There is much industry debate about the best form of packaging for your soft drinks.

In this article we try to highlight the pros and cons of the three main forms of packaging which are currently available – aluminium cans, glass bottles and plastic bottles.

  1. Cans are undoubtedly cheaper to buy than glass bottles (and with marginally cheaper filling costs) however, glass bottles can give a more premium feel to your drinks – especially for the on-trade
  2. Cans and PET are both lighter and therefore will help reduce transport and distribution costs, and therefore better from an environmental perspective
  3. PET still continue to have the poor public perception based on the much covered recent media with regard to pollution of the oceans etc., however using recycled PET is a very good solution
  4. PET and glass bottles both have the advantage of being re-sealable, which is especially relevant for outlets in key transport hubs, festivals etc.
  5. All three packaging types are recyclable. The materials used in glass (silica, sodium carbonate, waste glass and limestone) are reusable and can be used for other purposesg
  6. Cans are better for recycling and won’t end up in landfill sites. Bottles made from plastic are less environmentally friendly due to production and disposal processes. Glass bottles can be easily recycled but can be dangerous if broken (sharp edges)
  7. Taste – there is ongoing research as to whether drinks taste different when served in a can or a glass/PET bottle. Some consumers still feel that the packaging can influence the taste of the drink
  8. Glass is a more inert material than either aluminium or plastic, so it’s less likely to affect the flavour of your drink, although any effect will be minimal
  9. Your tongue is very sensitive to metal. The one time when the product is exposed to the metal itself is when the can’s opened. You put your tongue on a metal can it’s entirely possible, especially people who are sensitive to it, there would be just enough to come off to change the way things tasted on their tongue
  10. AThe ‘pppffttt’ of opening a can is never not satisfying.
  11. Consideration also needs to be given to secondary and tertiary packaging – there are many options to ensure your finished drinks arrives on the shelf in perfect condition, including RPET film, fully enclosed cardboard etc...

The Future

Aluminium bottles (as we have used for TGI Fridays water) offer the best of both worlds, but are still very difficult to source and are currently more expensive than other options. There is no hard and fast rule for selecting the perfect container for your new drink, however when working with Alfresco, we will go through choosing the right container for your drink with you, ensuring you get the desired flavour and the very best packaging for your customers.

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