Lynn Sidebottom believes glass is still the number one choice for most
With its health and environmental advantages and its long pedigree, glass is hard to beat as a premium packaging material. Look on any supermarket shelf and you will see a bewildering array of packaging designs, colours, styles and materials. Modern consumers are interested in more than just the quality, taste and health benefits of the food and drink on offer. Their buying decisions are heavily influenced by the packaging too.
A recent survey found that food safety is one of the top three daily worries for Europeans, ranking higher than terrorism, crime and political corruption. The choice of packaging material plays a crucial role in protecting products as it’s in constant contact with the food or drink stored inside. Nearly nine out of 10 European consumers (87%) recommend glass packaging to their friends and family. Glass has been around for thousands of years and it is still the only 100% natural packaging choice. Unlike other materials which can leach harmful chemicals into food and drink, glass is inert, which means that nothing can get into the food or drink except what’s supposed to be there. The same can’t be said, unfortunately, for plastics, card or aluminium. Glass remains the only single layer packaging that does not require additional layers to protect food and drink. What’s more, glass is 100% recyclable and can be endlessly reprocessed with no loss of strength or quality. By recycling more glass, we can conserve non-renewable fossil fuels and reduce the emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere. lending prestige Not only does the glass industry use a lot of recycled raw material, it also creates very little waste.
The amount of waste produced by the industry during manufacturing is extremely low as almost any internally generated cullet (waste glass) is immediately recycled through the furnaces to make new glass bottles and jars. The fact that glass lends prestige to a product and is consistently seen by consumers as a high-quality packaging material is a compelling reason why brands choose it for their products. Our glass bottles and jars are used by a wide range of niche brands, from brewers Robinsons and Thornbridge to cider makers Aspall and speciality food producers English Provender and Atkins & Potts. Glass also offers a nostalgic appeal which is lacking in other packaging materials such as plastic. Surveys show time and time again that consumers love glass bottles and jars and that glass packaging elicits an emotional response from them. Glass containers have a long history but designers working in the industry are always trying to come up with new ideas to help products stand out and catch the eye of discerning consumers. A popular technique at present is embossing – adding raised words, logos or designs to the glass itself.
The vast majority of the bespoke designs we are currently producing for customers feature embossing, and we have invested heavily in this part of our operation to ensure that we are ahead of the field when it comes to the quality and creativity of our embossing. The retail and packaging sectors have always been extremely competitive, and as we look into the future it seems inevitable that this competition will only become more fierce as brands compete for attention on supermarket shelves. What’s certain is that glass is viewed by consumers as a premium, trusted material and we see no reason why that will change any time soon.