BIG TIME NEARING FOR SPORTS CAPS Palmer & Harvey McLane trade manager Wilf Slee believes packaging has had an enormous impact on the sales of soft drinks and water over the last five years. "Volume growth has been excellent, and in many instances it's been packaging that's been driving it," says Slee. He quotes 500ml PET bottles as an example. "Growth has been huge, particularly in forecourts. Our records chart that in a number of forecourt operations, the 500ml PET bottle has caught up with sales of 330ml cans. A screw cap bottle is obviously an easier bet for anyone on the move." Similarly Slee predicts that sports caps will have a significant sales impact "once the packaging is absolutely right". "Sports caps came in about a year ago, but at the moment they haven't caught on as fast as some suppliers had hoped. Once the flow systems are perfected and the big players get behind packaging innovations, I believe consumers will find this type of cap very acceptable and we could well see another fashion swing," adds Slee. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}