Frugalpac sells third paper bottling machine

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Mother of Pearl Vodka owners Nic Hancock and Nicola Thompson Hancock. Credit: Frugalpac / Mother of Pearl Vodka
Mother of Pearl Vodka owners Nic Hancock and Nicola Thompson Hancock. Credit: Frugalpac / Mother of Pearl Vodka

Related tags Sustainability

Packaging manufacturer Frugalpac has sold its third paper bottle machine after coming to an agreement with Mother of Pearl Vodka.

The drinks brand announced plans to buy Australia’s first paper bottle machine at an event in Singapore on 23 February 2024, where its co-founders outlined their desire to support wine and spirit brands from across Australasia and South East Asia in embracing more sustainable packaging solutions.

Mother of Pearl products are already sold in the paper Frugal Bottle, which is made from 94% recycled cardboard. The bottles are five times lighter and have a carbon footprint six times lower than glass bottles.

Based in Ipswich, Frugalpac has already sold two of its bottling machines, both to North American firms during 2023. The first went to KinsBrae Packaging in Canada, which is now operational, and the second to the Monterey Wine Company in California, which should be installed and running by the end of Q3 at the latest.

The Frugal Bottle Assembly Machine is able to produce up to 2.5m paper bottles a year and once installed, Mother of Pearl will be able to make and fill Frugal Bottles for other drinks brands. Since launching its vodka in the Frugal Bottles, Mother of Pearl received such positive feedback that it has put plans in place to launch a gin and a range of wines using the bottles too.

They had such a great reception when they launched it at Bar Convent in Singapore last year, they’re now releasing a Gin of the Sea and plan to launch a range of wines in the Frugal Bottle too.

‘We don’t want to keep low carbon packaging to ourselves’

Melbourne-based Mother of Pearl was co-founded by Nic Hancock and Nicola Thompson Hancock, who have sought to make sustainability a core part of their business since it launched.

We loved the Frugal Bottle so much we decided to buy the machine so we can make them in Australia​,” said Nic.

But we don’t just want to keep this low carbon packaging to ourselves. Sustainability is hugely important to us and we believe every wine and spirit brand in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia should be given the chance to decarbonise their bottles like us​.

The Frugal Bottle, as well as having exceptional eco-credentials, offers the ability to design all across the bottle so you can stand out on shelf, on the table or by the pool​,” added Nicola.

The reception to us launching our vodka in a paper bottle has been astounding and inspired us to expand our range into gin and wines. So it was a no brainer to decide to buy our own machine. We can’t wait to help other brands make the switch to paper too​.”

More than 35 different drinks producers from around the world have launched 128 different SKUs of wines, spirits and olive oils in the Frugal Bottle since 2020. The firm’s CEO Malcolm Waugh, who set out his ambitious plans in an interview with Food Manufacture last year​, described the Australia and South East Asia as “huge markets for wines and spirits”​, which had led to Frugalpac being “inundated with requests for paper bottles​”.

Mother of Pearl’s commitment to buy their own Frugal Bottle machine will put them in a great place to meet this demand​,” he concluded.

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