O-I designs a retro bottle for Ritchie, the first Belgian craft lemonade

O-I designs a retro bottle for Ritchie, the first Belgian craft lemonade

The Netherlands – After more than forty years since Belgians last drank Ritchie lemonade, a start-up from the Leuven area has re-launched the traditional soft drink. Ritchie lemonade is sold in a unique 27.5 cl retro glass bottle, based on the original design from the 1950s. The current bottle was designed in collaboration with Owens-Illinois (O-I), the world’s largest producer of glass packaging, and perfectly reflects the premium, retro and authentic character of this lemonade.

“This sort of development illustrates that start-ups and other niche drinks companies can rely on O-I for the design and the production of their own, unique glass packaging. This way, O-I showcases its flexibility and ability to offer both big and smaller customers its expertise”, Marty Wijnen, Segment Manager Food & NAB at O-I Benelux, adds. 

Craft beverages are extremely popular nowadays. In fact, craft lemonades are booming and glass bottles play a big part in this. Belgians love lemonade, so the scene was set for a Ritchie renaissance. Four decades after the last bottles hit the shelves, Ritchie has put traditional lemonade brewing back on the map, making it the first Belgian craft lemonade.

Glass packaging is a key component of the relaunch strategy. Jan Verlinden, Chief Lemonade Maker at Ritchie, explains, “As we were a start-up with an interesting concept, we set out to find a partner to meet our wishes, down to the smallest detail. We got in touch with O-I through our procurement partner Gaasch Packaging. They immediately understood and loved our concept, and closely worked with us to re-launch Ritchie on the Belgian market.”

“Our designers took the product itself, the market and Ritchie’s ideas into account and translated them into a strong design that is also technically feasible," says Marty Wijnen. “To make the bottle even stronger, we decided to move the signature grooves higher than in the initial design. We also made the bottle slimmer and taller to give it an elegant premium look.

“We didn’t need to think twice about using a glass bottle”, Jan Verlinden continues. “Ritchie is a high-quality lemonade sold in premium packaging. Given our product’s positioning as ‘traditional Belgian lemonade’, glass seemed like a logical choice. Glass perfectly preserves the fresh flavour of our lemonade and gave us the opportunity to develop an original retro packaging that is 100% recyclable. The glass bottle perfectly expresses the unique character of our brand.”

Ritchie lemonade is based on the original family recipe, albeit with a twist. Ritchie is 100% natural, contains no preservatives and is sweetened with cane sugar. It is available in two flavours: Orange with a hint of vanilla, and grapefruit with a touch of pineapple. Ritchie contains far less sugar than other lemonades on the market, as the top-selling orangeade in Belgium contains 23% more sugar per 100ml in comparison with Ritchie Orange. Ritchie’s lemonades are available at several beer wholesalers and supermarkets in Belgium. Delitraiteur, Würst and other horeca outlets offer Ritchie.

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Ilse Derijck Outsource Communications
Ilse Derijck Outsource Communications
About O-I

About O-I 

At O-I Glass, Inc., we love glass and are proud to make more of it than any other glass bottle or jar producer in the world. We elevate products by creating sustainable packaging with emotions, transforming brands into icons, transcending the day-to-day to create meaningful, magical moments. We help food and beverage brands fully express themselves so they can build an emotional bond with consumers. Globally headquartered in Perrysburg, Ohio, our team of more than 27,500 employees at 78 plants in 23 countries worldwide has achieved revenues of $6.7 billion in 2019. We are dedicated to make what matters, to step-by-step shape a healthier and more exciting world. For more information, visit www.o-i.com.