Magazine article Marketing

Breaking the Mould

Magazine article Marketing

Breaking the Mould

Article excerpt

The glass industry is keen to break free from traditional packaging with a new emphasis on food products. New technology may be the key, says Louella Miles

Remember those widemouth bottles that Ruddles appeared in back in the early 80s? Hailed as a packaging breakthrough, they took the take home sector by storm.

Then, just as the glass industry was preening itself, the can makers fought back and brought their prices down. In the current trading conditions, the battle between the various packaging media is no less bloody. But glass, at least, won't be caught the same way again.

The major manufacturers have been working on a range of techniques, like "lightweighting" and new finishes, to ensure they retain the marketing edge.

Productivity has increased, with the aptly-named triple-gob technology making possible the production of three bottles simultaneously. And, says Rockware product development manager David Osborne, "We have two things very much in our favour. One is the environmental aspect. Glass is well established in an environmental recovery programme.

"The second is that we don't have to put something inside our bottles to protect the contents."

Growth, believe the manufacturers, will be found in new areas like food. Though the US and the Continent may be the pioneers in adapting glass packaging for alternative uses, UK companies are determined to follow through.

"Take microwaveable foods," says United Glass's marketing manager, John Cobring. "We have not yet explored the possibilities of these products in this country, yet they are available in the US. …

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