Budweiser Budvar UK is trialling Smurfit Kappa's TopClip, a newly-designed cardboard beer can packaging solution, as the Czech beer brand works to reduce plastic waste.
The branded packaging, holding six 330ml cans of Budweiser Budvar Original Czech Lager, will be available in 168 Waitrose shops. Made from sustainably sourced paper, it is 100% recyclable, and will eliminate an estimated metric tonne of single-use plastic waste in its first year of use, the equivalent of a quarter of a million plastic bags.
It reflects the distinctive new Budweiser Budvar design seen on bottles and cans. Along with the classic red logo, and historic roundel for the town of Ceské Budejovice where all Budweiser Budvar is brewed, the design offers Greetings From The Republic of Beer, supporting the brand’s new marketing position.
The patented TopClip has been developed by paper-based packaging specialist Smurfit Kappa to meet Budweiser Budvar’s need to supply beer in a secure package that also meets consumers’ increasing expectations of high environmental standards.
Simon George, managing director of Budweiser Budvar UK, said: “As a brewery owned by a nation, not a corporation, we have a particular responsibility to take a lead on packaging waste issues. The challenge has always been to offer our premium beer in packaging that holds it safely and securely, and sends the right message about the brand, as well as meeting our environmental obligations.
“We’re delighted to be working with the specialists at Smurfit Kappa, as well as Waitrose as our retail partner, to trial this new solution and play our part in the reduction of plastic waste in the supply chain.
“The initial results, in terms of both the robustness of the TopClip and the response from consumers, are very promising. We’ll be assessing the trial carefully before offering the new packaging to other retail customers.”
Louise Witchell, beer buyer at Waitrose, said: "Reducing single-use plastic packaging is really important for us, and we know it is for our customers too. We're sure our customers will enjoy seeing this new packaging on our shelves."
· Budweiser Budvar (budweiserbudvar.com) is the national brewery of the Czech Republic and an iconic Czech lager, known the world over but only ever brewed only in Ceské Budejovice (Budweis), South Bohemia.
· The brewery is fiercely independent, cold-conditioning its beer for months. Budweiser Budvar is exclusively brewed in the same town it has been since 1895, using quality local ingredients that have earned it Protected Geographical Origin status from the EU.
· Budweiser Budvar knows all about devotion, tradition and doing things the right way. The brewery still proudly uses the finest whole-cone Saaz hops, Moravian malts, artesian soft water from an Ice Age aquifer underneath the brewery.
· Budweiser Budvar UK, based in Bristol, is the UK arm of the business, responsible for sales, distribution and marketing of the range of imported beers.