Edible oil in PET bottles is slowly gaining acceptance in India over traditional pouches and tins. According to Emami, which is witnessing a healthy growth in the PET segment, the demand for PET is growing at 15% per year versus a 10% growth registered by pouches.
Like Emami, other brands such as Sundrop, Sunrise, Fortune and Dhara are also aggressively marketing their edible oil in 1 liter and 20 liter PET bottles, specifically targeting supermarket customers.
Manjushree Technopack, India’s leading packaging company, observes that 1 liter edible oil PET bottles are highly popular among Indian consumers, followed by 5 liter and 500 ml PET bottles. So much so that Emami’s requirement for PET bottles has gone up by 40% in the last year. This clearly demonstrates the demand for PET packaging in the edible oil segment. The popular small sizes of PET bottles range from 200 ml, 500 ml to 1 leter. The growth has also been phenomenal. While the 1 liter bottle is registering a 13-15% growth, the 500 ml category is seeing a growth to the tune of 15-18%. The combined growth of all three PET categories stands at about 14-15%. Pouches, on other hand, in the small size category, are not growing more than 13%. In fact, 200 ml pouches have witnessed less than 13% growth.
Presently, PET packaging of edible oil stands at 700,000 tons. With more brands shifting to PET, Manjushree expects to grow at 30-40% from its current growth rate of 25% in the edible oil segment. Currently, the segment contributes up to 10% of the company’s total revenue.
Manjushree works with some of the biggest names in the edible oil segment, including Emami, Adani, Rithika, Cargill, Karnataka Oil Federation, and Gemini among others. As a packaging partner Manjushree is credited with several innovations in edible oil packaging. A recent development featured a special patented short neck preform and cap that makes bottles 15% lighter and ensures cost optimization. Manjushree is also the only player to produce 2 liter edible oil bottles in India, which come with an external handle for easy pouring.
Evolving consumer preference
Vimal Kedia, managing director, Manjushree Technopack spoke with Packaging South Asia on the developments happening in the edible oil packaging, especially in the PET bottles.
“PET bottles have been popular in the last five years because of evolving consumer preferences, growth of retail industry, eco-friendly nature of PET bottles and government regulations. In the coming years, multilayer pouches are likely to be banned due to problems in the recycling streams. More and more brands in this segment are investing in PET packaging since it is convenient, easy to use and can be recycled,” says Kedia.
The edible oil market in India is estimated at 7.66 million tons, according to GGN International, one of India’s largest research firms. Presently, PET packaging of edible oil stands at 700,000 tons; the most popular format is 1 liter, followed by 1000 ml, 500 ml and then 200 ml. The market is dominated by companies like Adani Wilmar, Ruchi Soya, Marico, Emami and other national and regional players. Within the PET packaging segment, the 1 liter PET bottle has 60% market share; 500 ml has 30% and 200 ml 10% the market for bulk packs of 5 liter is primarily in HDPE and is mainly for institutional or bulk requirements.
India being a highly price-sensitive market, the raw material cost is an important factor for brand owners. The difference between the cost of a PET bottle and a pouch is almost 2-3 times with PET bottles coming at a higher cost. This is due to a different production process and material used for production of the bottles.
“One of the reasons why it is very difficult for customers to move out from pouches is the price factor. However, in the recent past, we have seen exponential growth of people moving form pouch to PET,” argues Kedia.
Some of the factors leading to a shift are good aesthetics and assurance of good quality, among others.
1 litre edible oil bottle sample by Manjushree Technopack
Manjushree working with major brand owners
In the edible oil segment, Manjushree is working with some of the biggest brands in India. The company has partnered many oil brands in the country including Adani, Emami, Mother Dairy and other brands who are enjoying the benefits of its low weight patented preforms and caps. “We have also offering a range of CTC preforms and caps which are very popular in the edible oil segment,” shares Kedia.
All the aforementioned brands are using special patented short neck preforms and caps by Manjushree. The super-short neck preform in 26 mm, which can be used in a 1 liter pack can weigh as less as 18 g. The closure for this is a single piece compression molded cap which can bring about substantial savings in weight of both preform and caps. The design of the neck, which is suitable for various shapes and designs of bottles of 200 ml, 500 ml and 1 liter capacity, was a result of “Manjushree’s strong focus on research and development—as well as fire in the belly for innovation and cost consciousness! Our capacity for production is 300 million super-short neck preforms and caps, in high-speed ASB and Husky systems,” Kedia says.
Trends in edible oil packaging
With the advent of latest technology and use of high standard materials, packaging of edible oil has slowly shifted from tin to flexible pouches and PET bottles. Brands want to stand out with their packaging and want to have a strong visual appeal on retail shelves. They look for features like easy grip, easy dispensing and FMOT (First Moment of Truth) in all their design choices.
“The versatile nature of PET enables it to be flexible for all kinds of designs and withstand various types of climatic conditions. Manjushree has developed special 2 liter packaging with a 36 mm CTC neck and very precisely fitted polypropylene handle, for easy dispensing. Marketing and positioning by brand players will play a critical role in this pack size,” Kedia concludes.