Atlanta, Georgia-based Graphic Packaging International (GPI) has developed KeelClip, a paperboard packaging solution for cans that the company says offers sustainability advantages and merchandising benefits as compared to other packaging options. GPI also says KeelClip performs well in high-speed environments, thanks to the corresponding KeelClip 1600 machinery system.
“KeelClip is preferred to other can packaging options due to sustainability, brand positioning and high-speed application advantages. That’s a game-changer,” said GPI’s EVP and Americas President Joe Yost. “It’s a product that was engineered with sustainability in mind. It also serves our customers with more branding options and, even better, it provides their consumers with an improved user experience and a product they can feel good about using.”
KeelClip works on a wide range of can styles and sizes, and in multiple product configurations. Thanks to how the cans and package are assembled, branding potential is better than ever. During application with the KeelClip 1600 machinery system, cans may be precisely oriented for maximum shelf appeal, and the center keel secures the product for dependable delivery and a consistent display. Plus, the package may be printed with high-quality graphics to showcase the product’s branding in a way that plastic rings cannot.
“In addition to sustainability, consumer experience was at the forefront of our minds when designing KeelClip,” said Steve Gould, GPI’s new product development and marketing director, beverage division, Europe. “Reliable, comfortable finger holes on top of the pack allow for easy carrying, and the can tops are completely covered, keeping them cleaner than before. We also made sure that while the cans are secure in the package for transport, they can be easily removed for the consumer to enjoy without frustration. Finally, when the last can is removed, KeelClip can be tossed right in the recycling bin.”
Anheuser-Busch InBev will be one of the first to commercialize KeelClip. Beginning in March of 2020, the Budweiser brewer will have brands in the U.K. market, such as Bud Light, packaged leveraging the new KeelClip.
“As one of the largest can users in the world, with best-selling brands like Stella Artois and Budweiser, the circular packaging solutions we take on must be scalable and efficient to keep up with demand. The KeelClip technology will allow us to produce up to 2,000 cans per minute in sustainable, recyclable paperboard. We will be reconfiguring our entire canning production lines in the U.K. to introduce this machinery and expand overall paperboard packaging capacity so that we can ensure all plastic rings are eliminated,” said Elise Dickinson, head of innovation for Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, part of AB InBev.