UK - As difficult as it may seem to rejuvenate iconic packaging like Heineken’s trademark “keg” beer can, a special can with grooved edges around its entire body has done just that, reenergizing the brand’s shelf presence in the competitive retail market.
The funky new “Groovy Embossed Can”, which was collaboratively developed by Heineken and Ball Packaging Europe, offers consumers an enhanced tactile experience that also provides its handler a stabile grip on the chilled can.
Mark van Iterson, Global Head of Design at Heineken explained, “With the design of our new “Groovy Embossed Can,” we are combining cutting-edge technology with a bold design statement to surprise and excite consumers in a category that’s sometimes seen as heritage driven. The fresh, iconic design expresses the progressive personality of the brand and gives increased impact and stopping power at the point-of-sale.”
Heineken’s main target group is open minded young adults: modern life-style, very mobile and always up-to-date and curious. They like the can for its functional and portable qualities and because it’s cool and progressive. Although the ‘keg can’ had won much favor within this consumer base, Heineken recognized that the time was right to inject fresh energy into their packaging. The brand in turn approached its long-term partners at Ball Packaging Europe to develop this new solution.
“One of the challenges the team faced in development was creating a new look within the parameters of the embossing and debossing technology without compromising Heineken’s distinctive and powerful design elements – aspects which are obviously key to on-shelf product recognition,” said John Reed, Manager Product Commercial at Ball Packaging Europe.
“We wanted to include a significant amount of debossed features in the design in order to give the can a unique look without compromising the structure integrity of the package.”
The unique solution was to create a horizontally grooved can. To realize the full visual potential of the design, several color options were tested before choosing to leave the bulk of the can’s surface unprinted, relying on the natural reflective qualities of the metal to create a compelling visual effect.
“In the race to grab consumer attention, our trials showed that the best approach was not to overwhelm the can with color. Perhaps counterintuitively, embossing and debossing over color can sometimes detract from visual impact,” Reed explained.
That didn’t mean compromising the iconic Heineken green color scheme with the distinctive red star. The effects achieved by the technology ensure that the “Groovy Embossed Can” generates powerful on-shelf impact while continuing to evoke the spirit of the Heineken brand.
“Special products like this are particularly beneficial in markets that rely heavily on packaging to directly communicate with consumers,” Reed continued. “Thanks to this joint team approach, we have given the Heineken can a special look and tactile experience that will get people talking.“