Interbrew has introduced its PET beer packaging, Q-Pack, on the South Korean market for its local brand OB, a move that is part of an global expansion for its PET packaging segment, particularly in emerging markets.
The brewer says that the roll-out of the Q-Pack technology, which is a monolayer barrier enhanced PET, is part of its commitment to be at the forefront of worldwide innovation, particularly in the field of packaging. The first Q-Pack bottle was launched nine months ago in Russia and has been introduced gradually in markets with increasing consumer demand for beer in PET bottles.
OB in Q-Pack is Interbrew's first PET innovation launch in the Asia Pacific Zone and makes it the first brewer to introduce plastic packaging for beer in South Korea. In the first half of the year, the Q-Pack technology was introduced in Russia as Pivopack with what the company reports as "tremendous success". As consumer demand for PET has grown, the brewer has introduced local beers in Q-Pack technology in Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia and thereby taken the lead in the PET segment of the Central European beer market.
Q-Pack is based on a cost-optimised, single layer barrier enhanced resin technology. Its barrier properties are said to offer protection against oxygen and light, whilst keeping the carbonation inside the bottle - performance properties that have allowed Interbrew to guarantee the freshness and quality of the beer.
Interbrew has conducted a series of trials and tests which prove that Q-Pack provides equal protection as glass bottles in terms of the freshness, quality and superior taste of the beer. The company says that these findings have been confirmed by the German Packaging Institute which has certified the equal performance of beer in Q-Pack versus glass.
"The Asia Pacific countries in which Interbrew has operations, will drive and accelerate innovative tools to meet local convenience needs." said Patrice Thys, president of the Interbrew Asia Pacific Zone. "It is the commitment of the Zone to develop innovation projects which have been a success in other geographies and meet the local demands."
"The increasing need of the Korean consumers for convenience in beer packaging is met by the introduction of the OB brand in 1.6l Q-Pack bottles." said Mike Glover, chief executive officer Oriental Brewery, the subsidiary of Interbrew in South Korea. The development of this innovative PET technology is the result of intensive co-operation between M&G (Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi), a leading PET polymer and preform manufacturer, and Interbrew.
"The roll-out of the monolayer packaging platform for beer is continuing and we and Interbrew are showing that this technology is leveraging different markets around the world." says Marco Ghisolfi, CEO and shareholder in M&G. "I am looking forward to the future and what this promising technology will bring for our partnership with Interbrew".
Interbrew is based in Brussels, Belgium, and is one of the oldest beer companies in the world. Its aim is to build strong local platforms in the major beer markets of the world. It currently has a portfolio of more than 200 brands, runs operations in 21 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific and has strategic minority stakes in various brewers around the globe. In 2002 it realised a net turnover of close to €7 billion.