US - Local brewery Blue Dog Mead recently partnered with Crown Beverage Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings Inc, to launch the first ever mead packaged in beverage cans in North America.
A meadery specializing in all honey-based spirits, Blue Dog Mead identified an opportunity for growth based on the success it had seen the premium beer, wine and craft beer markets experience with metal packaging. The company partnered with Crown and Craft Canning, a mobile canning service, to ensure a smooth transition to beverage cans.
A key factor in Blue Dog Mead’s decision to use cans was metal’s inherent ability to block light and oxygen and, in turn, protect the unique flavor of the beverage, as well as its quality. To determine how the mead would perform in its new 12 oz. beverage packaging can format, Crown conducted preliminary testing at its Alsip, Illinois research and development facility.
“It was critical for us to work with a partner that could provide support in all aspects of the packaging process, and we recognized Crown’s expertise in this field,” said Simon Blatz, owner of Blue Dog Mead. “We really value the insight that Crown provided throughout the process and they helped us to get the most out of this packaging format to achieve our objectives.”
Since beverage cans allow for full surface printing, rather than only on a label, the brewery had more space to showcase its unique brand identity, differentiating the ‘new’ drink on store shelves.
As the brand owner had no prior experience designing graphics for metal, Crown provided strategic counsel both in terms of color and imagery. Blue Dog Mead also took advantage of the opportunity to visit Crown’s Olympia, Washington, plant to collaborate on artwork and oversee the metal printing process.
“The launch of Green Collar Mead in aluminum cans embodies Crown’s ability to help customers build their brands through packaging,” said Neill Mitchell, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Development, Crown Beverage Packaging North America.
“In this case, Blue Dog Mead was able to expand its distribution network and reach a whole new customer base in an efficient, eye catching format.”