Channels open up to single-serve PET bottles

The switch to PET bottles with oxygen scavengers is helping Alfresh Beverages get onto retail shelves that were closed to glass packaging.

As Canada’s leading single-serve fruit juice company, Toronto-based Alfresh Beverages could have rested on its laurels. Instead, the company decided to preempt the competition and switch to PET bottles with oxygen scavengers to satisfy on-the-go consumers and safety-conscious retailers.

Nine drink flavors, marketed under the Everfresh brand in Canada and Fairlee in the U.S., recently switched from glass bottles to PET, a move that already has paid off with new sales to convenience stores, cafeterias and vending-machine operators. Many of those clients were reluctant to stock glass containers, says Gary Krupa, marketing director. Lighter-weight PET bottles also have reduced U.S. distribution costs by 10 percent.

Krupa worked with Crown Cork & Seal Co.’s Constar division to find packaging for a hot-filled product, made without preservatives, with a 12-month shelf life. Alfresh uses a three-layer, 16-oz. bottle with Constar’s Oxbar sandwiched between an inner and outer layer of polyethylene terephthalate. Oxbar is a nylon and cobalt catalyst salt that scavenges oxygen. The container is topped by a 43-mm polypropylene cap with a thermoplastic elastomer liner to maintain the hermetic seal.

“The crystal clear bottle heightens product appearance, and the oxygen barrier ensures the juice stays pristine over time,” says Krupa. It is being used on a filling line that was built to handle 20-oz., monolayer bottles.

New cappers were the only new equipment needed for the conversion, he adds, with the supplier’s technical consultants overseeing adjustments to accommodate the 16-oz. PET bottles.

For more information:
Doug Robinson, Constar/Crown Cork & Seal, 215-552-3722

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