Page 26 - Packaging News Magazine May-June 2019
P. 26

More than JUST another bottled water
Packaged water brand JUST Water launched officially in Australia in March. PKN was invited exclusively behind the scenes to the packaging facility and to speak with the stakeholders in the project about what makes this water a “better solution”. Lindy Hughson reports.
Andrew Pooch adds that plans are already in place for sourcing additional lines for Slades via Tetra Pak’s global network.
“Apart from retailers, there has also been considerable interest from hotels and airlines, who’d be looking at smaller pack sizes,” Pooch says. “The Tetra Top line can accommo- date a variety of pack sizes.”
Why the excitement over packaged water, you may ask? What is JUST Water? Perhaps the best way to answer the question is to start with what it’s not. It is not, nor does it pur- port to be, the ideal solution to reducing beverage packaging waste. That would surely be to drink tap water – where it’s potable and avail- able – from a reusable vessel. But since bottled water remains in demand, and continues to be purchased in high volumes, finding a better solution to a plastic bottle is a decided step in the right direction.
This is the belief of brand founder and entrepreneur, actor Jaden Smith. As the story goes, Smith’s inspiration for JUST Water struck when he was surfing as a young child and saw plastic bottles polluting the ocean. He says: “I’ve always felt really con- nected to the ocean so when I learnt about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in school, then saw first-hand that there were plastic bottles floating around in the ocean – I knew we could come up with a better option.”
T HE Slades Beverages facility in Victoria is the location of the PKN-JUST Water pow-wow. I’m joined by Andrew Pooch, MD of packaging solutions company Tetra Pak Oceania and George Tan, director of Slades Beverages, co-packer for the product. Dialled in from Los Ange- les, where he’s overseeing the pro- motion of JUST Water at Expo West,
is CEO of JUST Goods, Ira Laufer. There’s a buzz in the room because this project has been many months in the works and is about to hit lift- off. Elsewhere in the facility, the production line is filling and pack- ing bottles on a new Tetra Top dual lane high-hygiene filling line with a capacity of 9000 bottles per hour. On the table in front of us, ‘newly minted’ JUST Water carton bottles
take pride of place.
JUST Water’s entry into the Aus-
tralian market follows the brand’s
rapid growth since it first launched in the US in 2015, then expanded into the UK last year. In Australia, three varieties of JUST will be available: 100 per cent spring water and two JUST Infused options, lemon or berry. The flavour essences are added via Tetra Pak’s innovative Aldose system.
Major supermarket retailer Woolworths and convenience chain 7-Eleven have got behind the brand, with Woolworths rolling out the three variants nationwide in a six-month exclusivity deal, and 7-Eleven stocking the spring water.
Slades director George Tan says having Woolworths as an early adopter immediately lifted the game, and this was compounded by 7-Eleven’s buy-in. “If consumer response matches projections, we’ll be installing a second line soon,” he says, noting that their facilities have room for expansion.
May-June 2019

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