Are Printed Cans Worth the Cost, Space?

​When it came time ​for Bootstrap Brewing to choose a packaging vessel, cans were the choice. Picking how the Longmont, Colorado brewery would showcase its art on the packaging was also a choice. Co-owner Leslie Kaceus said they​ she felt printed cans were the most eco-friendly solution​.

“Recycling centers are experiencing difficulties with wraps and stickers​,” she said​​.

Ecliptic Brewing started out using shrink-wrapped cans but transitioned to a generic can that they labeled post filling. Packaging Manager Alaric Lawrence noted they switched to a labeled can because the shrink-wrapped cans tended to jam up in the depalletizer and in the canning line.

“The labeled cans were a nice way to start with our seasonal brands because it enabled us to transition between seasonal bears without the financial commitment it takes for printed cans,” he said. “The negative aspect of labeled cans was the additional cost per can from the label itself to the additional staff member needed to visually check each can as it got labeled.​”​

Kaceus said a bonus for printed cans is that the quality tolerance is exceptional over the other ​two ways as well. The downside is that the 6,300-barrel facility will have to purchase 25 pallets of cans at a time per printed offering.

“With ​five ​SKUs, storage space can be challenging at the time,” Kaceus said.

Dust Bowl Brewing moved to the printed cans for their Taco Truck Lager because it’s a high volume, year-round style.

“Although the minimum order is significantly more than pressure-sensitive, we wanted a more elevated look, which we believe is important and expected with a year-round product,” said marketing and PR Manager Michelle Peterson.​

Although printed cans take several months, ​Peterson believes the results are well worth it when the product is a high-volume mover.

​”​We think it’s vital to show both the consumer and our wholesalers our level of commitment from the quality of the beer all the way to the packaging​,” she said.​

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