Agave bottles greened using plant-based PET and leaf accents

By Rick Lingle in Sustainable Packaging on May 03, 2016

Wholesome Sweeteners deepens its commitment to sustainability by switching to bottles—molded with agave leaf accents—made of up to 30% plant-based PET resin.

 

Relaunched Wholesome! Organic Blue Agave bottles are now naturally more sustainable: The custom bottles are blow molded using up to 30% plant-based PET in replacing conventional PET bottles for a rollout across 7 SKUs. The bottles are molded with the #1 SPI coding for PETE and are as recyclable now as before. The bottles are molded on front and back with the outline of agave leaves at the top that accentuate the nature of the product and more subtly underscore the nature of the packaging.  

Preforms and bottles were designed in partnership with Berlin Packaging’s Studio One Eleven; Berlin also supplied the closures injection-molded in the brand’s trademark purple color.

Relaunching the Organic Blue Agave line was how brand owner Wholesome Sweeteners, Sugar Land, TX, celebrated Earth Month in announcing the rollout for 11.75, 23.5 and 44oz bottles that will appear on store shelves in late summer. The company also announced a partnership with How2Recycle, a standardized labeling program designed to make recycling easier to understand and act upon for consumers.

The Wholesome! manager who worked on the project, Lola Soyebo Harris, new product development manager, responds to our questions.

 

What was the previous bottle and why transition to this new bottle at this time?

Harris: Wholesome! was built around the principles of sustainability and environmental responsibility, and we work to ensure that these principles extend from seed to store shelf. It begins with how we farm our products organically and stretches through to how they are packaged. When we first launched our Organic Blue Agave line, we used a recyclable PET stock bottle.

In keeping with our company's core principles, we decided to transition to a more sustainable PET resin source with the green bottle, which was also more environmentally-friendly.

 

What was Berlin Packaging’s role in this?

Harris: Berlin Packaging partnered with us on bottles for some of our other organic liquid sweeteners. When we learned that they could make this green sustainable bottle, we took the opportunity to define the category through our packaging. Berlin’s Studio One Eleven would also allow us the chance to differentiate ourselves on store shelves with a custom bottle design. We wanted something that would stand out on the shelf and also a design that could potentially incorporate the agave plant. This design shows off the beautiful colors of the agave with a transparent exterior and it cleverly integrates the pointed tips of agave leaves at the top of the bottle.

 

How is the green bottle messaged on the packaging?

Harris: There will be a green call-out tag at the top of the front label that reads "New, Green Bottle" and on the back label there will be another green call-out box that reads, "Bottle made from up to 30% plant-based resin." By seeing this, we want shoppers to feel good about their purchases, and we also hope it inspires further eco-friendly packaging innovation within the industry. We also recently began a partnership with How2Recycle and plan to incorporate their logo during our next label change.

 

The new bottle in 11.75, 23.5 and 44oz sizes will be used for & SKUs for Organic Blue Agave, Organic Raw Blue Agave and Organic Blue Agave Maple products.

 

Do the bottle sizes and suggested pricing remain the same as before?

Harris: Yes, bottle sizes and pricing will remain the same as they were in the previous bottle.

 

What other benefits are there to the new bottle?

Harris: This is the first custom designed agave bottle on the market! We love its attractive new design, and we're excited to promote greener packaging in the retail space. In terms of cost, clarity and overall function, it is very comparable to our previous bottle.

 

Side by side comparison shows the new custom, bio-based bottled on the Left along with the previous stock bottle.

 

What was changed on the label?

Harris: The shape of the label changed to an oval shape with the new bottle design. The only additional label changes are the call-out boxes on the front and back as mentioned above.

 

What was the biggest challenge to the conversion?

Harris: The biggest challenge was ensuring that our current bottle and corresponding case specifications could be carried over into the new bottle design. We wanted to minimize any potential modifications to our packaging lines.

 

Were there any positive surprises in the changeover?

Harris: We were happy that the transition was pretty seamless on our packaging lines. As expected with bottle design work, there were some minor tweaks to be made, but we were glad to be able to maintain our current line speeds and changeover durations.

 

Will this bottle be considered for other products?

Harris: The bottle design would be different, but yes, we hope to use this new PET bottle for our other liquid sweeteners.

 

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