O-I finds new way to add value through innovation
Internal embossing technology delivers decorative interest and functional benefits
O-I, the world’s leading manufacturer of glass packaging, has pioneered the development of internal embossing in glass bottles and jars, opening the way both to creative designs and to functional benefits in terms of taste experience and delivery. Using proprietary technology, the new technique enables the inside of the bottle to be decorated in a variety of ways, allowing manufacturers of beers, soft drinks and other products to create custom packaging designs. One of the first examples of this unique innovation is the new “Vortex” bottle commissioned by US brand MillerCoors to package its Miller Lite beer. Featuring specially designed grooves on the inside of the bottle’s neck, the Vortex pattern clearly differentiates the brand in the marketplace both visually and experientially. Consumers have responded enthusiastically to the Vortex bottle and the new brand experience it offers. Demonstrating the significant impact that good packaging design can have on sales performance, sales of Miller Lite have increased by five per cent since the new [355ml] bottle was introduced. According to Pat Moertl, Miller Lite marketing director, “Retailers see how the Vortex bottle differentiates Miller Lite from the competition, and consumers have been attracted to the bottle’s cool design, surprised to see something different in a glass beer bottle.” The bottle has also won the approval of the packaging design industry: the US’s Glass Packaging Institute has given O-I a prestigious 2010 Clear Choice Award in recognition of the Vortex bottle as one of the year’s top 10 package designs. Custom packaging designs for all market segments The Vortex bottle is just one example of how O-I is combining the art of packaging design with the science of glass to create innovative new packaging options that attract consumers and deliver results for customers. O-I has a variety of internally embossed stock patterns available, and can create custom packaging designs to suit any beer, wine, spirits, non-alcoholic beverage or food brand. While external embossing has long been a popular way of communicating premium quality - by using a boldly embossed brandname for example - the one disadvantage is that it restricts the use of labelling and coating. With O-I’s innovative internal embossing technique, it is possible to incorporate a three-dimensional, decorative look, while keeping the exterior surface smooth for easy labelling. As the Vortex bottle demonstrates, internal embossing not only adds an interesting decorative effect, it can also bring a functional benefit that excites and motivates consumers. While the curved channels inside the Vortex bottle help to deliver the fresh taste of Miller Lite, the technology developed lends itself to numerous other uses – such as in the food sector, where internal grooves may assist the pouring of a sauce, for example. Defining the future of glass A company that was founded on innovation – with the introduction of the world’s first automatic bottling machine in 1903 – O-I is committed to investing in innovation and technology in order to develop glass packages that meet the evolving needs of consumers and customers. Globally, the company has tripled the size of its product innovation and R&D teams since 2008 and will invest over $40 million in research and development into how glass is made, melted, formed and decorated by the end of this year. O-I holds more than 1,600 patents worldwide – more than any other glass packaging manufacturer. In addition to internal embossing, recent O-I innovations include its Lean+Green™ range of lightweight packaging, which delivers significant savings in terms of energy use and CO2 emissions. These add to the inherent sustainability of glass packaging – which can be recycled endlessly with no loss of quality - to offer an even more environmentally-friendly packaging choice.