McCormick Distilling has converted its Eco Friendly 360 vodka from glass to lightweight PET.
The Weston, Missouri-based distillery partnered with Amcor Rigid Plastics to create the 1.75-L bottle. The bottle reportedly is the first PET bottle in the industry to with a swing-top closure.
According to Vic Morrison, vice president of marketing for McCormick Distilling, the bottle fits in with the spirit’s sustainability message. The stylized bottle mirrors the look and feel of glass, but at 1/10th the weight of the glass, while also being unbreakable and recyclable.
"Lightweight PET not only provided a major savings in terms of freight cost and other supply chain efficiencies, but also gave us the glass-like appearance and the shelf appeal to maintain our original unique design and brand image,” Morrison said.
Adding to the sustainability of the bottle, McCormick selected reusable closures, as well as recycled-paper labels printed with water-based inks. As for the vodka itself, the vodka is distilled with locally sourced grain.
Miles Graybill, Amcor project engineer, said the swing-top closure proved the most challenging aspect of the bottle’s design. The company’s Advanced Engineering team performed high-tech modelling to predict the container’s performance, then conducted a bit of trial and error.
“The neck design was critical as we undertook many iterations and hours of trial and error to adapt the existing closure to PET,” said Graybill.
The design also incorporates a tamper-evident band strip.
The upgraded bottle also took shelf presence into account. The 14-inch bottle height, too tall for most retail setups, was reduced to 13 in. for better shelf access.
Morrison said the company and its customers are pleased with the results.
“Amcor did a great job by delivering a crisp, clean bottle,” Morrison said. “From the feedback we’ve received, consumers have been impressed with its performance and look.”