Cans of the Year Awards 2019 report
The Can of the Year for 2019 is a seafood container that demonstrated both performance and decoration superiority.
Mark McCord reviews the Gold winners
A canned fish container that left judges stunned by its lightness and strength has won The Canmaker’s overall Can of the Year award for 2019.
Ardagh’s drawn tinplate ultra-lightweight can was given top honours at The Canmaker Summit, held last month in London. It also took Gold in the Food Two-Piece category at the year’s biggest night for the global canmaking industry.
Produced by the Ireland-based canmaker at a plant in Germany, the Hansa-shaped packaging is made from ultra-thin aluminium and was designed to hold mackerel fillets, a national dish of Norway, for Orkla Foods’ Stabburet brand. It also features an easy-open closure with a ring-pull.
Judges were so impressed with its 0.19mm-gauge body that they spent some time bouncing the container around in their hands, amazed that a can could be so light while still offering rigidity.
“We are delighted that this can has been awarded such an important trophy,” Woep Möller, chief executive of Ardagh’s Food & Speciality Europe business, said. “Orkla Foods has specified aluminium for its cans for many years due to its infinite recyclability. In addition, this lightweight can offers a perfect branding surface for its striking design and together with its excellent functionality clearly is a winning combination.”
Ardagh produced 60 different designs for the can, many of them featuring cartoons and representing a number of towns in Norway, set against the yellow background used on all the brand’s products. The manufacturer said that the new packaging enabled it to reduce production costs and achieve material savings without compromising performance during the retort process.
The cans were developed with Stabburet at Ardagh’s Cuxhaven plant in northern Germany. The base of each design is inscribed with the legend “Er du en av oss?” (Are you one of us?).
Ardagh also took the Beverage Three-Piece Gold award for its welded steel can made for GAYA Gold Coffee, an iced ready-to-drink product.
This eye-catching product was designed to evoke the freshness and richness of its contents. The green body conjures the natural freshness of ripe coffee beans and stands in stunning contrast with the can’s gold ends, which hint at the warmth and richness of the roasted finished product. Judges were also impressed by the subtle edging that they felt complimented the gold branding.
The blow-moulded can, made at Ardagh’s Deventer plant, has an internal coating that’s designed to retain its protective properties even after the steel is stretched by 26 per cent. The lining also enables the can to withstand the high temperatures of the sterilisation process.
The judges felt the product added a contemporary twist to a design of more ancient containers, an unexpected effect for a beverage can. Its shape is not only visually attractive, but is also surprisingly comfortable to hold.
Ardagh’s success in multiple categories was hailed by market development manager Marc Bettinger after receiving the awards at The Canmaker Summit in London last month.
“We’re delighted to have won this award and to be recognised in a wide variety of categories,” Bettinger said. “It’s testament to the diversity and quality of our products.”
The Beverage Two-Piece Gold award was claimed by Japan’s Toyo Seikan for its 375ml polyester-coated D&I aluminium can produced to hold E & J Gallo Winery’s Dark Horse wine. By using a special BPA-NI end paired with one of the company’s aTULC bodies, this package offers wine with double the shelf life of conventional aluminium D&I cans.
Modesto, California-based Gallo worked with Toyo Seikan for two years to produce this container for a range of reds, whites and a rosé. Extending the shelf life of canned wine is seen as key to the development of this fast-growing market segment.
Two manufacturers shared the Decoration and Print Quality Gold award this year.
The high-definition graphics of Ball’s 500ml D&I aluminium beverage can for Russian brewer Alcon’s BRAUS beer caught the judges’ eye for its fine detail and won it the Two-Piece Decoration Gold award. Its vivid facial depictions were rendered in pin-sharp definition, each design intended to reflect the personality of the beers inside.
UK-based Metprint took the honours in Three-Piece Decoration for its lock-seamed tinplate seasonal secondary container. The tin’s crackle finish complemented its design to evoke a wonderfully festive theme.
Judges were particularly impressed with the intricacy and richness of the design, which comprised minimal bright spots to create the impression that the tin is illuminated inside with candles. They described it as a beautiful example of the printer’s craft.
Ball also emerged victorious in the Prototype category, winning Gold for its 360-degree embossed impact-extruded aerosol can, a product the judges felt demonstrated a ‘unique technical wizardry’. The US-based canmaker has spent some time developing the embossing technique, which it hopes to use not only for decorative purposes but to add a tactile element to containers.
By employing new printing techniques developed alongside the embossing process, Ball has the capability to create designs that integrate with the relief pattern to produce a distinctive visual experience.
DS Containers, also in the US, was triumphant in the Aerosols category. Its newly-developed D&I aluminium 2.5oz- and 7oz-size cans for Procter & Gamble’s Gillette shaving gel offer the benefit of being 20 per cent lighter than equivalent
impact-extruded aluminium cans while meeting pressure requirements and being produced at rates – potentially more than 1,200 per minute – offering significant cost savings.
In the Bottles category, Gold was won by Japan’s Universal Can Corporation for the D&I aluminium container made for Monster Energy drink. The packaging’s modern appearance was achieved by tooling a new neck profile and creating a new base shape. Both developments combined successfully to project an image that was in keeping with the brand’s target market.
Tea is central to Chinese culture and its effective preservation in packaging is an important selling point for producers. Shenzhen Daman Packaging of southern China created a peel-off end and twist-lid for Beijing Xiao Guan Tea that was so easy to use that it was awarded the Ends, Caps and Closures Gold.
The tinplate threaded end with a silica-gel liner also impressed judges for the effectiveness with which it was integrated into the three-piece welded tinplate can. The can is closed and sealed by partial rotation of the end, which has a peelable aluminium foil and an edge that locks into the thread.
The Fancy Cans category produced another eye-catching range of entrants but none were as impressive as Dongguan GM Metal of Hong Kong’s tea caddy. The lock-seam tinplate tin won Gold for its sparingly applied debossed design, which added greater visual impact to an already appealing container. Judges also noted its plug and clip lid, and concave base, which add to its stackability.
A welded tinplate trompe l’oeil took Gold in the Food Three-Piece category this year. ASA San Marino’s decorative 500ml bottle for D’Orazio olive is rectangular for the bulk of its body but gradually reforms to a circular base. Not only was the shaping appealing to the judges, they also liked the way the decoration was sympathetic with the structural design.
Österreichische Blechwarenfabrik Pirlo in Austria was this year’s winner of the General Line Gold for its drawn tinplate tin with slip lid produced for Lavolta Cosmetics’ Dr Armah’s Lavolta cream
The judges liked the use of tinplate packaging for cosmetics and noted that, while the material had been chosen for its specific properties, the execution and design of the finished product were worthy of note in their own right.
Can of the Year 2019
Winner: Ardagh Group, Germany
Aluminium can with easy-open end for Orkla Foods; Stabburet mackerel
Delegates’ Choice 2019: Gruppo ASA, San Marino
Three-piece welded tinplate decorative 500ml bottle for D-Orazio olive oil
- Gold: DS Containers, USA
D&I aluminium 2.5oz & 7oz cans for Procter & Gamble; Gillette shaving gel
- Silver: Tubex, Germany
250ml impact-extruded aluminium light-weight can for Unilever; Dove Men+Care deodorant
- Bronze: Crown Cork & Seal, USA
Three-piece welded tinplate 7oz debossed can for Perio; Barbasol shaving cream
- Gold: Ardagh Group, Netherlands
Three-piece welded steel shaped can for GAYA Gold Coffee; GAYA coffee
- Silver: ORG Technology, China
Three-piece welded tinplate 980ml cartridge can for Benxi Longshanquan Beer; Longshanquan beer
- Bronze: Hindustan Tin Works, India
Three-piece welded tinplate can for Allahabad Canning; Morton fruit juice
- Gold: Toyo Seikan, Japan
375ml polyester laminated D&I aluminium can with BPA-NI end for E & J Gallo Winery; Dark Horse wine
- Silver: Ball Corporation, USA
D&I aluminium one pint and one quart can with resealable cap for Crowler Nation; The Crowler
- Bronze: Ardagh Group, UK
330ml & 500ml D&I aluminium embossed cans for Anheuser-Busch InBev; Jupiler beer
- Gold: Universal Can Corporation, Japan
D&I aluminium 500ml bottle for Monster Energy Japan; Monster Energy drink
- Silver: CCL Container, USA
One pint impact-extruded aluminium bottle for Anheuser-Busch; Budweiser Discovery Reserve beer
- Bronze: Exal Corporation, USA
Impact-extruded aluminium 310ml bottle for Califia Farms; Califia draft latte
Decoration & Print Quality Three-piece
- Gold: Metprint, UK
Lock-seam tinplate decorative secondary container for Metprint Season’s Greetings gift tin
- Silver: Sarten Ambalaj, Turkey
Three-piece welded tinplate aerosol can with high-resolution printing for various customers
Decoration & Print Quality Two-piece
- Gold: Ball Corporation, USA
500ml D&I aluminium beverage can with high-resolution graphics for Alcon; BRAUS beer
- Silver: Canpack Group, Poland
D&I aluminium 500ml beverage can with various graphic effects for Plzensky Prazdroj brewery; Pilsner Urquell beer
- Bronze: Orora Beverage Can, Australia
250ml D&I aluminium can with tactile ink for Beam Suntory; Koyomi Highball alcoholic beverage
Ends, Caps & Closures
- Gold: Shenzhen Daman Packaging, China
Three-piece welded tinplate can with aluminium peel-off end and twist lid for Beijing Xiao Guan Tea; Xiao Guan Cha tea
- Silver: Canpack Metal Closures, Poland
Crown cap with engraved liner for Carlsberg Group; Carlsberg Pilsner beer
- Bronze: Shetron, India
Tinplate twist-off cap for Marcatus QED; Bubbies gherkins
- Gold: Dongguan GM Metal Products, Hong Kong
Lock-seam tinplate can with plug and slip lid for The East India Company, London Tea
- Silver: Dongguan GM Metal Products, Hong Kong
Lock-seam balloon-shaped can for Churchill’s Confectionery
- Joint Bronze: Meister, Brazil
Drawn tinplate decorative can for Meister; Filigrees candies/confectionery
- Joint Bronze: Crown Aerosols & Promotional Packaging, UK
Lock-seam secondary container for Nicolas Feuillatte champagne bottle
- Gold: Gruppo ASA, San Marino
Three-piece welded tinplate decorative 500ml resealable bottle for D-Orazio olive oil
- Silver: Hindustan Tin Works, India
Three-piece welded tinplate can with ring-pull and slip lid for De Diet Chef India; Tea Valley tea
- Bronze: Colep, Portugal
Three-piece welded tinplate embossed can for Gallo Worldwide; Azeite Gallo olive oil
- Gold: Ardagh Group, Germany
Aluminium can with easy-open end for Orkla Foods; Stabburet mackerel
- Silver: ORG Technology, China
Drawn laminated steel bowl with peel-off end and plastics lid for Xiamen Sinong Biotechnology; Yan Palace
- Bronze: Ardagh Group, France
D&I tinplate can with easy-open end for D’AUCY vegetables
- Gold: Österreichische Blechwarenfabrik Pirlo, Austria
Drawn tinplate tin with slip lid for Lavolta Cosmetics, Dr Armah-Biomedica; Dr. Armah’s Lavolta cream
- Silver: Colep, Portugal
Three-piece welded tinplate stackable container for Akzo Nobel; Bruguer paint
- Bronze: Bharat Tin Works, India
Four-litre three-piece welded tinplate pail for Asian Paints WoodTech Emporio paint
- Gold: Ball Aerosol Packaging, USA
All-round embossed impact-extruded aluminium aerosol can
- Silver: Calvo Envases, Spain
Polymer-coated drawn steel food two-piece can with peelable aluminium end for tuna
- Bronze: Toyo Seikan, Japan
D&I aluminium beverage can with embossed neck