For the beverage industry, the concept of a reclosable can has always been considered the holy grail of package design, but reaching that goal was a challenge for designers and manufacturers alike. From a design perspective, it can prove difficult to bring new functionality that is intuitive to use without adding 1) significant weight to the lid and 2) costs for manufacturing. Although various solutions have been presented over the years, they have typically proven too technically complex and economically unworkable, particularly in terms of integrating them into filling lines that have now been standardized internationally. Until recently.
We’ve mentioned the reclosable lid by Xolution before; and Crown sold a version as well. First introduced in Europe in 2013, the XO reclosable end features a simple two-step operation that creates an airtight seal every time the tab is re-closed, offering enhanced convenience and product protection for on-the-go consumers. Opening the end is easy and intuitive: The consumer simply lifts the tab at the back of the can to open the vent seal and then slides the rest of the tab backward to reveal the drinking aperture. Reversing the process recloses the can, giving consumers the confidence that their beverage and carbonation will be safely contained and preserved.
In late October, Big Choice will unveil a new beer packaged in 19.2-ounce cans with a resealable lid – not the twist-off kind, but one that slides back into place so that the beer can be opened one night and finished the next.
“We tried it last year on one of our Hemlock Double IPAs. It sealed really well and held up for quite a while,” says Big Choice’s Andrea Miller. “I don’t know any other brewery that is using this type of lid.”
In a saturated market, sometimes the simplest changes to a package can make all the difference. This is why the beverage end is going beyond simply being employed as a tool to seal cans. Whether it enhances the drinking experience, adds convenience to consumer lifestyles or simply makes it easier to drink our favorite beverage wherever — and whenever — we want, the beverage end is now helping brands evolve and expand their reach. The end is just the beginning, as they say.
Although it currently specializes in the energy-drink market, Xolution is branching out into other beverage markets, including craft beer, says company sales manager Alan Teague, who lives in Boulder County and first met Miller at a Broomfield Chamber of Commerce meeting.
“Big Choice is fairly innovative, and they felt like this was something they could do,” Teague says. “And it gives us a good opportunity to show that this can be done.” Xolution, he adds, has had conversations with several craft-beer makers, as well as “all of the major breweries in the U.S.”