B.L. Agro has been a true pioneer in India in selecting PET as a material of choice. They have bridged disruptive design innovations with improved consumer experience thanks to bottles with handles that offer full transparency for their authentic, tasty and healthy products – “pure perfection” in line with the company motto. After the successive installation of three lines between 2014 and 2019, producing PET bottles from 200 ml to 5 L, the company’s continued trust in PET and Sidel has led to growing market shares in a dynamic region, earning the leading Indian player multiple packaging awards.
The consumption per capita of edible oil in India lies around 17 kilos per year and is currently experiencing a growth of around 8% annually. Previously, the majority of edible oils in the country were packaged in 15 kilo metallic cans, while now this entire segment is shifting towards consumer packs.
The first packaging that replaced the cans was the poly pouch, which accounted for around 80% to 85% of the volumes at one point. Then, the category experienced a move to rigid packaging, specifically to PET bottles.
Said Ashish Khandelwal, Executive Director of B.L. Agro: “The market is concerned about the environmental characteristics of the poly pouches because they are not recycling-friendly.”
PET offers a number of advantages, given that it is bottle-to-bottle recyclable, offering light-weighting opportunities that significantly reduce the amount of PET resin used and it allows for great design flexibility, transparency, affordability and especially absolute food safety.
The handle insertion, the orientation of the bottle for the insertion itself, and the definition of the labelling area on the bottle were all issues that the Indian player and Sidel had to solve hand in hand to powerfully differentiate the B.L. Agro packaging options on the retailer shelves. “Together, we were able to take this innovative concept, which offers a real marketing benefit and – via prototyping and extensive testing – turn it into an industrial reality within an operating packaging production line,” says Giulio Bellanti, Sidel Business Development Director for Edible Oil in Asia, Oceania and Africa.
Added Khandelwal: “We have been very impressed by Sidel’s overall packaging expertise. Additionally, in the second step, we were sure that the proposed designs would also be executed well when it came to blowing the bottles. After all, this is what Sidel is internationally known for. In the end, we achieved an extremely precise blowing combined with exact notch positioning and formations.”
Besides leveraging the marketing advantage and the brand differentiation, the edible oil company also wanted to significantly lightweight its PET bottles. “Usually, a 2 L bottle with a handle weighs around 70 g. By carefully reviewing the container design, we achieved a weight reduction of approximately 21% and we are processing a 55 g bottle today.
The successive light-weighting steps have always been done without compromising the bottle’s top load characteristics and other mechanical requirements for transportation and transit. The bottle’s stability and resistance throughout the supply chain have been tested and validated by Sidel’s packaging experts,” explains Mr Khandelwal. The result is an optimised large format bottle that facilitates the handling, while fully protecting the product inside – a key factor for B.L. Agro’s high quality standards.
Similarly to the 2L bottle, the 5L format was also light-weighted – with a reduction from 130g to 110g, excluding the handle. These weight reductions have a substantial sustainability impact and translate to more than 650 tons of PET saved per year. These developments also clearly mark significant savings in terms of material costs in a highly competitive edible oil market, particularly in India.
Both bottle formats were successfully introduced to the market and have received national and international recognition by winning the India Star Packaging Award as well as the Asia Star Packaging Award. “We are very pleased with Sidel’s work. Our PET bottles set themselves apart on the shelves and enable an innovative and enjoyable consumer experience around our high-quality, healthy oil,” concludes Mr Khandelwal. For more visit sidel.com
Source: SidelAuthor: Cox