rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Beer makers look to save environment

Beer makers look to save environment

Last updated on: June 8, 2011 13:01 IST

Beer makers look to save environment

     Next

Next
Viveat Susan Pinto in Mumbai

PET bottles of soft drinks from PepsiCo and Coke have caught the imagination of Indian consumers and expanded the market.

Now, beer manufacturers are joining the party.

PET bottles can be recycled and so reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.

SABMiller India has launched Haywards 5000 and Knockout beer brands in one-litre PET packs in Maharashtra on a trial basis.

It plans to expand throughout the country.

Click NEXT to read further. . .

Image: People toast with beer.
Photographs: Michaela Rehle/Reuters
     Next

Beer makers look to save environment

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Priced at an attractive Rs 140 per pack, the company is expected to add more brands, including Foster's, some months down the line.

SabMiller India's head of sales, T J Venkateshwaran, says he is hopeful the bottles will generate good volumes.

"We believe it has the potential to be 20 per cent of our mix in the medium term and 30 per cent in the long term," he says.

The bottles will mention 'best used within 45 days from the date of manufacture.' The beverage in glass bottles can be consumed within six months of the manufacturing date.

SABMiller is the number two beer manufacturer in India after United Breweries.

Click NEXT to read further. . .



Prev     Next

Beer makers look to save environment

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

UB sells over 110 million cases a year, while SABMiller's sales are 55 million cases. The market size is 250 million cases.

Venkateshwaran says the initial response has been encouraging. "Consumers have been quick to try the new bottles," he says.

Rival UB is closely watching SABMiller's moves. Shekhar Ramamurthy, deputy president, UB Group, said, "We are evaluating the prospect of selling beer in PET bottles. But there are limitations.

"The reason PET is not common is because it permits ingress of oxygen and egress of carbon dioxide. Beer does not stay stable in this format."

Click NEXT to read further. . .



Prev     Next

Beer makers look to save environment

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

This is backed by executives at the country's number three beer maker, Mount Shivalik, which makes the Thunderbolt brand (sales of eight million cases), popular in Punjab and Haryana.

"We are studying if beer can be bottled optimally in PET bottles without marring the consumer experience. That is the key," said an executive who declined to be quoted.

SABMiller says it has worked round these issues. 

"We have a global experience of selling beer in PET bottles. We brought that experience to India," says Venkateshwaran.

Click NEXT to read further. . .



Prev     Next

Beer makers look to save environment

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Globally, beer in PET bottles is popular in Russia and Eastern Europe. SAB Miller sells brands such as Miller Genuine Draft, Pilsner Urquell, Grolsch and Zolotaya Bochka in these markets.

While Venkateshwaran admits that the technology to bottle beer in PET is expensive as it is difficult to find the right grade of plastic that can hold the beverage without destabilising it, the per-ml cost of PET is less.

"If a one-litre PET bottle in Maharashtra costs Rs 140, an equivalent glass bottle will cost Rs 146, while a can will cost Rs 170," he says.

Click NEXT to read further. . .



Prev     Next

Beer makers look to save environment

Prev     More
Prev

More

A standard 650-ml beer glass bottle costs Rs 95 in Maharashtra, while a 500-ml can costs Rs 85.

Beer manufacturers typically tie up with suppliers for pre-forms, whether glass, can or PET, and later blow, pack, cap and label them.

Depending on the pre-form used and the amount required, the cost may escalate, say pre-form suppliers.

"A one tonne pre-form of say glass or PET could cost Rs 30 lakh (Rs 3 million) while 25 tonnes could cost Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million)," said a Bengaluru-based pre-form supplier.

"Typically, the larger the pack size, the more affordable it is for the end-consumer. Smaller PET packs can be prohibitive in their price," he said.



Prev     More
Source: