Polar Plastech’s Polar Pitcher®
A pitcher of ice-cold draught beer represents something of a compromise. On the upside, it’s easier to consume than making a series of trips to the bar or calls on table staff. On the downside, that final glass is always warmer than the first. The usual solution is a bag of ice dropped into the pitcher – but who knows where the bag’s been and who’s handled it? And do you really want that bag taking up valuable space in the jug?
The Polar Pitcher® provided a solution – a 60-ounce container that enclosed a built-in cooling cylinder. It was designed to be filled with ice, keeping beer frosty-cold without fear of dilution or contamination. It proved popular in the on-premise market, creating an instant hit for creators Polar Plastech and forming an enthusiastic client-base including brewing giants Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing Company and Coors. Following that success it moved to a kitchen table near you.
Citing a wide range of performance criteria, Polar Plastech president Steve Roberts explained: “We wanted a material that was durable – obviously for the on-premise market; we want the pitchers to stay crystal clear, not turn cloudy; we don’t want them to break; we do want them to be dishwasher safe – for home-use and high-temperature commercial washers as well; and we want something that is BPA free. Tritan™ offers all of the plusses that we need.”
Roberts explained that polycarbonate initially did the job but repeated high-temperature washings caused the pitchers to become discolored after six to eight months. By comparison, Tritan™ does not lose its crystal clarity, even after the most stringent wash cycle. And when Polar Plastech specified Tritan™, the new material was a simple drop-in replacement for the polycarbonate it replaced, utilizing the same tooling with comparable cycle times.
The clarity of Tritan™ helped Polar Plastech with another aspect of its expansion: the ability to print logos directly onto the inner ice-cylinder. For brands like Coors, the attraction of having a logo within the pitcher was greatly enhanced by the knowledge the outer container would retain its clarity throughout the projected life of the vessel. The potential for the home market – be it in insignia of sports franchises or college affiliations – was also huge.
A less obvious advantage, though one with a groundswell of public interest, was that Tritan™ is a BPA free material. With demand rising for beverage containers produced without bisphenol-A, Polar Plastech believes it’s staying ahead of the competition.
“Looking down the road you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a polycarbonate pitcher,” forecasted Roberts. “We were getting a little ahead of the curve by putting a product out there and advertising it as BPA free, saying you’re not going to have any problems if you’re drinking liquids out of the pitchers that we manufacture.”