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Currently only 2% of alcoholic drinks are packed in PET but Euromonitor expects cost and environmental considerations to drive that figure up over the next few years, according to BeverageDaily.com.

The market researcher predicts that PET will take a bigger chunk of the market, supported by compounded annual growth rate of more than 5% from 2009 to 2014.

Marlous Kuiper, head of alcohol research at Euromonitor, was quoted saying that wine was one area where PET is making inroads.

In the wine industry, glass bottles are being reduced in weight and products being moved into PET, bag-in-box and liquid cartons to help reduce manufacturing and energy costs, he said.

Giving examples of the increased popularity of PET in the wine market, Euromonitor said that in 2010 the Swedish state alcohol monopoly, Systembolaget, began to stock red, white and rosé wine in a 750ml PET bottle.

And in the UK, the supermarkets Marks & Spencer and Waitrose began packing their private label wines in 250ml and 750ml PET bottles respectively.

The positive sentiment surrounding PET and wine is confirmed by APPE – the biggest producer of PET bottles in Europe. The company said at the tail end of 2010 that it had increased its production of PET wine bottles 45% compared to 2009.

APPE said the UK is the ‘motor’ for growth in Europe while the biggest international buyer is Japan. The light weight of PET makes it particularly suited to export markets like Japan.

Euromonitor added that besides the environmental and cost argument for PET, the new bottles made from the plastic are now almost indistinguishable at a distance from those packed in glass.

The market research company added that the new bottles could compete in the high-end segment as they have a very similar look – only the feel and handling are different.

More at BeverageDaily.com

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