Energy Drink Converts to PET Bottle for Impact, Savings
by David Vaczek
In adopting distinctive new packaging for its Redline energy drink, Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VPX; Davie, FL) realized major savings in reduced inventories and in material and freight costs.
The manufacturer of VPX sports supplements converted from aluminum to PET bottles for its multi-SKU assortment of sports drinks, creating first-of-its-kind packaging in the energy drink category, says Jack Owoc, CEO and chief scientific officer.
VPX replaced printed aluminum bottles with PET containers that are shrink-wrapped with preprinted metallic-style labels at VPX’s production facility.
“The shrink-wrap label is vibrant and is as metallic looking as the aluminum. Plastic also resists denting in our high-speed production of the Redline products,” says Owoc.
VPX requested that the PET package duplicate the design, dimensions, and look of the aluminum bottle originally created by VPX, says Craig Crowe, district manager, Berlin Packaging (Chicago).
“We wanted to make this a heavier-weight container so it [would be] indistinguishable from the aluminum container to the consumer. The container has a lot of strength to it, and enough side-wall integrity, so it won’t panel. We had to build custom preforms and blow cavity molds for the blow molding,” Crowe says.
VPX was able to slash bottle inventories, because it no longer has to stock multiple SKUs of prefinished bottles. The company was forecasting needs based on 20-plus-week lead times for large production runs required by its aluminum container manufacturer. Berlin ships the blank bottles direct with half-day lead times to ensure inventory on hand.
Owoc says that orders for Redline drinks in the new container have expanded “into millions of bottles” since the package launch last year, as consumers have embraced the new packaging.
Price increases for aluminum prompted VPX to embark on the new packaging style.
“By changing the Redline packaging, we have saved millions of dollars. We will be releasing several more Redline products in PET containers in the first quarter of 2007, including Redline Extreme!, which has not even been produced, yet we have huge commitments from vendors awaiting its release,” says Owoc.