New technology allows individualised packaging on a single run

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 3rd October 2012

Four Million uniquely individualised bottles of Absolut Vodka will go on sale this month, made possible with machine modifications by Ardagh Group packaging company, which is claiming ‘packaging history. 

Ardagh Group modified its bottle decorating machinery to produce 4 Million bottles with each bottle having an individual colour coating, pattern and label number. Ardagh Group, under instruction by Pernod Ricard’s Absolut Vodka Company, altered the entire production line to ensure no two bottles were alike.

Jonas Tåhlin, Vice President Global Marketing at The Absolut Company said that Ardagh had incorporated splash guns and colour-generating machines, as well as programming complex coating, pattern and placement algorithms. Mattias Elg, a Quality Management Professor from the Linköping University in Sweden, figured out that Absolut could create 94 quintillion bottles (94 times 10 to the 18th power) before two identical bottles would appear, equalling more than 13 billion identical bottles for each person on earth.

The new technology demonstrates the potential market power of individualised packaging, with the concept of individualised packaging a recent phenomenon. Last year, Coca Cola bottles featured popular names, encouraging consumers to purchase a bottle with their name or that of a friend.

The new development by Ardagh Group of mass-produced packaging with individualisation is a further progression down this  road. The new technology provides new brand marketing opportunities to emphasise the individuality of the consumer experience and is sure to be adopted by other food companies.