With sales of bottled water on the rise in Mexico, the corporation Fragua, owner of the nationwide pharmacy store chain Farmacia Guadalajara, wanted to get a bigger piece of the action.

The first steps towards creating their own production facilities were taken in 2012 when the Innomex bottling plant was established close to the metropolitan area of Guadalajara. From the start, the Innomex team worked closely with Sidel to plan how best to create a high-tech efficient plant that would also be prepared for future growth.

By deciding to invest in a Sidel Eurotronica FMc filler and a Starblend mixer, Innomex had the flexibility required to create their own bottled water of different sizes. With speeds of up to 10,000 bottles per hour in the 1.5 litre format and up to 16,000 bottles per hour in the 330 ml and 600 ml formats, the plant also had the right degree of production efficiency.


Design with 30% less PET

Alongside the new production equipment, Innomex also wanted to create a new bottle design. To help them in this task, they turned to the Sidel Packaging team, part of the company's Sidel Services department, who have extensive experience with brand and packaging design. The result was a modern bottle design that could strengthen the brand and give Innomex a competitive edge by substantially reducing the amount of production resources.

Firstly, the new bottle design enabled considerable savings in production costs by using 12 grams less raw material than the original bottle from the third party supplier. This amounted to an impressive 30% less PET - a figure that could certainly be felt on the company's bottom line. In addition to these resource savings, the new design has also been highly popular with consumers. In the first year alone, sales have increased by 30% due to better brand positioning and the improved recognition factor of the new bottle design.


Nationwide distribution

Sidel's production equipment was installed in December 2012 and production started in earnest in February 2013. Today the Blue Bay bottled water produced by Innomex is available in both carbonated and still variants and distributed and sold throughout the country in the 1,200 branches of the Farmacias Guadalajara.

Innomex considers their move into bottled water production to be a resounding success. The company is now looking to expand and move into energy drinks and isotonics. Rodrigo Arroyo, Corporate Director of Innomex, sees the close relationship with Sidel as one of the main reasons for their good results.

"We knew we needed the right technology to be able to confidently move into bottled water production. We had a team of talented people, including the team from Sidel, who could ensure this project met our goals and ultimately make our plant more productive."


Bottled water in Mexico

Bottled water is a highly popular commodity in Mexico because of the poor standard of water quality in many areas. In fact, bottled water is the fastest growing category in Latin America with growth of around 5% between 2013 and 2017. Mexico takes a first place in the consumption of water per capita with each Mexican consuming an average of 199.3 litres annually - a figure that is expected to grow to 226 litres in 2017. PET packaging dominates the category.


About Farmacias Guadalajara

Farmacia Guadalajara was founded in 1942 as a pharmacy selling mostly patented medicines and perfumery. By 1962 the company had started its ambitious expansion with new branches and services, including a 24-hour service. In 1983, the companies in the Farmacias Guadalajara brand were brought together in Corporate Fragua S.A.B. de C.V, a company that was listed on the Mexican stock exchange in the 1990s.

Since its start over 70 years ago, the company has grown beyond all recognition and diversified into a variety of complementary areas, such as transport services, security, import, development laboratories and stores selling photographic goods. In 2010, the business started actively pursuing the potential in the beverage industry through its bottled water brandBlue Bayproduced by Innomex.



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