In the first significant change to the standard 375ml beverage can in Australia since 1986, Amcor is set to introduce a new 202 SuperEnd, replacing the current 206 diameter end.
Conversion of Amcor's manufacturing capability to produce the 202 SuperEnd has already commenced at the Dandenong beverage can plant and Ballarat end plant. The first 202 SuperEnd beverage cans are planned to be launched on to the Australian market later this year. The company says it intends to convert the remaining three Australian beverage can plants by the middle of 2004.
SuperEnd is the latest easy open-end technology for aluminium beverage cans. Amcor's consumer research indicates that the can end has both improved appearance and enhanced functionality over the current can and end package. It aims at providing Australian beverage can consumers with improved pourability, drinkability and ease of opening.
Darryl Roberts, group general manager at Amcor Metal Packaging, said: "We have been working closely with our customers on the introduction of the new 202 can to the local market. We are confident this change, by enhancing the look and feel of the product, will ensure the 375ml can remains contemporary in today's fast-moving beverage marketplace".
Amcor claims that the conversion from the 206 to 202 will result in significant metal savings, achieved from reductions in both the end diameter and gauge. These savings, the company says, are important in maintaining the competitiveness of the aluminium can and will also provide a positive environmental benefit as a result of the lower aluminium metal usage in each can.
SuperEnd is currently produced in the US and South Africa with more than 10 billion having been produced to date for the beer and carbonated soft drink industries in these markets. Amcor Limited has an exclusive licence with Crown Cork & Seal to produce SuperEnd in Australia and New Zealand. The can end is also planned to be launched in Europe, probably in the next few months.
Amcor is currently the largest supplier of aluminium beverage cans in Australia and New Zealand, producing over 2 billion cans annually for major companies within the beverage industry. The company has recently expanding its presence in the European market and is also the leading producer of PET packaging in the world.