Brewers use sleek aluminum bottles to spark sales.

Brewers use sleek aluminum bottles to spark sales

In the highly competitive and mature beer market, brewers are increasingly turning to innovative packaging with an upscale look to gain market share among new users and a younger demographic. Beer's share of the total alcohol market dropped from 56 percent in 1999 to 52.9 percent in 2004, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

Due to the positive consumer response to the sleek-looking aluminum bottles for four of its brands, Anheuser-Busch has placed two more brands in the new package.

Anheuser-Busch (A-B) is one of the few North American brewers to use aluminum bottles to help its beer brands stand apart. The aluminum bottle has received positive reviews by retailers, wholesalers and consumers since A-B introduced the bottle late last year, and the company recently made Bud Light and Budweiser Select its fifth and sixth brands to be offered in the package - joining Budweiser, Michelob Light, Michelob and Anheuser World Lager.

According to A-B, demand has been so great, it plans to double its capacity for the package by fall 2005.

The Bud Light bottle features its familiar brand logo in distinct white lettering against a cobalt high-gloss finish, while the Budweiser Select aluminum bottle has a sleek, silver finish featuring the Budweiser Select logo. Both 16 oz. aluminum bottles are manufactured by Exal USA, Youngstown, OH, and are available in bars, clubs, supermarkets and convenience stores.

The unique, eye-catching design of the aluminum bottles provides an upscale, sophisticated look while keeping the beer cold, says Dan McHugh, senior director, Bud Light Marketing. "The aluminum bottle is not intended to replace our glass bottle packages, but to complement the [A-B brands] with a sleek and innovative look. Aluminum bottles are also practical for outdoor drinking occasions where non-breakable containers are important."

"We are always looking at innovative ways to reach adult beer drinkers, whether through new products or inventive packaging," stresses McHugh. "The reaction of contemporary adult beer drinkers to the new aluminum bottles has been tremendous. People enjoy variety and new things, and they have told us this is the type of package look they like to have in their hands when they are out with friends."

According to McHugh, a flexographic offset process is used to decorate the Bud Light aluminum bottle, which produces its high-gloss, eye-catching graphics.

For more information:

Susan Chupak, Exal USA,,

Insulating label keeps Labatt Blue Cold One true to its name

As the dog days of summer hit full stride, there's nothing like a cold, crisp beer from a chilled can. To keep that cold one cool, Labatt Breweries of Canada has introduced Labatt Blue Cold One featuring a thin insulating labeling material from DuPont Packaging, Wilmington, DE, that is said to keep the cans colder longer than standard aluminum beverage cans. This labeling material protects the beer from heat transferred from warm hands, condensation and outside temperature - three factors that cause beer to become warm.

Labatt Breweries of Canada is the first brewer to use DuPont’s Cool2Go insulating label for its Labatt Blue Cold One brand.
The specially engineered Cool2Go wrap developed by DuPont is made by placing a high-tech polymer insulation between two layers of DuPont Teijin Films' Melinex polyester film. This patented process results in a thin thermal barrier, which once chilled, insulates the can and keeps the beer colder, longer.

This is the first application of the Cool2Go label for an aluminum beer can, says Susan Procaccini, DuPont Packaging Solutions. How much longer it keeps beer cold depends on a number of factors that affect the temperature of a beer, including the size and temperature of one's hand, how long one is holding the can, the ambient temperature and the level of humidity, notes Bob Chant, director, corporate affairs, Labatt Breweries.

For more information:

Susan Procaccini, DuPont Packaging,,

Hip carrying case gives coolness to cocktails on-the-go

To convey the distinctly cosmopolitan, feminine appeal of its Cocktails by Jenn line of portable, ready-to-drink premium vodka beverages, Danville, CA-based Jenn's Cocktail Company was seeking a package that would not only capture consumer attention, but also appeal to the modern woman on-the-go target audience. The company turned to AGI/Klearfold, a New York-based MeadWestvaco company, to provide a multipack for the four 100 ml bottles.

Jenn’s Cocktail Company worked closely with AGI/Klearfold to provide a trendy, stylish-looking multipack for its four 100 ml bottles of ready-to-drink vodka beverages.
To satisfy the cocktail company's packaging requests, AGI/Klearfold used its patent-pending InSight visual packaging system which combines printed plastic sleeves with injection-molded end caps to produce a bottle carrier that would also serve as a stylish purse-shaped tote. According to AGI/Klearfold, to achieve the transparency needed for the package, the molded end caps were produced from a styrene acrylic copolymer called Zylar. These end caps attach to the sleeves using a unique locking feature. Undercuts in the bottom end cap engage die-cut tabs in the sleeve to lock the two components together, while the undercuts in the top end caps allow for a quarter-turn twist-off opening feature, enabling the package to be used as a reusable container.

Small, round die-cut openings in the package sleeve are used to secure a matching color ribbon, which serves as a handle for the tote.

The sleeves are produced from an embossed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) carton grade that provides a slightly frosted, translucent view of the cocktail bottles and also gives the oval-shaped package rigidity and durability. A custom-designed PVC partition separates the four bottles to protect them from breakage. The sleeves are printed using a combination of silkscreen and flexographic printing and showcase colors corresponding to each cocktail flavor.

Jenn's Cocktail Company worked closely with AGI/Klearfold during the development of the entire package. "Throughout the process, we were intent on developing a design statement, not merely a package," says Rich Thibault, director of creative services for AGI/Klearfold. "The oval-shaped construction of the sleeve reinforces the product's sleek, modern presence, while also highlighting a spirit that is distinctly feminine."

For more information:

Patrick McGee, AGI/Klearfold,,

Direct injection-molded closures for gable-top cartons

Tetra Pak has introduced its Delta Opening System, a new generation of integrated direct injection-molded openings to be used on Tetra Rex gable-top cartons for chilled liquid foods. The Delta TwistCap, the first product of this closure line, features a spout and an overcap. The main benefit of the TwistCap versus competitive caps is the high level of product hygiene and safety because the spout is molded directly onto the package. The Delta TwistCap spout is made from the same polyethylene used to laminate the Tetra Rex cartons themselves and is, therefore, integrated into the package with no exposed edges, ensuring package integrity. The spout also features a pull-tab with a spiral-shaped crease, which allows consumers to open the tamper-evident plastic membrane seal with minimal effort. The Delta Unit, required to apply the Delta TwistCap, is available as an option on new Tetra Rex TR/7 Series II gable-top filling machines, and as a retrofit to existing TR/7 machines.

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Chocolate covered berries stay fresh and protected in stand-up pouch

Proving even confections can be considered health food, Wolfgang Candy Company introduced its Sweet Dark Chocolate Covered Blueberries and Raspberries at the 2005 All Candy Expo. The chocolate covered fruit provides antioxidants and other nutrients found in both the dark chocolate and fresh berries. The company's patent-pending manufacturing method improves the shelf life for confections that use fresh fruit as the main ingredient - its dark chocolate covered berries product has a shelf life of up to one year.

Satisfying consumers’ sweet tooth and antioxidant intake, Wolfgang Candy Company has launched its Sweet Dark Chocolate Covered Blueberries and Raspberries, featuring individually wrapped candies contained in a stand-up pouch.
When choosing a package for its product, Wolfgang required packaging film which could present a colorful, fresh look while also providing enough protection from impact to shield the berries from damage, says Brad McGlaughlin, managing partner of Wolfgang Candy.

Each individually wrapped fruit/candy piece is packaged in SuperSeal, a proprietary high-speed film wrap material from Multifilm Packaging, Elgin, IL, which is said to provide the barrier, hot tack and seal integrity needed. "The cast polypropylene (CPP) component in the SuperSeal laminate provides excellent barrier, and we chose to metallize the film to provide additional barrier," says Olle Mannertorp, president and CEO, Multifilm. "The hermetic seals create the air-tight pillows Wolfgang needs to cushion and protect the berries inside the bag."

For the secondary packaging, Wolfgang uses a rotogravure printed stand-up pouch provided by Multifilm's sister company, H&N Packaging, Colmar, PA. To convey the freshness of the product, the pouch features a detailed image of the berries themselves and a clear window that displays the individually wrapped chocolate covered berries. The pouch features a polyester film laminated to Multifilm's CPP, which adds clarity and a water barrier to the package. Because of the stiffness of the CPP film, Wolfgang was able to downgauge the bag without compromising its properties. According to H&N Packaging Vice President Bob Rosen, this is the first stand-up pouch to utilize CPP as a sealant web.

"Working with Multifilm and H&N on this project has allowed us to save money on our packaging costs without sacrificing quality," says Wolfgang's McGlaughlin.

For more information:

Olle Mannertorp,Multifilm
Packaging Corp.,,

Bob Rosen, H&N Packaging,,

Reclosable rigid packaging for sliced cheeses, luncheon meats

Food processors of products such as sliced cheeses and deli meats have a new option to consider for their next package with Multivac's introduction of Serve Box packaging. The packaging consists of a table-ready rigid plastic tray, sealed with a transparent plastic dome lid for product visibility. The reclosable tray can be custom-sized and formed to suit the dimensions of the product while holding it in place, says Multivac. The Serve Box packaging can also be gas flushed for modified atmosphere applications to extend the shelf life of products. The interior bottom surface of the tray is formed in a wafer pattern to allow circulation of the inert gas around the product. To accommodate repeat openings and reclosings, the bottom tray is also formed with projections that interlock with corresponding recesses formed in the lid. Both the bottom tray and the transparent dome lid are formed inline from rigid rollstock material on a Multivac R530 horizontal thermoform fill-seal system.