Foodservice Footprint Aldi-flat-rPET-bottles Interest in flat bottled wines bubbles up Drinks Sector News Foodservice News and Information  news-email email-news

Interest in flat bottled wines bubbles up

Food brands often want to switch away from plastic packaging but in the drinks sector plastic is increasingly seen in a different light. 

Discounter Aldi has become the latest convert to selling wine in ‘flat’ bottles made from recycled PET (rPET).

The bottles are “fully recyclable” and designed to easily stack on shelves while “optimising storage space”. The new bottles weigh 63g – making them nearly seven times lighter than a standard glass bottle, said Aldi in a statement; they are also “completely shatterproof”. 

The glass bottle tends to be the largest contributor to a wine’s carbon footprint. According to Packamama, the company making Aldi’s bottles, PET beats glass on a life cycle assessment, while rPET beats PET.

Its website FAQ states: virgin PET outperforms glass by producing 77% fewer greenhouse emissions and using 59% less energy to produce (source: Franklin Associates); and recycled PET outperforms virgin PET by producing approximately 70% fewer emissions and uses 90% less energy (sources: University of Hull and CCEPAPRVeolia).

“For a product like wine, which often travels vast distances across the world, savings made to carbon emissions by targeting this carbon footprint hotspot with lighter and more energy-efficient packaging, is significant,” said Packamama.

Aldi said making the bottles lighter also makes them easier for customers to carry and they’re also more convenient to stack and store.

Flat rPET bottles have been around in UK supermarkets since 2020, when Accolade Wines introduced them for its Banrock Station brand. It is also available in Australia and, since August, the Netherlands too.

The Wine Society recently ran a trial with rPET bottles and bag-in-a-box options. The Society found 72% of its customers were satisfied with the quality of the wine from the glass-free format and more than 90% are “likely to repurchase”. Willingness to try other glass-free formats stood at 86%.