving from glass to PET plastic bottles. Today you can get a PET bottle to look very similar to a glass bottle without impacting the taste the customer has grown to love, and it will never break if you accidently drop it! We work with brands that really want to stand out on the shelf, so our offer of a bespoke PET bottle that offers a unique design for a fraction of the cost of a bespoke glass bottle is a strong proposition!

In alcohol shops in the Nordics, there are Climate Smart Packaging Options, can you explain what that means?

If you go into an alcohol shop in Sweden, Norway and Finland you will notice that next to the price and product information, there will be text signalling whether a product is packaged in ‘Climate Smart Packaging’. It means that this packaging has had less impact on the environment than a standard glass bottle, less CO2 produced to make the bottle, less CO2 produced to transport it. It also means that a PET bottle with spirit in it can be returned to the refund station at your local supermarket and that bottle will be made into a new bottle, just like your standard soda bottle that you return today. By using a PET bottle, you will save on transport costs, our standard 0.35L bottle weighs just 24g compared to a typical weight of ~200g for it’s glass counterpart.

Petainer has worked with organic distiller BIOstilla, who produce in the north of Italy at Distillery Walcher. Their stringent measures mean that their raw materials are of the highest quality and the freshest possible. Putting trust in the packaging to maintain these attributes led them to choose our PET spirits bottle to reach the Nordic market. They are both able to save costs on transport and help the environment by doing so.

You now see Irish and Scotch whisky imports to the Nordics arriving in PET packaging, what persuaded these brands to move from glass?

It’s an important step to see whisky in PET, as it shows that consumers perception of the product is still high despite not being in glass. Scotch and Irish whisky producers are careful to preserve their products which have aged for many years, so advocacy from them is an important indicator that moving to PET is a possibility across categories. We know that PET bottles are just as good as a traditional glass bottle when it comes to spirits in preserving flavour. It also helps producers save on transport costs, as PET is lighter than glass – meaning more bottles per shipment, fewer breakages and less CO2 produced doing so. Not only are there benefits for producers, its opening up opportunities for consumers too. With PET, consumers can take their favourite spirits on the move, for picnics, hikes and more. We have seen the move from the standard steel kegs to one-way PET kegs and now the sprits companies are following that same path.

Petainer offers PET spirits bottles, how do they differ from a regular PET bottle to work for spirits?

Our PET Spirit bottle range is designed to substitute glass like for like, mimicking the clarity and shape associated with spirits bottles. Our aim was that for consumers, the experience of buying spirits was no different than normal but gave them the option to select a climate smart option. For producers, our standard range includes spirit bottles at the key sizes of 0.35L, 0.5L and a 0.7L. With a modern design and flat base, they are the perfect solution. We’d encourage any spirit producer to try a sample and see the benefits for themselves.