Some of the most stylish bottles for mineral water and soft drinks in Africa are made by THIRSTI. Located next to a natural spring at the foothills of the Klein Drakensberg (Afrikaans for Small Dragons’ Mountains) in South Africa, THIRSTI is one of the largest mineral water suppliers in the country.
The bountiful spring sustainably yields millions of liters of wonderful tasting water every year, and the company ships it all around the country. The bottles go out of the plant under THIRSTI’s own name as well as being branded for some of South Africa’s top supermarkets.
Production began at the end of 2015 with ranges of still and sparkling water. 2019 saw the release of the ISOFIT+ Sports Drink, and THIRSTI Flavours were added in 2020. SIPA support started with a study for new packaging, taking advantage of SIPA capabilities in packaging design and weight optimization. SIPA team made several proposals for new bottle designs for still and sparkling water branded for an important South African Retailer.
Only after came the machines with the aim of replacing old systems and increasing the production for THIRSTI ‘s own brand and also for supermarket brands.
THIRSTI is today a big user of SIPA bottle making and filling equipment. It runs several SIPA linear stretch-blow molding systems, as well as Isofill lines for bottling carbonated water and soft drinks.
In the beginning, THIRSTI brought in bottles from various converters around the country to feed its filling lines through an unscrambler. Then, in line with its objectives to keep its carbon footprint as low as possible, it began bringing bottle blowing in-house. The move also helped it bring down raw material costs, reduce consumption of secondary packaging, simplify logistics, increase production flexibility of its plant, and optimize bottle designs. SIPA is its exclusive supplier of bottle making equipment and partner on this journey.
Most THIRSTI water goes into bottles from 300ml up to 1.5L in size, but for still water, bigger 5-L bottles are also a top seller. These bottles are bundled together for shipments using stretch film, which has a lower total cost than shrink film: around 40% less film is needed for one pack, and there is no need for high energy consuming shrink ovens.