Metal packaging provider Ardagh Metal Packaging announced yesterday today (27 February)  the acquisition of a majority share in digital can printers NOMOQ.

The Switzerland-based digital can printers is the latest company to join Ardagh Metal Packaging’s umbrella after the packaging provider’s acquisition of Quebec-based digital printers Hart Print in 2021.

Ardagh Metal Packaging’s CEO, Oliver Graham describes it as a perfect fit and the latest step in its investment programme following its successful integration of Hart Print in North America which encouraged the company to seek a similar model in Europe. 

What does Ardagh Metal Packaging’s NOMOQ investment mean for aluminium beverage cans?

GlobalData senior analyst Dominic Cakebread tells Packaging Gatew exclusively the acquisition will enable it to target smaller-volume beverage producers with high-quality digitally printed beverage cans. 

He explains: “This move enables Ardagh to provide more graphicly creative and individually tailored cans for short-run brands, new product launches, special seasonal products and specific promotions – where perhaps simple changes in the label printing or multipack design would traditionally be used to differentiate the product.” 

He continues: “I cannot see that the digital printing itself makes much of a difference to the sustainability issue overall, however, what it does do, is enable aluminium beverage cans to compete more strongly with glass and PET for short-run products and brands, providing a means for smaller beverage producers to differentiate their brands via a different pack format and size coupled enhanced and customised graphic design. 

Cakebread doesn’t think technically the extension of digital printing will have a major impact in the short term as the print will burn off, however, he says it does mean that aluminium cans could take more share from glass and PET for these smaller run products, so it is likely to have some impact on sustainability in terms longer term.

This falls in line with a recent trend noted by GlobalData researchers whereby consumers want drinks packaging to be sustainable. In fact, earlier this month a recent webinar hosted by GlobalData titled “The top trends in alcoholic beverages 2023,” showed half of global consumers look for information on whether the pack can be recycled. 

Founded in 2021, NOMOQ was set up to provide beverage cans with creative, digitally printed designs that were fully recyclable for all drink sizes and produced with a quick turnaround. The company offers businesses the ability to produce sustainable packs with almost limitless colour options and photorealistic graphics.

Ardagh Metal Packaging is a supplier of sustainable and infinitely recyclable beverage cans globally and operates 24 production facilities in nine countries.