With consumers shifting towards healthier beverages and governments introducing sugary drink taxes, brands are innovating their packaging to achieve standout on shelf. In particular can designs are being catered for individual markets, demographics and tastes. Here are four of the best innovations we’ve seen in the past few months.
The size of the thermochromic materials market is expected to double in the next seven years and the trend is prevalent in aluminium can packaging as companies aim to differentiate their products. Thermochromic inks change colour in response to increases or reductions in temperature and are used by drinks producers to show when a beverage is at its optimum temperature for consumption.
To coincide with last week’s Tomorrowland music festival in Belgium, packaging producer Crown teamed up with Lipton to create an ice tea mojito can that turns blue when cooled. Featuring a strapline that encourages consumers to ‘chill the can and see the love’, when the can is correctly chilled the word ‘love’ appears. Not only providing a useful function, the design will also leave consumers with positive memories of the experiential campaign and Lipton brand.
Going a step further, Molson Coors introduced a Coors Light can with sun-activated ink, which changes colour when exposed to sunlight. The design retains the colour-changing mountain icon that indicates when the contents are chilled, and also has photochromic ink that is almost invisible until the cans are exposed to UV rays. When brought into light, the cool blues transform into vibrant golds, oranges and reds.
Following on from the success of the Share a Coke campaign, which featured names and destinations on Coca-Cola products, brands are further customising their designs to encourage repeat purchases. Budweiser has been particularly creative, bringing in seasonal packaging and changing its name to America in the lead up to last year’s US presidential election. This summer, the Anheuser-Busch-owned brewer aimed to create local pride in the areas where it is produced, with patriotic can designs containing the names of 11 US states. Available until September, the 11 cans feature wording inspired by each state, including their motto, initials and nickname.
In a bid to retain younger customers and create a sense of brand loyalty, Sprite has teamed up with six hip-hop artists to promote its redesigned bottles and cans in the US. The Summer Sprite Cold Lyrics series features lyrics printed on the cans from rappers including Vince Staples and Lil Yachty.
It is common for packaging to instruct consumers to shake juices and iced coffees to mix fruit bits or create the ideal flavour. For soft drinks brand Orangina this is a problem as too much shaking can cause the beverage to fizz up and spill. The company aims to solve the issue by the introduction in the UK of upside down cans that lead customers to subconsciously mix the drink. A spokesperson from the company said: “Whilst the brand encourages consumers to gently shake Orangina to awaken the pulp, this can be counter intuitive with a can. Therefore, by having the artwork upside down, consumers instinctively turn the can, which awakens the pulp and unlocks the iconic orange flavour.”
Ball Packaging turned to bottles to solve the enduring problem of standard aluminium cans: they can’t be resealed and transported. Earlier this year, the company lifted the lid on Alumi-tek, an alubottle that combines the recyclability and portability of a can with the benefits of a bottle. Launched in conjunction with Austria-based Skiwater Beverages, the flask targets on-the-go consumers with a wide mouth and resalable lid.
A spokesperson from Skiwater said: “The aluminium bottle has been the trusted companion of mountain enthusiasts for over a century and we wanted to build on that heritage with a packaging that uses this time-tested material in an innovative way.”
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