Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I launched limited edition Beck's Art Series using digital printing technology

18 November 2019

 Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, a proud part of AB InBev, through its Global Innovation and Technology Center (GITEC), is introducing Direct Object Printing onto beer bottles, a unique technology being developed in the brewer’s Tattoo Alpha Plant (TAP) in Haasrode.

This revolutionary technology is being rolled out to market for the first time to customers in the UK Grocery retail sector as part of a limited-edition run of Beck’s Artist Series, which is a collaboration between GITEC, the iconic brand Beck’s and six upcoming artists. The outcome of this collaboration is nine unique bottle designs. In total 200,000 bottles will be available in this limited-edition.

"Direct object printing on glass is a revolution in print and AB InBev is pioneering this technology”, says Simon Gerdesmann, Digital Object Printing and TAP Site Manager. “The state of digital direct object printing is comparable to the first digital label press back in the nineties. In the next years it will grow and will have its own spot in the current labeling techniques landscape."

The printed bottles have ink and varnish applied directly to the glass for a ‘no label’ look, with full 360 bottle decoration and a premium design. Furthermore, this technology allows digital embossing, giving a tactile effect to the glass. "This digital embossing is one of the most unusual capabilities of this technology,” Gerdesmann explains. “Colorless ink is used to meme traditional glass embossing, bringing a new dimension to bottle decoration - consumers will feel and experience a bottle in a completely different way.” This printing technology has been used in the past, but the Beck’s Artist Series marks the first time the technology has been commercialized on a larger scale.

"We are excited that we now have a way to combine a digital print and a premium bottle design which enables our beer brands to deliver unique and varying messages on the bottles. Premium small batch productions for specific events or moments are now possible four weeks faster than the traditional bottle labels - from designing to having it on the shelf, where it will definitely stand out from the pack." Gerdesmann says.

Recent marketing campaigns using the innovation include 10,000 personalized Budweiser cans featuring 20 different flag designs created for the music festival Tomorrowland; personalized Budweiser bottles for the players of the FIFA™ 2018 World Cup finale, ready on ice in their locker rooms; personalized Father’s Day chalices and special Jupiler 0,0% bottles were printed for AB InBev’s annual Global Beer Responsible Day 2018. Until now these marketing campaigns did not lead to a launch in the market, but that’s about to change with the launch of the Beck’s Artist Series.


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