India. SABMiller launches beer in PET bottles

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Now, you can carry your beer with you without worrying about them breaking. SABMiller has launched its strong beer brand Haywards 5000 in PET bottles in India, following which many other breweries are actively working on introducing the new packaging material for their beer.

Priced at Rs 120, the 1-litre Haywards 5000 PET bottle has been launched in Nagpur. It will be first made available across markets in Maharashtra before a national level launch. Against the 650 ml glass bottle or metal can, the PET bottle is slightly larger and can be resealed.

“SABMiller has experience with packaging beer in PET bottles in countries like Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Russia, Czech Republic and Ukraine. With the launch of beer in PET bottles, we are catering to the evolving needs of our consumers,” said Sundeep Kumar, director, corporate affairs of SABMiller India. The company also plans to launch other beer brands like Foster’s and Knock Out in PET bottles in future.

Other breweries too have started exploring the new packaging material. Packaging solutions company Manjushree Technopack is working on this with a few breweries, including UB Group.

“Compared to glass bottles, plastic bottle filling lines are expensive. Flash pasteurisation is needed while filling beer in PET bottles. However, as the take-away consumption of beer is increasing rapidly, PET bottles will become a major growth driver,” said Vimal Kedia, managing director, Manjushree Technopack.

According to research agency Datamonitor, by 2013 the Indian beer market is expected to be worth $6.4 billion, a growth of 86.3 per cent over 2008. In terms of volume, the market is expected to grow from 1.3 billion litres in 2008 to 2.1 billion litres in 2013. There is a major shift happening from on-trade consumption to off-trade or take away consumption, says Datamonitor.