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SPAR Austria pioneers circular solutions for beverage packaging

May 7, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: Environment, Responsible retailing, Sourcing

Five best selling beverages are now available packaged in an environmentally friendly 1l reusable glass bottle under the SPAR brand; soda water, apple juice, orange juice, and for the first time a cola and a herbal soda. Following the high demand for organic farm milk in glass bottles, launched in early March under the SPAR Natur*Pur range, these beverages, bottled by Egger Beverages in Lower Austria, have been introduced in line with SPAR Austria’s push for a more circular economy.

Mix & match

“SPAR is a trendsetter when it comes to reusable products with the largest reusable offer in the area of ​​food retailing. We will continue to hold this position, especially with SPAR Cola and SPAR herbal soda as nationwide these two classic soft drinks are only available at SPAR in a large 1l reusable glass bottle,” said Dr. Gerhard Drexel, CEO SPAR Austria.

Thanks to the standard bottle that is common to all five beverages and an equally uniform beverage crate, consumers can combine beverages in a practical six-pack to suit their needs. The empty bottles and boxes can be returned using any empties machines. The deposit is €0.29 per bottle and €3 for the box.

Sugar reduction

SPAR also remains true to its sustainability agenda with just 9.5 grams of sugar per 100 ml, meaning the new SPAR Cola contains 10% less sugar than many A-brands. The apples for the SPAR apple juice come from local apple growers while the oranges for the SPAR orange juice are harvested as close as possible – in Spain.

Reusable bottles

Greenpeace Managing Director Alexander Egit said: “With reusable packaging, we will shrink the mountains of garbage, prevent waste found in natural areas and end the disposable mentality. According to recent surveys, Austrians desire a wider range of returnable bottles. SPAR Austria already offers the largest range of drinks in reusable bottles among the major retailers. This renewed expansion is very welcome and is the right way.”

High investment

SPAR partner supplier Egger Beverages has invested about €25 million in its bottling plant near St. Pölten and in reusable glass bottles and crates. “As a family business, we think in generations. This investment enables a resource-saving and sustainable offer in the domestic beverage landscape,” said Frank van der Heijden, Managing Director Sales and Marketing. The new glass plant is operated on a 100% climate-neutral basis. Using the latest technology enables 25% less energy and 50% less water to be consumed when compared to conventional production systems.

Increased demand

With increased environmental awareness and a more sensitive handling of plastic, customer buying behaviour is changing for the first time in 30 years. Since 2019, the demand for drinks in reusable containers has been rising, according to Nielsen’s market data.

Source: SPAR Austria

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About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954, but the current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined with other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company.

With licences granted by SPAR International, ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) has developed SPAR in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Northern Italy.