A total of 14 Squeez’r flavor varieties in the PET bottles will reach supermarkets, corner groceries, convenience stores and other retail outlets. The line includes three types of beverages: 100 percent Juices (fresh pressed Apple and fresh squeezed Orange), a number of Healthy Nectar high juice content cocktails, and iced teas. It also might be time for the third generation family-owned company to expand its distribution base.
“Now that we have the new package, we may want to expand distribution into New England and down the Atlantic coast,” said Eric Miller, President of the firm founded by his grandfather in 1937. “The new bottle gives us the opportunity to sell to schools, and promote usage at outdoor venues as well as other opportunities we did not have before.”
Distributor Zuckerman-Honickman, Inc. provides up to 95,040 empty Amcor bottles per truckload to Brooklyn Bottling and then moves the filled product to outlets throughout the area. “With a case weight that is more than 30 percent lighter than glass, we definitely get more on a truck,” said Tom Alderman, National Sales Manager for Zuckerman-Honickman, Inc. “The PET definitely has a better carbon footprint and it avoids breakage issues.”
While Miller said PET advantages such as these impacted Brooklyn Bottling’s decision, one factor in particular ultimately tipped the scales and triggered the change: shelf life.
“Our products are all-natural with either 100 percent or high-juice content, and longevity on the shelf is very important. With the newer, upgraded PET bottle, shelf life will be virtually the same as glass. The new bottle definitely has a high quality look and has a nice hand feel people really like. We also like the PowerFlex label panel. It fits on tight.”
The new Squeez’r package uses Brooklyn Bottling’s own proprietary neck and shoulder design, along with Amcor’s patented panel-less PowerFlex™ bottle technology.
The custom look includes distinctive, vertical diamond shapes encircling the neck and the name embossed on a textured shoulder to instantly identify each Squeez’r beverage.
“This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way for marketers to bring equity from their brand into an advanced, patented package like PowerFlex,” said Rick Rangler, Amcor senior industrial design leader. “Nowadays, the look of the bottle can be as important as the product inside it. There is a lot of value to having a custom package on the shelf. Once it is out there with a generic package, it’s tough to overcome. With this design, Brooklyn Bottling is building unique equity for its Squeez’r brand.”
Achieving the custom Squeez’r look, particularly during a relatively short time frame, called for a full-scale team effort involving Brooklyn Bottling and Amcor Industrial Design as well as Engineering departmental expertise.
“Our industrial design group, particularly Ivan Harris, took a leading role in moving this project along,” said Amcor regional account manager Don Zimmerman. Harris credits fellow designer Greg Hurley with getting the project off to a fast start by working on initial concept renderings. Harris also worked closely with Brooklyn Bottling art director Jay Smallowitz on a number of shoulder and neck design iterations.
“We did realistic, photo like renderings so they could see what the bottle looks like on the shelf,” Harris said. “We also applied textures on the bottle neck within 3-D, to show how they would appear. Then we provided labeled mockups for three finalists, from which the diamond design was selected.”
Amcor project engineer Sameer Satghare said the shoulder part of the PowerFlex container is designed to accommodate a shoulder insert swap. This enables the new package to be uniquely tailored while maintaining the integrity of the overall bottle with its smooth label area. “The cross section at the neck and the parting line is a bit tricky, but it required very little tweaking. We finalized production tooling for this bottle quickly.”
“This exemplifies the kind of start-to-finish combined design and engineering capabilities we can provide customers,” added Rangler. “We can focus on brand equity-building designs that sets a package apart on the shelf, along with the engineering expertise to deliver a production ready package with little added testing, tooling or other preparation.”
Amcor PET Packaging is the leading manufacturer of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic packaging for the global beverage, food and non-food industries with 60 facilities in 12 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, 2008, reported sales revenues of $7.5 billion (U.S.). For more information, visit www.amcor.com.