New Bottle Design for SEAB France

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New Bottle Design for SEAB France

February 27
11:34 2013
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New Bottle Design by Sidel brings a number of firsts to the water market 

Working with the Société des Eaux d’Aix-les-Bains (SEAB) in France, Sidel, the leading global provider of PET solutions for liquid packaging, designed and produced a stylish new triangular bottle in PET for SEAB’s still water product.  The distinctive bottle represents several firsts in water bottle design. It is currently the only PET triangular bottle in this market and the only PET bottle for mineral water without a conventional label. In fact, the product statutory information engraved by laser machine directly into the mold, ensured such information being reproduced with constant quality on the bottle.

Located in Gresy-sur-Aix in Savoy, at the foot of the French Alps, and part of the Industrial Division of the Mousquetaires Group, SEAB collects water drawn from the natural environment of two springs, deep in the rocks of Aix-les-Bains, where premium mineral and spring water are produced.   The balanced waters contain low concentration mineralized versions of essential calcium and magnesium – and no nitrates.

Exploring the possibility of distributing its Aix-Les-Bains water product in PET bottles within the French hospitality sector (cafes, restaurants and hotels) – in which mineral water is traditionally served in glass bottles and carafes – was a great opportunity for SEAB to truly differentiate their product and provide its customers with something unique and exclusive.  Indeed, 12 percent of mineral water volumes are sold in cafes, restaurants and hotels: 47 percent of which is still water and 53 percent sparkling water.  Moreover, with regard to table service restaurants, water carafe consumption accounts for two thirds of orders from customers. When SEAB decided it wanted to gain a share of the growing market for water in this sector, they turned to Sidel, as the existing production line was already equipped with a Sidel Combi machine.

Eye-catching design with practical considerations

When discussions started between the two parties, it was all about managing the entire project, including the design and creation of the new packaging for the premium still water, as well as the conversion of the existing line.  According to the design brief, the new 0.75 L bottle in PET was to be triangular in shape to differentiate it from other established brands and simple in appearance to convey the concepts of quality and purity.  Also included in the brief was the requirement for minimalist aesthetics to be applied to the new bottle, designed entirely by the Sidel team, particularly in light of the need to overcome the custom within restaurants and hotels of using only glass containers. With its individual shape and its exclusive appearance showing only the engraved logo of Aix-les-Bains and the legally required information, the bottle fulfilled all of SEAB’s requirements.

Sidel has delivered a bottle that is appealing and minimal in its design simplicity as well as, very importantly, being easy to handle, despite its unusual shape.  The proportion of the height of the bottle to the area of the base turned out to be the main technical challenge of the whole project.

“The bottom of the bottle is extremely small compared to its body.  So we needed to stabilize the bottle on this confined area,” explained Sébastien Sergues, Packaging & Tooling Sales Manager at Sidel. “Today, based on the feedback SEAB has received so far specifically from the Poivre Rouge restaurant chain, the company is convinced that it has made the right choices as the innovative, unique design is stylish, yet eye-catching, practical and functional.”

Line conversion ensuring time-to-market

Through its expertise and by collaborating closely with SEAB, Sidel was able to convert the whole production line without having to modify any of the installed equipment, simply adapting certain package-dependent parts to accommodate the new shapes and sizes, instead.  The line is able to blow-mold the bottles, fill and cap them in a single, integrated system that now handles two distinctly different products: the previous commercial mineral water in 0.5,1,1.5 and 2 litre sizes as well as the new 0.75 L triangular format for the premium catering sector.  The modified line was in full production by the end of October 2012, when the new product was unveiled to its intended market.

“Our objective was to ensure the promotion of the Aix-les-Bains brand image.  We needed to bring different and innovative products to consumers within the hospitality sector.  In addition, we needed to develop a competitive advantage through packaging which was more respectful of the environment”, said Philippe Germaneau, General Manager SEAB. “When it comes to Sidel, we really appreciated the strong commitment and interest from the company’s team, right from the start of talks we had over a year ago.  Sidel’s packaging design and process expertise was vital for us to produce such a successful end-result.”

The new size, shape and design of the PET bottle are the first steps towards an intended increase in output from Aix-les-Bains.  In future, SEAB intends to expand its activities, concentrating on the catering sector and focusing on foreign business in Asia and South America.  With its impressive production facility, where around 25,000 bottles can be filled within one hour, the company is well prepared to meet the demand.   Philippe Germaneau said: “I am optimistic that the new design of our bottles – along with our strategic partnership with the leading international French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre, who was born locally – will help us reach our goal of extending our international market position.  Our experience, knowledge and the latest in machinery now give us the possibility for especially efficient and sustainable production.”

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