Ball, Daiwa Can Company and Mitsui have entered into an exclusive agreement for the sales and distribution of Daiwa's New Bottle Can beverage container in North America.
Under the agreement, Ball will act as exclusive sales representative to Daiwa and Mitsui for the distribution of the New Bottle Can for customers in the United States and Canada.
The bottle can, which is the first commercially successful reclosable metal beverage container in Japan, is currently manufactured in sizes ranging from 350 ml to 500 ml. and will initially be imported from Japan. More than 3 billion New Bottle Cans have been sold worldwide since debuting in 2000. In addition to the sales importation agreement, Ball, Daiwa and Mitsui will also work to establish a manufacturing facility for the New Bottle Can in North America if market conditions warrant.
"This is an exciting new package that offers consumers the additional convenience of a reclosable container to the long list of well-known aluminium can attributes, such as superior shelf life, the ability to chill quickly and easier recyclability," said Ball's Leon A. Midgett, executive vice president and chief operating officer, packaging.
"We will work closely with our customers to explore ways to introduce the New Bottle Can in ways that take advantage of its distinctive look, superior graphics and cube efficiency in order to attract attention on shelves and in cold boxes. This looks to be a wonderful package for the right products. It provides a sleek, tamper proof alternative to competing packages."
Ball has not mentioned whether or not the New Bottle Can is destined for European markets, but with its extensive manufacturing operations there it would seem to be a natural 'next step', if the product is a success in the North American market.
Ball Corporation is one of the world's leading suppliers of metal and plastic packaging to the beverage and food industries. The company also owns Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. With the addition of Ball Packaging Europe, acquired in December 2002, Ball expects sales in 2003 of approximately $5.1 billion (€4.6m), $4.6 billion from its packaging segment and $500 million from its aerospace and technologies segment.