After progressively increasing the proportion of recycled glass of its bottles for Rémy Martin VSOP and Cointreau, spirits group Rémy Cointreau is working with glassmaker Verallia to lightweight its product portfolio.
With French glassmaker Verallia, spirits group Rémy Cointreau has made lightweighting its glass offer a priority. Three of the French group's spirits brands now come in lightweighted formats. Mount Gay’s rum bottle has been reduced from 600g to 570g, while that of the Belle de Brillet liqueur now weighs 550g compared to 620g previously. As for St-Remy brandy, the 70cl bottle has decreased in weight from 660g to 645g and the 1-liter weighs in at 755g compared to 790g. These first weight reductions of between 2% and 11% result in a lower carbon footprint at production as well as during transport. Yet, it is no easy task for the glassmaker given the constraints of the material.
"Each lightweighting project is unique and requires the mastery of complex technologies and know-how. The challenge is to lighten, while maintaining a good distribution of glass and safeguarding the bottle's technical and aesthetic properties,” Verallia France explains to Formes de Luxe. "We are seeing increased demand from our customers to work on more weight-optimized bottles. This is in line with our commitment to reduce the average weight of our standard and non-returnable bottles and jars by 3% by 2025 compared to 2019," adds the glassmaker.
Verallia has also progressively increased the percentage of cullet in its furnaces in recent years: Rémy Cointreau’s Rémy Martin VSOP and Cointreau bottles now contain more than two-thirds recycled glass. By 2030, the group is aiming to cut its carbon footprint per bottle in half. “We are reviewing our entire portfolio with the eventual goal of 100% eco-designed and recyclable (or reusable) bottles,” said Patrick Marchand, Rémy Cointreau Group Operations Director.
Lightest-ever bottle for Champagne Telmont
Rémy Cointreau is also working with Verallia on a lightweighted Champagne bottle for its Telmont brand that it acquired in 2020, a move which marked its return to the Champagne segment. Last year it announced tests on a bottle whose weight has been reduced from 835g to 800g.
While the bottle's appearance and shape will remain largely unchanged, the radius of the shoulder and the area made available for labeling have both been slightly altered, Champagne Telmont President Ludovic du Plessis previously told this publication.
Telmont recently revealed that the tests were successful – the pressure in a Champagne bottle is twice that of a car tire – and that it will gradually roll out the new bottle. Beyond lightweighting, the brand also stopped using transparent virgin glass bottles in 2021, now opting for green bottles with 85% recycled content. It has also elimated all secondary packaging, including gift boxes.
Indeed, reducing secondary packaging is a major focus for the group. Laetitia Delaye, Head of CSR at Rémy Cointreau, said in an interview published in the spring issue of Formes de Luxe magazine that, “In 2019, 21% of our bottles were sold naked, or without secondary packaging, and in 2021 that proportion increased to 76%. We are aiming for 85% of our bottles to be sold naked by 2025.” According to Delaye, “secondary packaging will probably remain a mainstay in the premium segment, which explains our target of 85% rather than 100% at the group level.” Diageo too announced earlier this year that it is cutting down drastically on the use of secondary packaging across its portfolio. For the moment, the upper-tier offer is not concerned by these measures. But for how long?