TWO:17
IN BUSINESS

vendl – glass and bottle in one

Dominique Felsch and Simon Nüesch, Managing Directors, Desio GmbH, Munich, Germany

Imagine a warm summer day with yourfriends at a lake and a fresh, cold beer– is there anything better? Drinkinga beer from a bottle is not the samedrinking enjoyment as a perfectly draftedbeer from a glass. Carrying a heavy and fragile glass is nota convenient way to enjoy your beer in such situations.Especially for wheat beer this is an issue since it cannot bedrunk from a bottle. We, a young start-up from Munich, havedeveloped a solution for such situations – called vendl.vendl is the worldwide first product that combines bottle anddrinking glass in one. Before consumption vendl is turned by180°. Through the turning the yeast is dispersed perfectlywithin the beer. At the same time a pressure increase takesplace. When opening, the pressure drops and the beer createsa perfect creamy head. A newly designed pressure reliefprevents foaming over – as good as freshly drafted from thetap. After opening, the lid is used as a stand and “clicked” tothe other side of the glass to form your perfect drinking glass.This constitutes a simple and innovative packing solution forwheat beer – drinking from a glass without the need for glass,always and everywhere.The clue about vendl is the smooth integration andinteroperability with common glass bottling plants for beer.The global dimensions are the same as the NRW-bottle.Therefore, only three adaptions in the plant are necessary.The bottle washing machine needs to be bypassed. If there isonly a rinser no adaption is necessary.

Second, some handlingparts need to be changed and third the corking machinerequires a pressure plate for the neck ring. Nevertheless,the start-up already found a contract filler who can fill thefirst batches without any adaption until the critical amount isreached to decide about the required investments.Both the lid and the bottle are made of POLYSHIELD®monolayer PET barrier material from INVISTA. Thereby, theconsumable vendl has excellent barriers against O2 and CO2.A shelf life between 9 – 12 months is possible. Moreover, theexceptional lid geometry and a new sealing system allow aninternal pressure of up to 10 bar.The current shape of vendl is designed for wheat beer. Butthe production process of injection-blow moulding allowsdifferent shapes for various beverages. The use case is forall carbonated drinks and allows differentiation in the highlycompetitive beverage market via the patented technology.

One of the most important issues was the creation of a clearlydefined premium product, that is differentiated from standardone way PET bottles. The average thickness of vendlis 0.7 mm which is significantly higher. The feelis comparable to high-quality plastic glassesknown from catering services. Moreover,the newly designed shape and the usageof a crown cap differentiate from commonPET bottles. Within a representative study,we found out that 72% of the consumersdefine vendl as a new category of beveragepackaging.The vision is the creation of the 4th beveragepackaging solution in the market. Next tocan, glass bottle and PET bottle vendl will beestablished as a convenient and surprisingway of drinking. In the case of wheat beer,vendl creates new sales opportunities thatcannot be exploited nowadays. Such as theuse within large scale events, where glassis forbidden, small private events wherethere are not enough glasses, out of houseapplications where no glass is available,after sports to drink non-alcoholic beer asan isotonic sports drink and as a solution forexport. Actually, vendl is the solution for alloccasions where a drinking glass is missing orforbidden.

Moreover, it is a clear differentiation in thetough competition for consumers at the supermarket shelfs, the unique shape and designattract attention. Our study with a total of900 participants showed that vendl can causethe German wheat beer market to grow byup to 950.000 hectoliters which representsa market growth of 12%. Moreover, 67% ofall consumers are willing to change theirpreferred brand to drink wheat beer fromthe vendl-solution. Additionally, there isa growth potential within export markets.Wheat beer is and was one of Germany’smost exported beers with a CAGR of 25% over the last 5 years.vendl provides the opportunity to export the German way ofdrinking as well as the beer garden culture and therefore gaina unique market position.

We, the vendl inventors, are two former students of theTechnical University of Munich who met during their studiesand decided to start a company together. For almost oneyear, we are working on vendl. Besides uncountabletalks to all relevant market participants suchas brewers, bottle plant producers andso on, we convinced a group of businessangels in early 2017 to invest. That wasthe breakthrough to produce first workingprototypes. Now, vendl is in the finalphase of product development and we arepreparing the first null series. In the middleof May, the first product tests started withthe Research Institute of Weihenstephanand the Frauenhofer IVV.First market entry (100.00 pieces) isplanned for late summer 2017. Right now,we are in negotiation with several breweriesfor the first pilot test. In late autumn, thenext investment round is planned to financethe production scale up. Currently, we arein contact with several injection mouldingcompanies to find the first production partner,who is not yet set.We are looking forward to support the fansof the World Football championship 2018 withperfectly drafted beer from vendl.