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BW Businessworld

Aiming For Size Zero

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Like some of the products that the Coca-Cola Company and Pepsico sell — zero-calorie colas and diet sodas — they are reducing the amount of plastic in the bottles too. That's environment friendly on the one hand, but also makes commercial sense. And they are not the only ones.

To tackle price wars and commodity price pressures, consumer companies have over a two-year a period, slashed the weight of plastic in PET bottles. India's top beverage companies have on an average reduced the weight of their bottles by 10-12 per cent in across brands, in a process called "light-weighting" globally.

Coca-Cola's one-litre Kinley water bottle now weighs 22 gm (without the water of course), down 10 per cent, from 24 gm. PepsiCo did so on Aquafina (1 litre) by 12 per cent. For every gram reduced, companies effectively save 10 paise.  Both Coke and Pepsi intend to lose more weight in the days ahead. Parle Agro, too, has done likewise. "With PET prices going up, saving on plastic is a prudent cost cutting measure," says Schauna Chauhan, chief executive officer at Parle Agro.

Considering PET bottles have dramatically overtaken glass bottles by accounting for 50-70 per cent of sales, for most beverage companies, the cost saving on such numbers is potentially huge.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 01-08-2011)