Standing out from the crowd

l-r Ball's dayglo, spot matte and enhanced can finishes

Kat Skeates was at BrauBeviale to report on the latest trends in the beverage packaging and production industry. Here’s a round-up of the show…

BrauBeviale returned to Nuremberg this year after a one-year hiatus, welcoming a record 40,000 trade visitors; over 18,000 of them international. More than 1,000 exhibitors presented their products and solutions related to the entire beverage production process chain, with offerings ranging from raw materials, technologies and components all the way to packaging, as well as accessories and marketing ideas.

“This BrauBeviale has exceeded our expectations,” said Andrea Kalrait, show director for BrauBeviale. “We’ve been told that several contracts were signed right at the exhibition. It seems the beverage industry couldn’t wait to get back to Nuremberg. We’re very proud of that.”

There was a great deal to see and discover at this year’s BrauBeviale. Innovative consumer engagement reigned in the product sectors, and in craft beer production it was all about sustainability and promoting increased energy efficiency in new machinery. And not only that, entertainment was supplied by The Heimatdamisch who, complete with lederhosen, performed an oompah band version of Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to Be Wild’ to open the show. 

Can makers

Crown and Ball were showcasing their latest can special effects and ends. Products under the Ball spotlight included DayGlo, which is said to give exceedingly vibrant colours; Spot Matte to create a variety of tactile textures; photochromic and thermochromic colour changing effects; and Cameo Print ends which enable customers to ‘make their tops pop’. There was also the new high-definition Eyeris can on display, which allows for near photo quality high definition images to be printed onto cans or aluminum bottles.

“These new effects really shine and with clever use of design, you can make something really stand out on a shelf. What we’ve found is that as more people get into the category, you need to do different things to step away, otherwise everything looks the same. So we’re always looking for something that people can play with,” said Ana Neale, director, marketing and strategic planning, Ball Beverage Packaging Europe.

For all their benefits, an often-lamented downside to cans is that they aren’t resealable (without the use of plastic). To solve this, Ball showcased their new aluminium bottle ranges, Alumi-tek and Silhouette. At present they are aimed towards premium products such as juices, wine or iced coffee due to higher production costs.

Crown were debuting several new extensions of its ‘Colourful World’ technology portfolio of inks and varnishes. Mirrorgloss is an even glossier effect than standard gloss; Frost gives cans a dewy, fresh from the fridge look; and Sparkle, which features sparkling elements, ideal for adding a premium look to packaging.

Reactinks technology is a combination of thermochromic and photochromic technologies to give four hues into one ink that reacts and changes colour depending on the environment. Affected by both temperature and sunlight, the Reactinks technology can display different colours on the can whether it’s inside or outside and if the can is warm or cold.

Florian Combe, marketing manager NPD at Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East, said: “Reactinks are a really fun way to engage with consumers, particularly young consumers as it’s very photogenic for sharing online. It’s one we’re really excited about and will be popular in southern countries where the climate is really suited for this finish.”

Consumer Engagement
Ball’s enhanced can uses Digimarc watermarking technology to integrate an imperceptible code within the artwork, allowing consumers to scan anywhere on the can as a whole, rather than a printed QR code, and link through to online content.

Crown’s Crown­Connect connects brands with their consumers. Developed in conjunction with IoT company, EVRYTHNG, the technology was first used with FACT water and was awarded ‘Best in Metal’ at the 2018 UK Packaging Awards. It gives each and every can its own digital identity via a unique product code revealed under the ring-pull when the can is opened.  Consumers can scan their code to access a range of online content including competitions and games, traceability information or even tokens redeemable for cash.

The platform also delivers critical purchasing data for companies that can help to shape future marketing and promotional campaigns.

Sustainable machinery

In machinery, everyone was citing sustainability statistics, less energy consumption, less water use and quicker change over times to increase productivity.

GEA is now offering complete end-to-end solutions following its acquisition of Vipoll earlier this year. Its all in one monobloc can switch between bottle, cans and PET filling all on the same line, with just a 20-minute changeover process.

Wild Goose-Meheen cater for the craft brewer who is just starting out in larger production.

Andy Ferguson, director of international sales for Wild Goose, said: “This year we’ve got our new Evolutions series which starts as a one head, 15cpm machine, and can be upgraded up to a 5 head, 50cpm machine, all on the same machine, all on the same footprint. This enables businesses to easily grow their production.”

The Evolutions series is, Andy says, ideal for those currently using a seven-barrel system, and allows them to grow up to a 60-barrel system.

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