Insulated beer cans
Labatt Breweries of Canada is an arm of Anheuser-Busch Inbev. It launched the first ever insulated beer cans in May 2005. The new 473ml Labatt Blue Cold One beer is available in aluminium cans wrapped in preprinted, insulated shrink labels.
Once chilled, the innovative technology of the new can keeps beer colder for longer and is convenient for leisurely consumption.
The thin, insulated wrapper protects beer from heat generated by the consumer’s hand, condensation and the outside temperature. Labatt decided to develop this insulated can as a solution to the consumers’ complaint that their beer gets warm too fast once it is out of the fridge. Labatt Blue Cold One was developed at the Labatt Centre for Innovation in London, Ontario. Labatt Breweries operated two major facilities in Toronto and London in Canada.
These two breweries produce more than 40% of Labatt’s beer brewed in Canada. However, Labatt closed its Toronto brewery in 2006 due to the excessive supply of beer in Central Canada which resulted in competitive disadvantage It was demolished in 2007.
The Ohio-based Multi-Colour Corporation, in association with DuPont, developed the insulated label system for Labatt Brewing Company.
Multi-Colour Corporation is a supplier of in-mold labels (IMLs), heat transfer labels (HTLs), cut-and-stack, pressure sensitive labels and shrink-sleeve packages.
Quick Pak, the company’s Packaging Services Division, provides promotional packaging, assembly and fulfilment services.
The Labatt Blue Cold One is coated with a DuPont ‘Cool2Go’ wrap with a thin thermal barrier that protects the beer from warm hands, condensation and the outside temperature. Once chilled, the insulated wrap keeps the beer colder for longer than a conventional can.
The brewery had previously introduced the twist-off cap and ice brewing technology.
The shrink-sleeve label was produced at Multi-Colour’s Scottsburg facility. The labels are rotogravure printed using a unique shrink material designed to maximise the insulating properties of the package. The bold colours on this label conform to the long-standing Labatt brand, highlighted by silver metallic inks to make it look enticing.
The pre-press work, including separations and cylinder engraving, was done at Multi-Colour’s Graphics Services facility in Erlanger, KY, US. The labels are applied on cans at Alliance Labelling in Oakville, Ontario.
The Cool2Go wrap is made by placing a high tech, polymer insulation between two layers of DuPont’s Melinex film. This patented process creates a thin thermal barrier that keeps beer colder for longer.
The insulation layer also makes Labatt Blue Cold One cans more comfortable to hold. The bright and distinctive blue hues on the shrink-wrap of the Labatt Blue Cold One six-pack cans are printed with DuPont Cyrel NOW.
Cyrel NOW is a universal plate for fine halftone, line, screen and solid printing of most printable materials and has a wide processing exposure range and short drying cycles. In addition to alcohol-based and water-based inks, Cyrel NOW is also compatible with UV inks and offers very good ink transfer and long press runs even during critical applications. The plate is very flexible and is suitable for even the smallest cylinder diameters.
The application of this technology to beer cans is said to be the first in the world. The high tech label is a thin thermal barrier that insulates the can, maintaining the cold temperature.
The use of proprietary insulation technology and Cyrel NOW on the Labatt Blue Cold One is an innovation by DuPont, which is renowned for its scientifically developed packaging solutions that come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The patented structure keeps beer colder for longer by preventing heat transfer from warm hands, condensation and external temperature. The insulation forms a thin thermal barrier to keep beer colder for longer allowing consumers to sip the drink at a leisurely pace. The added layer of insulation also makes Labatt Blue Cold One cans more comfortable to hold.