Diageo announces paper-based bottle trial for Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur

Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky and Guinness, has declared new plans to trial paper-based packaging for Baileys, the Original Irish Cream Liqueur.

In collaboration with PA Consulting, as part of the Bottle Collective with PA and PulPac, Diageo is trialing a Dry Molded Fiber bottle of 90% paper with a thin plastic liner and a foil seal.

The bottle is developed for recycling in standard paper streams and does not need the consumer to split the plastic liner from the paper bottle when disposing. The 2,000-bottle trial with consumers will be on Baileys, the Original Irish Cream Liqueur, mini format (80ml).

Actual Trial with customer experience

This is Diageo’s first consumer-facing trial with paper-based bottles. It will experiment with how the bottles travel from the filling site in Ireland to Barcelona, as well as how customers interact with the material and understand the sustainability credentials of the paper bottle.

Ewan Andrew, President of Global Supply Chain & Procurement and Chief Sustainability Officer, Diageo commented: “When it comes to our packaging, we’re taking an approach of progress over perfection, knowing our packaging will need to evolve along with consumer needs and technological advancements. The consumer is becoming more sustainability savvy, and we believe we can meet that need by using our design and innovation to bring premium products and more sustainable solutions together.”

Regarding beverages, 68% of consumers like to buy more sustainably, but only 12% do so due to barriers, including cost, lack of availability, and confusion about what is on offer.

Diageo is working to complete this ‘say-do’ gap for consumers by creating more sustainable and desirable products through innovation and marketing proposals to assist consumers in understanding the sustainability credentials of the products, including the materials used.

To support this, Diageo has developed and rolled out frameworks across the organization, including an environmental CLAIMS checklist based on the CMA guidelines and LCA assessment tools, ensuring that science, substantiation, and creativity are used to communicate clearly to consumers.

Jamie Stone, Design and Innovation Expert at PA said: “We are delighted that the Diageo Baileys Minis are now hitting the consumer market. Dry molded fiber bottles are a huge step forward, setting new standards for more sustainable packaging. But this is only the beginning. PulPac’s dry molded fiber technology has immense potential: not only is it water-saving, energy-efficient, and recyclable, but it is also viable at commercial manufacturing speeds and scale. Working with Diageo and other organizations through our Bottle and Blister Pack Collectives has enabled us to pool resources and dramatically accelerate the time to market for this important innovation.”

Diageo is digging paper formats across its more comprehensive portfolio. The company stays a committed member of the Pulpex consortium and resumes to develop and internally test its concept of a Johnnie Walker paper-based bottle, which is still in the development phase, along with other paper-based bottle concepts.

Alongside this, Diageo is developing a Diageo-designed, spiral-wound paper-based bottle with Don Papa, the super-premium Filipino rum brand.

The bottle is in feasibility testing and is expected to be 90% paper-based. The bottle is designed to remove the cardboard gift box around the bottle to give the illusion of a gift box, which is, in fact, the whole bottle. This follows Diageo’s announcement in 2022 to start a program to remove the cardboard gift boxes in its premium scotch portfolio to reduce excess packaging, which is being rolled out in a phased approach over the coming years.

Diageo is also looking at other packaging formats to address its sustainability goals. Through Diageo Sustainable Solutions, Diageo is trialing and lightweighting its glass bottles using a novel coating developed by EXXERGY. Following a successful first stage, Diageo has invested in the second round of lab testing and will work with supply chain partners Ardagh and Dassault Systemes to complete this.

In March, Diageo announced the trial of 30,000 bottles of Baileys in an aluminum format across selected European airports (Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt), with an anticipated 44% reduction in carbon versus the current glass bottle.

The trials of the new packaging formats support Diageo’s broader 10-year ESG action plan, ‘Society 2030: Spirit of Progress’. Diageo’s packaging contributes one-third to its total Scope 3 carbon footprint, and the innovative new options contribute towards reducing this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *