The renaissance of one of Poland's most avant garde fruit juice brands from the 1990s has been inspired by the development of new glass packaging. Frugo rose from the ashes in 2011 to a sales value of 80 million PLN by the end of the year. And the trend has just come to the UK, where Tesco has listed the brand's 250ml glass bottles to attract a young, health conscious market in this country.
The 1990s - in the UK, it was the decade of Tamagotchi, grunge, Pokemon, Beverly Hills 90210 and Friends. In Poland, young people would not be seen without Frugo, an unusual drink with an intensely fruity taste, packed only in glass bottles. Savvy commercials turned it into a teen icon in the same way that Tango radicalised drinks marketing in the UK.
After two decades hidden from view, Frugo is back. Its original consumers are now in their 30s and the brand has captured the retro appeal with a new launch of 250ml, 300ml and 750ml glass bottles designed and made by O-I in its Jaroslaw plant in Poland. Brand owner FoodCare was so convinced by the drink's potential that it invested in a new high-throughput filling line especially for Frugo.
All sizes are made in clear glass using lightweight NNPB technology for strength at the optimum weight (the bottles weights are 160g for FRUGO 250 ml, 190 g for FRUGO 300 ml, and 320 g for FRUGO 750 ml). The brand name is engraved on the bottle and colourful labels, matched to the individual tastes of the drink, ensure that the product stands out on shelf. Unusually, Frugo is distinguished through colour not fruit variations - lines stocked in the UK include Frugo Black, Frugo White, Frugo Green and Frugo Pink.
In addition, all labels bear the logo of the O-I's new GLASS IS LIFE campaign.
"When deciding to relaunch the brand, it was obvious to us that we wanted to continue offering FRUGO exclusively in glass bottles. Glass is sophisticated and eco-friendly. It provides optimal conditions for our beverages, protects them against chemical substances and is entirely natural. It is 100% recyclable and helps preserve the natural flavour of the product. We also support the O-I GLASS IS LIFE campaign, among others by placing its logo on all FRUGO labels," said Krzysztof Beling, FRUGO Brand Manager.
Despite its appeal to the original drinkers, Frugo still enjoys its biggest appeal among teenagers and young adults, who would have been too young to enjoy it first time around. What unites these groups is that they all value taste, aesthetic qualities and the environment.
"The success of FRUGO is confirmed by the number of inquiries we receive from other manufacturers of such products in the Polish market. The return of FRUGO has been our biggest project in the last year with regard to increasing glass packaging sales in Poland," confirms Adam Gajewski, President of O-I Sprzedaż and Dystrybucja Polska Sp. z o.o.
As well as its expansion into the UK, which has a strong Polish expatriate market, FoodCare has also introduced the product into Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the USA. It also plans to introduce new flavours and launch a new advertising campaign in Poland. Consumers can submit new tastes suggestions via the drink's website, and another communication channel is provided by means of "Frugo Wróć!" (Come back, Frugo!), a Facebook profile that already has more than 104,000 likes (as of April 2012).
Sales success is the best proof that FoodCare's idea has hit the nail on the head in today's environment and health conscious society. Besides the fruit drink, FRUGO also offers its customers ecologically-responsible and healthy packaging that plays a dynamic role in the customers' purchase decision making process. Coupled with other brand launches, it represents a distinct trend towards glass-packed products in the soft drinks sector.
All that is left to say is the classic HAVE A FRUGO.
Source: Owens-Illinois Inc.