Wholesome!, a provider of Fair Trade, Organic, and Non-GMO sugars, agave, honey, molasses, and stevia, says it believes that “life is sweeter when you pour your whole heart into all that you do.” This philosophy, reflected by the heart-shaped “m” in the Wholesome! brand logo, encompasses not only its products, but also its packaging.
“We want to minimize our footprint on the planet whenever possible, and that extends to our packaging,” says Wholesome! New Product Development Manager Lola Soyebo Harris. “We are always looking for ways to ensure we are using the most sustainable packaging options for our products. Keeping ourselves constantly aware of industry trends and packaging innovations in this space ensures we remain true to our sustainability commitment.”
Until recently, the company was using a recyclable, stock PET bottle for its Wholesome! Organic Blue Agave line. But when the opportunity arose to switch to a plant-based bottle, Wholesome! investigated the viability of the material for its packaging. “We wanted to ensure we utilized technology with a proven track record, and it was equally important that the resin was derived from ethanol that came from a reliable, plant-based resource such as sugarcane,” Soyebo Harris says.
In March 2016, Wholesome! introduced its new Green Bottle, a 30% sugarcane-based PET bottle, in 11.75-, 23.5-, and 44-oz sizes, to the trade. As with its previous bottle, the package is 100% recyclable—a top priority for Wholesome!, according to Soyebo Harris. Berlin Packaging supplies the bottle, as well as a 38-400-mm polypropylene flip-top cap.
Says Berlin Packaging Consultant Tara Wolff, “Moving to a plant-based resin reduces the cost of consumption of the petroleum used to make traditional PET plastic, lowers carbon dioxide emissions during PET production, and utilizes a renewable resource. Wholesome! is among the first companies of its size to take advantage of this technology, and it’s not only an ideal fit with their overall corporate vision and values, but it is also a great example for other companies that are concerned about their impact on the planet.”
With the transition, Wholesome! also moved from a stock to a custom bottle, designed by Berlin Packaging’s Studio One Eleven, that incorporates the shape of agave leaves into the neck of the bottle. Soyebo Harris adds that the overall transparent exterior of the bottle also beautifully shows off the amber color of the agave.
A green call-out box on the front label lets consumers know this is a “New Green Bottle,” while a box on the back label reads, “Bottle made from up to 30% plant-based resin.”
According to Soyebo Harris, Wholesome! is working with its resin supplier to understand the full environmental impact of the bottle. As for the cost, she notes that it is comparable with the company’s previous PET package.
Wholesome! Organic Blue Agave will be launched in retail stores nationwide in the new Green Bottle in summer 2016.