Budweiser has introduced a striking and original new beer can-a bowtie-shaped aluminum can that mirrors Budweiser's iconic bowtie logo. "This can is incomparable, like nothing you've ever seen before," says Pat McGauley, vp of innovation for Anheuser-Busch. The proprietary can, in development since 2010, will be available only in the U.S. and in an 8-pack and will not replace the traditional Budweiser can.
To make the new can possible, Anheuser-Busch engineers needed to solve a number of technical challenges, and major equipment investments were required at Budweiser's can-making facility in Newburgh, NY. Packaging lines at the Budweiser breweries in Los Angeles and Williamsburg, VA, were also upgraded. Proprietary equipment that shapes the can is located in Newburgh. Creating the can requires a 16-step process-10 steps to form the bottom half of the can and an additional six steps to form the top portion.
The Anheuser-Busch Global Innovation Group has been investigating potential can innovations for several years. "We explored various shapes that would be distinguishable in the marketplace, but also viable from an engineering standpoint," McGauley says. "Aluminum can be stretched only about 10 percent without fracturing, which requires that the angles of the bowtie be very precise." Due to the can's slimmer middle and sleek design, it holds 11.3 oz of beer and has about 137 calories, approximately 8.5 fewer calories than a traditional 12-oz can of Budweiser. "This can is certainly a conversation starter: eye-catching, easy-to-grip, trendy and-according to our research-very appealing to young adults," McGauley says. "It's a beer can like no other."
The Budweiser bowtie can is a natural progression from the new packaging introduced in 2011 that emphasized the iconic bowtie; a symbol that first appeared in a national advertising campaign for Budweiser in 1956.