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Switch to PET brings icy look

United Distillers & Vintners recently replaced glass with polyethylene terephthalate for 200-mL (6.76-oz) bottles of its TGI Friday’s® On the Rocks line of ready-to-drink cocktails. The custom bottles are injection/stretch blow molded by Schmalbach-Lubeca.
FILED IN:  Package design  > Structural

“We wanted to enhance convenience and portability by going to PET” says Christina Catalano packaging design director at the Stamford CT spirits company. “Our goal was to achieve a proprietary and refreshing look.”

While the 200-mL glass container being replaced was round with vertical fluting the new plastic container has a surface that resembles ice cubes. Schmalbach (Manchester MI) hand etched each mold surface because the mold machining process couldn’t achieve such a complex and random surface. Hand etching was followed by a gentle form of sand blasting called “bead blasting” to smooth out the lines in between the cuts.

The PET bottle preform is relatively thick and weighs 30 g so the finished bottle retains a solid glass-like feel. The preform also has a notch where the sidewall meets the base. When the bottle is blown this notch becomes an orienting feature that permits a labeler to glue-apply front back and neck labels correctly.

Cost of the new container says UDV’s Dick Blanchard director of brand change and technical support is “slightly lower” than the cost of its glass predecessor.

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