Bossing the embossing: Ardagh designs colder-for-longer Jupiler beer can
23 Jul 2019 --- Ardagh Group has replicated the distinctive flutes of Jupiler’s glassware in an embossed can, providing an added functional benefit: the smaller surface area keeps the beer colder for longer. Ardagh reports that the Jupiler project has led to tooling innovations that enable the supplier to render embossed designs with greater definition, creating new branding opportunities for customers.
Ardagh, a leader in the embossed can market, first created an embossed design for the Jupiler brand in 2014, producing 33cl and 50cl cans that were debossed on their lower halves. The success with which these cans echoed the glassware’s characteristic ribbing, which is a key part of the brand’s identity in the Benelux countries, was reflected both in Jupiler’s sales and its invitation to update the design for 2019, Ardagh says.
The latest version features debossed flutes that not only mirror the design of the Jupiler glassware more closely, but also provide a functional benefit. Research produced by AB Inbev (ABI) in collaboration with Diabatix, a Belgian company that specializes in generative thermal design, showed that by reducing the surface area in contact with the drinker’s hand, the recessed relief of the full-length flutes lowers heat transfer, keeping the beer colder for longer.
However, the design process was not without its complications. “Pressing a design into a can wall just 0.1mm thick has to be done judiciously and in the right areas. There’s no handbook for this, just the experience gained over the last 15 years of using [embossing] technology,” says John Reed, Product Application Manager of Ardagh Group’s European Metal division.
“A critical aspect of this technology is that the larger the area to be embossed, the shallower and less well defined the impression created by the tooling, which made the length and depth of the flutes in the new Jupiler design a considerable challenge,” Reed explains.
A partial solution was provided by dividing the flutes into short sections, but to achieve the required depth of debossing, Ardagh went back to the drawing board to change the way the embossing tooling is cut. The result was tooling capable of combining both definition and depth to create a debossed can whose detail references the Jupiler fluted glass more closely and satisfies ABI’s colder-for-longer concept.
The finishing touch, meanwhile, lies in the design’s sparing use of color. Rather than being printed with a solid red as first intended, the Jupiler cans exploit the highlights and reflections of their bare, embossed aluminum to create a premium feel and a striking appearance that stands out among on retail shelves.
The fact that Jupiler chose to continue investing in embossed packaging for its Benelux market is a measure of a renewal of interest in the technology, Reed notes. “The embossing market had been dormant for the past couple of years, but it's back in vogue again, especially among brewers.”
“Brewers are looking to create a premium brand for their beers. The production innovation which resulted from the Jupiler project has wider benefits as it gives us the opportunity to take a fresh look at embossing and allows us to create more complicated designs while still achieving strong stand-out,” Reed concludes.
Likewise, liquid coffee extract producer Cafeahaus AG has launched Goldbrew – a ready-to-drink (RTD), cold-brewed coffee range in Ardagh’s 250ml slim can on the German market. The range includes “Goldbrew ginger & lemon” and “Goldbrew grapefruit & lemon.” The subsidiary of DEK Berlin has complimented the Goldbrew range with a nitro original cold-brew coffee, which comes in Ardagh’s unique Nitro Can.
This month, Ardagh announced that it has entered into an agreement to combine its Food & Specialty Metal Packaging business (“Food & Specialty”) with the business of Exal, a leading producer of aluminum containers, to form Trivium Packaging. The combining companies aim to establish “a global leader in metal packaging.” Ardagh reports that it will put the estimated US$2.5 billion that it is due to earn from the combination with Exal towards its US$8 billion debt.
alcoholic beverages; baby & toddlers; bakery; cereals; confectionery; dairy; desserts & ice cream; fruit & vegetables; hot drinks; meat, fish & eggs; other industries; personal care; pet food; pharmaceuticals; ready meals & side dishes; sauces & seasonings; snacks; soft drinks; soup; sports nutrition; spreads; sugar & sweeteners; supplements
Ardagh Group manufactures packaging for the world's biggest brands. We have a reputation for innovation; pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, pioneering new production methods, new design techniques and new ways to recycle and save energy. The unprecedented growth of our business has been driven by our unrivaled expertise, obsession with quality and commitment to continuous improvement.
Ardagh Group has a truly global presence. We operate 109 glass and metal manufacturing facilities in 22 countries, employing approximately 23,500 people and have global sales of approximately €7.7 bn. It is estimated that in an average household globally, you will find at least six products in packaging produced by Ardagh Group.
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