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[GreenYes] Plastic Beer Bottles
    According to data which we have gotten, the growth in plastic beer
bottles has slowed dramatically.   Plastic beer bottles were introduced by
Miller Brewing from an bottle manufactured by Continental PET Technologies
in November 1998.

    In 1999, there were 35 million units sold and in 2000, 145 million units
. For 2001, the original estimates had projected 500 million units (a 244%
increase). But recent indicators suggest that the actual total will be
between 175-200 million. Using 188 million as the midpoint of that range,
the revised growth rate is only 27%.

    It is thought that the reason why plastic beer bottles have not taken
off in the market is the premium price for the package, estimated variously
as between 40%-100% more than an equivalent glass bottle.  Plastic beer
bottles seem to be only moving in limited venues like sports stadiums where
fans are accustomed to not showing sticker shock paying several dollars for
a beer (and besides no one offers them a choice). In a supermarket, however,
consumers seem to not be willing to pay a premium to buy beer in plastic,
and, after the introductory sales period when Miller absorbed that premium,
sales appear to have stalled out.

    However, this does not mean that there will not be widespread beer in
plastic in the future. It just suggests that the rapid growth will not occur
until vendors find a cheaper way of producing a barrier-enhanced plastic
package at substantially lower cost. With the ingenuity of the packaging
industry,  I would expect that it is only a matter of time.

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 231-1100
Fax (608) 233-0011

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