AB InBev brand Budweiser takes a bow with ‘incomparable’ new can


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AB InBev sees its new look Budweiser can as a 'conversation starter', as it seeks to revitalize the brand in the US
AB InBev sees its new look Budweiser can as a 'conversation starter', as it seeks to revitalize the brand in the US

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AB InBev claims that a new bowtie-shaped Budweiser can riffing on its logo, a permanent addition to its US packaging portfolio from May 6, is wholly unique and ‘very appealing to young adults’.

Pat McGauley, VP of innovation for AB InBev, described the can (pictured right) as "incomparable, like nothing you've ever seen before"​ ; the firm has developed its proprietary package since 2010.

10m of the cans have already been manufactured for the can’s spring launch – in eight-packs across the country – while an additional 8m will be made this month.

AB InBev said the bowtie can was a natural progression from new packaging introduced in 2011 that emphasized the bowtie, a symbol that first appeared in national advertising for Budweiser in 1956.

Special properietary equipment used

Significant capital investments were needed at Budweiser’s can-making facility in Newburgh, New York, AB InBev said, while significant capital investments were required to upgrade packaging lines at breweries in Los Angeles and Williamsburg, Virginia.

Proprietary equipment at Newburgh allows the cans to be created using a 16-step process, with 10 steps necessary to form the can’s bottom half, six to form its top portion.

AB InBev said its Global Innovation Group had investigated potential can innovations for several years, and explored various shapes with marketplace standout that were also viable from an engineering standpoint.

McGauley said: "Aluminum can be stretched only about 10% without fracturing, which requires that the angles of the bowtie be very precise."

‘Very appealing to young adults’

The new can has a smaller capacity, 11.3oz of beer (rather than 12oz) 137 calories, due to its slimmer middle and sleek design and McGauley described the new design as a "conversation starter ".

"Eye-catching, easy-to-grip, trendy and – according to our research – very appealing to young adults,"​ he added.

Company legend suggests that the bowtie symbol was initially introduced when too many people began using the ‘Bud’ bar call too frequently.

So the company added double triangles on either side to emphasize the full Budweiser name.

AB InBev also announced that it is testing a new 25oz can to replace a current 24oz model, with sales due to begin this summer.

AB InBev introduces such packaging innovations a it bids to revitalize the core Budweiser brand in the US, despite strong global growth (volumes  rose 6.3% in 2012).

CEO Carlos Brita told analysts during the brewer’s Q4 2012 earnings call on February 27 that “the brand still faces challenges in the US, but we remain committed to stabilizing its share”.

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