Manchester, MI – (June 25, 2008) -White Rock Distilleries, Lewiston, ME, commercializes the first opaque black polyethylene terephthalate (PET) liquor bottle. The new custom 1.75-L bottle for the company’s popular Ryan’s Irish Style Cream Liqueur is being supplied by Amcor PET Packaging.
“Creating a black PET bottle presents a unique challenge,” explains Jonathan Jarman, project engineer, Amcor. “The primary issue is that a dark, opaque color absorbs the heat differently than anything else we produce.”
In 2007, White Rock converted its smaller Ryan’s sizes-750ml and 1-L-from light-brown stock glass to proprietary black glass bottles. On the heels of the success of those sizes, the company decided to also create a custom bottle for its 1.75-L size to help propel growth goals.
“We had been using a light-brown stock PET bottle for our 1.75-L size. You could see the cream liqueur through the sidewall. The time had come to extend the redesign to include our largest size. That’s when we decided to invest in custom molds that would come as close as possible to extending the look of our new glass to PET,” explains Marguerite Provandie, associate director of marketing, White Rock Distilleries.
Amcor’s work was cut out for them. In addition to the desired black opaque color, the bottle featured other structural challenges.
“For example, we have a ‘brow’ over the top of the label. It was a challenge to duplicate the glass version’s length and indentation. We also have a crest on the shoulder which had to be tweaked to achieve the desired embossing,” Provandie says.
Several of the processing challenges were solved by developing proprietary heating techniques and also by working closely with the colorant supplier, Colormatrix, Berea, OH.
“In the past, we used to focus on minimizing process adjustments. But Amcor’s culture has evolved into accommodating unique container parameters. Now, when a new project is presented to us, we expect that it is going to be different and that it will challenge our processing approach,” Jarman says.
The bottle label also sports new graphics that were originally developed in 2007 when the proprietary glass bottles were being launched.
“We were looking for more of an upscale look then the previous design. The typeface and imagery we chose combines a traditional Irish look with an ‘old world’ feel,” explains Provandie.
The bottle is topped with a tamper-evident black 33mm polypropylene closure from Berry Plastics.
Since its introduction at the beginning of 2008 to retail shelves, the feedback from distributors, the trade and consumers has been very positive according to Provandie.
“Amcor has been very easy to work with. The company was more than willing to accommodate our requests. The end result is a beautiful bottle that helps us project the desired image for our brand,” Provandie says.
The bottle is produced at Amcor’s Nicholasville, KY state-of-the art facility and filled at White Rock’s Lewiston, ME plant.
White Rock describes Ryan’s Irish Cream (34 proof) as a “luscious combination of fresh cream, rich chocolate, natural vanilla and the finest Imported Irish Whiskey.” The suggested retail price for the 1.75-L PET bottle is $19.99. The brand is available nationally wherever spirit sales are allowed.
White Rock Distilleries is a leading manufacturer and importer of fine spirits and liqueurs. The company operates a state-of-the-art facility on ten acres in Lewiston, Maine. With six bottling lines, more than 150 brands and a capacity in excess of five million cases, the company looks forward to continuing a 67-year track record of success. For more information: www.whiterockdistilleries.com.
Amcor PET Packaging is the leading manufacturer of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic packaging for the global beverage, food and non-food industries, with over 80 manufacturing sites in 19 countries. Its parent company, Amcor Limited, offers a broad range of packaging solutions and ranks as one of the top three packaging companies in the world. Amcor’s extensive operations include 217 plants in 34 countries. It is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, had sales revenues of US$9.0 billion. For further information, visit www.amcor.com.