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Condiment producer switches from glass to PET containers

A Southwest supplier of specialty food products is now using Amcor Rigid Plastics' 32oz decanter-style polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles for its Brack Ranch Sweet Pepper Glaze. Heritage Family Specialty Foods Inc. stated this move will provide entry into the club store market segment, with a launch late last year at Costco's locations throughout the Southwest.

A Southwest supplier of specialty food products is now using Amcor Rigid Plastics' 32oz decanter-style polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles for its Brack Ranch Sweet Pepper Glaze.

Heritage Family Specialty Foods Inc. stated this move will provide entry into the club store market segment, with a launch late last year at Costco's locations throughout the Southwest.

Up until now, Heritage Family has only offered its Brack Ranch Sweet Pepper Glaze in 16oz glass containers for retail and specialty stores.

The PET bottle was chosen over alternative packaging options due to the container's ability to provide cost benefits and improved manufacturing efficiencies for club store distribution, stated Michael Moss, VP of Marketing for Heritage Family Specialty Foods, in a news release.

Amcor Market Development Manager Yi Jiang told PlasticsToday that since PET containers are portable and lightweight, they can provide reduced transportation costs and carbon footprint.

Compared to glass bottles, which can weigh in at more than 400g, the PET bottles weigh about 50g. 

"You can get more PET bottles on truckloads versus glass," she said. "The savings in freight and also the savings on the carbon footprint were a good reason for them to choose this."

In addition to freight cost savings, there is also less broken and damaged-goods charges from retailers. Jiang said more companies prefer bottles made of PET because they are just as clear as glass, but are less likely to break.

The PET containers are integrated into existing glass filling lines with minimal adjustment. Amcor's 32oz ambient fill (up to 140°F) and hot fill (up to 185°F) decanters are targeted for barbecue sauces, salad dressing, and other sauce products.

"If we hadn't found an acceptable bottle like Amcor's we would have been forced to use two shrink-wrapped 16oz bottles which would have added cost and increased production time," said Moss.

The final product would have required twice as much packaging and increased the cost for consumers, he stated.

Moss noted that PET meets the growing sustainability requirements of the packaging and retail industry, resulting in greater access to retail/club store channels. He also stated consumers are drawn to the lightweight features of the PET bottle compared to traditional glass containers.

"In the end, lightweight PET not only delivered a savings in terms of transport costs and breakage but also gave us the glass-like appearance and shelf life appeal to maintain the brand image of our Brack Ranch Sweet Pepper Glaze product," said Moss.

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