Goya Foods Inc., the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S., launched a redesign of its marinade product line, converting 12-oz (355-ml) and 24.5-oz (725-ml) products from glass to PET bottles from Amcor Rigid Plastics.
Both PET bottles are the first to feature Amcor's new Origami hot-fill technology, which incorporates six flat panels to counteract vacuum that occurs in hot filled containers. The vacuum panels are designed to collapse, thus compensating for shrinkage during cooling to maintain structural strength and integrity.
"Basically, the bottle looks similar to an origami figure," Mercedes Candedo, diversified products manager for ARP South & Central America, told PlasticsToday. "We have a portfolio of different technologies that allow the customer to go with various types of design and functionality."
The flat surface works to create a modern profile that enhances gripping and consumer handling, while a neck adds to the bottles' uniqueness and improves pourability, the company said.
One key benefit of the new PET bottle design is that Goya can offer its consumers more marinade product by moving from a 705-ml glass container to the 725-ml PET bottle. The marinade containers also further extend Amcor's growing penetration in the food industry.
"It's a trend for different reasons: one, bottles are heavy and there is a lot of breakage in glass," Candedo said. "A main driver is when customers are looking for a more appealing design and PET gives that flexibility. Another is when customers want to export or they have long transportation within their business model, PET allows them to put more product in the container, which is not the case in glass."
The use of PET in the 24.5-oz (725-ml) container results in a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 61.4% compared to glass, representing savings equivalent to annual GHG emissions from 313 passenger vehicles, according to Amcor. In addition, 24.5-oz (725-ml) PET bottles permit 52% more product to be shipped per truckload.
"In the end, lightweight PET not only delivered a major savings in terms of freight cost but also gave us the glass-like appearance and the shelf appeal to maintain our brand image," said Joseph Perez, senior VP of Goya Foods.
Both the 12-oz and 24.5-oz PET bottles are custom designed for both ambient fill (up to 140°F) and hot fill (up to 185°F) applications. They have a 38-mm finish and are easily integrated into existing glass-filling lines with minimal adjustment, Perez said. The marinade products, available in three varieties including Chipotle, Mojo, and Naranja Agria, are sold in supermarkets and club stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
Goya Foods also plans to replace glass with PET in an existing 12-oz juice beverage line. The conversion to hot-fill PET is expected by the summer.
Wendy Zhou, Amcor market manager for food and spirits, said that companies moving from glass to PET is not just a trend in South America, but one in the U.S. as well.
"Retailers acually prefer to have PET packaging over glass due to the shipping, storage and handling," she said. "So there is the retailer angle as well."