The new bottle has been described as “the first of its kind in North America”, taking inspiration from emerging markets, where Coca-Cola utilises smaller pack sizes to drive penetration in a pressured category.
Because the small size can affect carbonation during the packaging process, the mini bottle uses a coating called FreshSafe, which increases shelf-life by up to four months. But the packaging is still 100% recyclable, as with other PET plastic containers.
The $14.9 million investment will support an upgrade to production line capabilities at Coca-Cola’s plant in Brampton – a suburb of Toronto – to support production of the mini bottle.
The format will roll out across Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke and Sprite.
“Mini bottle is one of the most exciting innovations we’ve seen in packaging in a long time,” said Coca-Cola Canada president Darlene Nicosia. “We know that people want more drink options and mini bottle is just one way that we’re meeting that desire.
“And it’s not just smaller package sizes; we’re also working to bring more low- and no-calorie drinks to the market to help Canadians choose the package size and sugar content that makes sense for them.”
Coca-Cola Canada has already promised to introduce more than 20 new beverages this year – including more low- and no-calorie drinks, bold flavours and soda water beverages.
The Coca-Cola system worldwide has increased its focus on lower-calorie and lower-sugar options since the sweetener became the object of public scrutiny a couple of years ago; the introduction of a smaller Coke bottle, which allows consumers to enjoy the same products in smaller portion sizes, plays right into that strategy.
Todd Parsons, president and CEO of Coca-Cola Canada Bottling, added: “We are so proud that one of our first announcements as an independent bottling company is that we have invested back in our Brampton facility. Having a local spirit and supporting our communities is very important to us and our aim is to grow our capabilities in Canada, which will in turn grow jobs.”
The investment follows an announcement last spring that Coca-Cola is investing CAD 85 million to build a new plant in Peterborough, Ontario to support production of Fairlife ultra-filtered milk. The new facility is on track to begin operations in spring 2020.
The mini bottle will be available in two packages: a 250ml single-serve bottle, as well as a pack of eight 300ml bottles.