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."
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."