Sidel designs PET bottles for Yili’s new range of yoghurt drinks for China



Months of close collaboration between the Sidel packaging team and Yili's Liquid Milk Division has seen the creation of a PET bottle for the company's new Changyi brand. The new range of yoghurt drinkshas been rolled out throughout China.


Largest dairy producer in China

China has recently enjoyed a period of sustained economic growth. As consumer income levels and spending power increase, the beverage market has seen a shift to more natural, 'healthier' beverages, a category in which innovation is key to succeeding and PET packaging is likely to be instrumental over the coming years.


The Yili Group is the largest dairy producer in China and one of the fastest growing companies in the country. A privately owned business, Yili Group is engaged in processing and manufacturing of milk products, including ice cream, powdered milk, sterilised milk and fresh milk, to name but a few. The new range of yogurt drinks is intended to attract active, health-conscious consumers with growing expendable income. This demographic is particularly relevant among young Chinese people who, typically, have fast and busy lifestyles but do not want to compromise in terms of the convenience and the design of the products they choose.


Excellent technical support from Sidel

When Yili's Liquid Milk Division contacted Sidel to discuss the design of the PET bottle for the new Changyi yoghurt drinks, it was an exciting opportunity for the packaging team.

Seizing the opportunity, the Sidel team had put together an initial design proposal within just two weeks. "Our packaging experts delivered a wide selection of creative proposals, producing various conceptual bottles based on different design directions, to give the client several alternatives to differentiate its yoghurt brand from the competition," said Steven Xie, Packaging Design and Development Manager at Sidel.


Yili, China bottle base 2The customer's marketing department undertook analysis on the various designs and returned with a shortlist of four preferred choices. Collaborative work continued as Sidel made small adjustments to the different designs that were being consumer-tested. These elements included the shape of the bottle's base, as the customer was searching for longer shelf-life and improved rigidity to avoid deformation during transportation, without compromising on distinctive design.


The right team working closely together

Yili, China bottle base 1"Leveraging our global expertise in PET packaging design and production, we ran multiple tests to assess the performance of the bottle and finally we found the best solution," says Steven. "The project was a real team effort and we succeeded in creating a container able to combine both the customer's technical requirements as well as their aesthetic wishes."  

Within three months, the bottle design was completely finalised and new moulds were manufactured for the two Yili production lines dedicated to the new yoghurt range.


Professional approach for product success

The drive of the Sidel design team - to exceed the customer's needs in this project - paid off when the product design was commercialised and the first bottles rolled off the production line. Zhang Yibo, Yili's manager for this project, says, "We're very pleased with the final result and our partnership with Sidel during the design process. Their design capabilities, technical expertise and professional approach have played an important role in ensuring the product success." The project has further strengthened the relationship between Yili and Sidel - and looks set to pave the way to exciting new projects in the Chinese dairy industry.

The company began selling bottles of the new Changyi yoghurt drinks in the first quarter of 2016, throughout the whole of China. Response towards the new container shape and the branding of Yili's new product has been very favourable with both being well received by local consumers. 


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