Innovative beverage can features built-in straw
- Ball Beverage Packaging Europe has introduced a new can design with a feature called Strawster, a self-activated straw that appears when the tab of the can is engaged, reports ProFood World.
- “Strawster was not specifically developed for one customer, but more to serve a wider goal: How can a brand owner stand out at the point-of-sale with delivering a unique and value-added drinking experience?” Arjen van Zurk, marketing manager for Ball Beverage Packaging Europe told ProFood World.
- Poland-based beverage distributor MAG Dystrybucja is integrating the straw into its MPower brand. There have been some product launches in other European countries as well.
Cans that feature Strawster could help beverage makers — particularly energy drink makers — get a leg up on the competition in a hyper-competitive market. ProFood World reports that cans with a built-in straw could make energy drinks more appealing to women. It provides a “wow” factor as well as functionality for on-the-go consumers.
Strawster could have applications in other beverage categories as well. There’s nothing stopping other drinkable canned products — ready-to-drink coffee, iced tea, sparkling water, carbonated sodas, juice and even soup — from experimenting with this latest feature. After all, the drinks sector is no stranger to packaging innovation.
Juices and other kids’ drinks moved to aseptic boxes and pouches — complete with little plastic straws attached — years ago. Now, the $19.8 billion juice industry could use an innovation boost. The juice market is expected to decline 7% between 2016 and 2021, according to a report by Mintel. Product innovations, reformulations and innovative packaging such as Strawster could go a long way toward easing consumer distrust of the juice category.
Other drink categories have been rife with packaging experiments as well. Soda makers have introduced small eight-ounce cans to help consumers cut back on their sugar intake. Some sustainability-minded manufacturers — Boxed Water and Rethink Water, among them — have booted the bottle in favor of packaging water in paper-based cartons that are better for the environment. And earlier this year, Coca-Cola rolled out new bottles that included removable wristbands that potentially offered entry to some of the largest music festivals in a target area.
In addition to Strawster, other beverage packaging innovations trying to make it into the mainstream include dual-chamber bottles, self-heating and cooling containers, aseptic paperboard “cans,” and even a Coca-Cola “bag.” It may be a while before consumers find Strawster and other innovative features on the store shelf, however, given the cost-prohibitive nature of some of these out-of-the-box inventions.
- ProFood World Integrated straw could stir up interest in energy drinks
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