Sportsdrink+, the first isotonic performance beverage formulated for specifically for motor and power sport athletes, will appear on the shelves in PowerFlex™ from Amcor PET Packaging.
Company vice president and Australian native, Damon Hill has long been associated with the motor and power sports industries. A few years ago, while working on various projects with U.S.-based teams and athletes, it came to his attention that the unique performance requirements of these athletes had been overlooked by other sports drink manufacturers.
We researched what was on the market and quickly determined that most products had been formulated for action sports or sports in general and did not offer anything more than basic hydration to the athlete. Nothing had been developed for the niche requirements of the motor sport and power sport athletes,” explains Hill.
Hill explains that these professional athletes constantly function in extreme and dangerous conditions compared to most other sports. When developing this product, the goal was to create a formulation that would enhance the athletes’ mental acuity, sensory control, system management and hydration. These elements are crucial to ensure the highest level of athletic performance.
“When you are competing in demanding conditions, sometimes at speeds of more than 200 miles an hour, it’s important that your system is balanced and your reactions are sharp. We believe that Sportsdrink+ delivers such an advantage” Hill says.
With this vision in place, Damon and the Hazardous Fluids team took their performance wish list back to Australia and challenged a product developer there to formulate a beverage that would address the specific needs of these highly tuned professional athletes. The end result was an “all natural” beverage that combines vitamins, amino acids and herbs with athletic physical and mental performance in mind.
However, developing the right formulation was only half the battle. Hill still needed the right hot-fill bottle to market it.
“When we first looked at bottles, everything we saw had panels and ribs which would not integrate well with a full body sleeve label. The bottles didn’t look aerodynamic, sleek and fast—all of the attributes you associate with performance. Here we were developing a product that would help these professionals achieve their highest output and the bottles just didn’t project the image we wanted,” Hill says. “That is, until we came across the Amcor bottle.”
Amcor’s PowerFlex™ bottle features a revolutionary patented panel-less design which takes hot-fill (185° degrees Fahrenheit) bottle options to a new level. Amcor’s structural design not only eliminates the panels, but unlike competitive containers, PowerFlex™ has a large, completely smooth label panel – free of any kind of ribbing.
Amcor’s technical staff, through a combination of design and manufacturing innovations, has created a patented bottle that absorbs vacuum via a specially designed base. A unique diaphragm within the base draws upward as the liquid cools. It has the geometric characteristics to enable the inverted cone shaped diaphragm to deflect upward as the vacuum is created.
Hill selected one of two stock PowerFlex™ bottles—a16.9-ounce dome-shouldered design with a 38mm finish. (The other stock option is a 16-ounce, long-neck bottle.) This allowed the company to launch quickly without incurring any additional tooling costs.
Unlike other hot-fill PET alternatives, PowerFlex™ bottles do not have sidewall panels, making them easier to label. Packers don’t have to worry about mislabeling—missing the vertical bars in applying labels. Nor do they have to deal with the ripple effect labeling over panels can cause.
“Where our graphics were concerned, we wanted something technical yet stylish. Because a lot of highly technical sporting equipment is made from materials like carbon fiber and titanium, we decided to incorporate that look onto our label. The look needed to mirror the technology that is in the bottle.
The graphics were designed in-house at the company’s Australian facility. Through a relationship with the Hazardous Sports Co., Hill was able to use their stylized biohazard symbol as the focal point of the Sportsdrink+ brand.
“It’s a stylish yet edgy logo. We liked what it conveyed and the philosophy of Hazardous Sports, to work up from function, not down from form. We’ve designed a product that helps you run at your optimum level. We feel that the label captures the personality of both our company and product” Hill says.
Additionally, the full-body label features a clear vertical “fill level” stripe, which Hill refers to as the “isotonic lifeline.” The line is marked with ounces and milliliters on either side. This enables the athlete to monitor how much fluid is consumed. “Every athlete will consume different amounts of our product depending on body mass, the type of sporting event, temperature and his or her requirements on the day.” Hill says
The geometry of the straight wall design gives PowerFlex™ great top load characteristics. The straight wall has no points of stress concentration which removes the potential of bending. Also, unlike competitive technologies, PowerFlex™ bottles can be run easily on existing glass filling lines with little or no equipment modification.
Sportsdrink+ currently is being launched in one flavor—lime lemon. Initial distribution will be managed through the company’s website and through retail distribution that targets motor sports and power sports. Hazardous Fluids Pty Ltd is headquartered in Melbourne, with a U.S. presence in Indianapolis. The company’s motto is “Designed in Australia. Made in America.” For more information visit: www.hazardousfluids.com.
|Katy Bejma |
Phone: +1 586 468-3837