Beverage Digest | January 26, 2001  

Crown Expands Shaped-Can Manufacturing.
CSD Companies Said 'Taking Another Look.'

Crown Cork & Seal executive says Coke, Pepsi and "other big non-alcoholic players" look anew at shaped cans.  Coke in 1997 did limited test of contour-shaped aluminum can made by former ANC, now part of Rexam (BD 10/25/96, 2/21/97); test was discontinued.  Crown now aggressively courts beverage companies as it expands shaped can-making capacity in US and UK, says company executive.  Adds:  "CSD companies are taking another look (at shaped cans).  They're asking us to come back to them with some new designs ... focused more on their premium (non-carb) product lines."  Explains "economics would be better" for premium-priced non-carb beverages sold mostly in cold-channel and vending.  Notes "other people are now starting to think about this for energy drinks."

Crown's shaped cans for Heineken and Michelob

Coke/Pepsi.  Coke executive:  "We are aware of Crown's capabilities in this area, but we have no initiatives under way at this time for embossed or contour cans."  Pepsi executive: "We're always talking to packaging companies.  Nothing immediate on the horizon."

Now. Crown's shaped cans widely used by Heineken ("keg" can shown in left photo) in both US and Europe.  Anheuser-Busch soon launches "teardrop"-shaped 16-oz can from Crown for Michelob and Michelob Light beers (right photo).  Crown makes shaped cans in Braunston, UK and Sugar Land, Texas.  Capacity 120+ mil units. By end of 3rd quarter, Crown will add 250 mil can capacity in US/UK.  Shaping technique.  Crown's can-shaping method uses air and heat to blow-mold aluminum into shape of two-piece mold surrounding outside of can.  Crown executive notes "we never touch the interior coating, which is very important to beverage companies."

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