Coca-Cola Japan has responded to rising environmental awareness with ILOHAS, a mineral water packaged in a newly developed “eco” PET bottle that reduces waste. And the company is betting consumers are even willing to pay a premium to go green in a clear example of what we call “Part-Time Greens”.
The new bottle holds 520ml of water, but weights just 12 grams when empty, or 40% less than other Coca-Cola PET bottles. The bottle, cap and even label weigh less. Over a year, that would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced in the manufacturing process by 3,000 tons, equivalent to the offset of a 950 hectare forest, according to the company.
For Japanese consumers, used to measuring their environmental impact in terms of the volume of waste they produce (always carefully separated into burnables, non-burnables and recyclables), the bottle creates a new disposal ritual to reinforce the “green” brand proposition (see video below). It can easily be twisted by hand to make it thin and easy to throw away, a “1-2-3″ action Coca-Cola Japan encourages consumer to follow in its marketing campaign: 1. buy (!), 2. drink, 3. remove-label-twist-and-discard.
Of course, the ritual still ends with discarding (a non-biodegradable object). However, the manufacturer has undeniable tapped into consumers willingness to take small steps toward “greening” their daily lives, but without making major sacrifices (Part Time Greens).
Not only that, Coca-Cola Japan is betting consumers are willing to pay a premium to be (or be seen as) green: ILOHAS retails in vending machines for 130 yen for a 520ml bottle, an 18% premium to other brands like Crystal Geyser. (As a launch campaign, the water retailed in convenience stores for 105 yen.)
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