What can you say about the InnoValve itself?
Skotleski: The InnoValve can is a Crown trademark for the entire package – not a name for the valve.
Crown Beverage Packaging North America and La Colombe, were lucky in a sense, because Crown has extensive experience with grommets and inserting them into cans through our Aerosol Division (steel cans). Crown Aerosol Packaging North America utilizes grommets in cans on a daily basis.
The patented “Scheindel Universal Grommet” is an FDA-compliant valve that we have exclusive access to from our partners, Ultramotive.
We saved a great deal of time by not having to develop a custom valve. That said, a great deal of work still needed to be done on applying this valve to an aluminum beverage can for this very unique product application.
Ultramotive was also instrumental in helping to develop the insertion and gassing process. The valve itself is a unique resin based, injection-molded piece that’s inserted into the InnoValve can using a proprietary process.
What details can you share about the Lip Guard over the top of the can?
Carmichael: The lip guard was one of the first aspects of the can that I started designing. Controlling the tactile experience is key with a textured drink, and the lip guard is a way we can translate between the aluminum can and the drinker, augmenting their experience and taste.
Coffee on-the-go is consumed through small holes, straws, lids, etc., which minimize spills, but have the added benefit of directing the beverage to the area of the tongue with the most taste buds, maximizing the flavor.
The lip guard is made of recyclable plastic and it’s completely custom. Current for the product’s initial launch, it is applied manually to the cans in-house at La Colombe.
Skotleski: La Colombe designed the lip guard and created the mold. It is injected molded by its partner, Flexcraft. The lip guard is easily detachable for recycling.
What’s the market status?
Carmichael: The initial limited release of Draft Latte cans stirred a huge amount of interest in this product. We sold more than 10,000 cans the first day it was available.
Consumers are proving what I believe to be true: that the next wave of coffee is cold and it’s mobile. We want to fulfill those desires and continue providing the dynamic, textured experience of coffee that America has come to love and expect in local cafes.
The cans are currently available for pre-order on our website, http://www.lacolombe.com. It will be widely available in La Colombe cafes and national retailers by the end of the summer.