ITALY – Pepsi is trialling an aluminium bottle for its Pepsi Twist in Italy – the first launch using a carbonated soft drink (CSD).
The FUSION aluminium bottles, developed by Rexam, was introduced to the Italian market in January/February, and marketed by Pepsi as “a unique design in aluminium, with a resealable screwtop, to quench your thirst and take with you wherever you want.”
Rexam Beverage Can Europe’s marketing manager, new product development, Kym Hamer, said, “Pepsi has just launched this year –on trial basis – Pepsi Twist in Italy, and I believe they are testing the waters with 330ml FUSION bottle with a ROPP (roll-on pilfer proof, screw-cap) closure.”
Hamer believes the striking packaging is a bold way to reinvent classic drinks: “For us it’s really exciting that Pepsi Twist is out on the market –we’re seeing much more promotion about aluminium bottles bringing a premium edge. That’s good for everyone playing in this market and there’s a great opportunity for brands in this respect.”
Rexam’s 100% recyclable FUSION aluminium bottle is lightweight and shatterproof, and provides 360° branding space. This year alone, Hamer said Rexam has seen “quite a jump” in enquires across Europe, and not just for new beer and energy drink launches.
“It tends to be brands that see how FUSION can add value to a current product – so not necessarily for new beer and energy new launches – putting the product into different premium channels that produce higher margins,” she explained.
Hamer noted that most FUSION sales to date incorporated with the ROPP closure despite a slight price increase due to higher cap costs and subsequent effects on bottle design, with sizes fairly evenly split between the 250ml and 330ml formats.
“Both customers and consumers tell us that the resealability option is really attractive, and brand want to offer that – especially since aluminium bottles are not competing with cans but with plastic and glass bottles, Tetra Pak, the whole beverage landscape.”
Hamer expressed confidence that the FUSION bottles will become more popular and common in time: “As some of the brans start to adopt it as part of their range, I don’t see any reason why you won’t start to see – in a few years’ time – FUSION bottles in the multiples.
“I think at the moment, the issue for metal bottles is that they’re quite promotional. They tend to be high end done for promotional reasons only, and are also difficult to manage through a multiple distribution chain,” she noted.
“But a multiple is not just a multiple, so there’s no reason why we couldn’t see FUSION on the shelf there, and I don’t see that distracting from its premium value at all.”