Brecon Carreg has announced the launch of new, more sustainable, bottles across its small format range of pure and natural mineral water. This represents the final stage of the brand relaunch started in 2013, demonstrating the brand values of a local, Welsh brand, with new packaging which features the Brecon Carreg cottage. The shape and composition of the newly designed bottles better meets consumer needs by for example being more convenient to grasp/drink and by using a better quality sports cap.
In addition the plastic content of the bottles has been reduced by between 18% and 30%, saving 150 tonnes of plastic a year in the process – the weight equivalent of a Blue Whale. The new format bottles for 300ml, 500ml, 750ml and 1L will appear on retail shelves over the next few months, and mark the successful completion of a two year project for the Welsh water brand.
This is the latest in a long line of measures introduced as part of Brecon Carreg’s ongoing commitment to the environment, and was made possible by a £750,000 investment in equipment at the company’s Trap bottling plant by its Belgian parent company, the family owned Spadel Group.
The Company’s General Manager, Franck Lecomte said: “We’re proud that Brecon Carreg still maintains the original values on which it was founded as a true cottage industry in 1978. Sustainability has always been central to our approach and we understand that it is our responsibility to protect the environment that produces our high quality mineral water. This project is a real achievement for our small but dedicated team and huge credit must go to them for their persistence in making this possible.”
The new launch follows a hugely successful year for Brecon Carreg in 2013, which saw the company cement its place as the leading water brand in Wales with the best growth rate on the market, enjoying a 24% increase in value sales and 23% rise in volume sales.
In 2013 more than 33.4 million litres of water went through the factory, with a hot summer contributing to sales of around 47.8 million bottles through a range of retail outlets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrison, Co-op, Waitrose, Lidl and Ocado.
Wales is leading the way in its ambition to become a “one planet nation”, putting sustainable development at the heart of government. As one of the country’s leading brands, and a company that supports this ethos, the launch of Brecon Carreg’s new bottles has received endorsement from First Minister, Carwyn Jones, who was present at the launch. He said: “I’m delighted to see Brecon Carreg making such a significant move to increase its commitment to the environment through launching new, more sustainable, bottles, and becoming the 200th organisation to sign up to the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Development Charter. The company has been a mainstay of Welsh business for more than 30 years, and its success demonstrates the growing appetite for the best that Wales has to offer.”
Reinforcing its commitment to increased sustainability further still, Brecon Carreg has also become the 200th organisation to sign up to the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Development Charter – managed by Cynnal Cymru, joining such companies as Tata Steel, BT and Costain. It is a move that has delighted Peter Davies, Commissioner for Sustainable Futures who said: “I am thrilled to welcome Brecon Carreg as the 200th Charter signatory. To have such a prestigious brand on board highlights how organisations are increasingly working towards a sustainable future in Wales. There is now momentum for creating this positive change and collaboration will be key to our success, with the combined efforts of all organisations, communities and individuals in Wales.
“As the national conversation continues towards creating the Wales we want in 2050, sustainable development is a core principle and ensures that the future generations of Wales have the resources to meet the social, environmental and economic challenges facing Wales.”
Brecon Carreg has achieved the ‘lightweighting’ of its bottles due to a highly complex combination of changes to process, design and raw materials. The new bottle design features a shorter neck, and has achieved major savings in PET and HDPE plastic due to lightweighting of bottles and caps respectively.
The project has been the brainchild of Production Manager Jeff Phillips, who typifies the local workforce that has been central to the success of Brecon Carreg. He said: “This has probably been one of the toughest tests of my career. As a company we’re trying to find new ways of doing things better every day, but the challenge here was to reduce our plastic content without affecting the quality of our product. Two years and many sleepless nights later, I’m pleased and proud that my team has achieved all that was asked of them, whilst at the same time actually managing to enhance the quality of the product.”
The new format Brecon Carreg bottles will appear on shelves in the next few months, and the Company will continue to put consumer needs at the heart of its innovation strategy as it looks at opportunities to expand production levels as and where the market demands. This is likely to include a similar ‘lightweighting’ project for larger format bottles, over the next few years.