Eugene, Oregon-based Blue Dog Mead partners with Crown Holdings to launch first ever mead packaged in beverage cans in North America; brewer opted to use cans due to metal's ability to protect the flavor of the beverage
April 3, 2013
– Eugene, Oregon-based Blue Dog Mead recently partnered with CROWN Beverage Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) (Crown) (www.crowncork.com), to launch the first ever mead packaged in beverage cans in North America. Blue Dog's Green Collar Mead is now sold in 12 oz. beverage cans, expanding the company's distribution and providing additional choices for consumers to enjoy this increasingly popular drink.
Mead, also referred to as 'honey wine,' is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of honey and water. Evidence of mead production stretches back over 4,000 years and the beverage is referenced in the beliefs and mythologies of Asian, African, and perhaps most famously, Norse cultures. Depending on the specific recipes used, the resulting drink flavor can range from sweet to spiced or even bitter and beer-like with the addition of hops.
A meadery specializing in all honey-based spirits, Blue Dog Mead identified an opportunity for growth based on the success it had seen the premium beer, wine and craft beer markets experience with metal packaging. The company partnered with Crown and Craft Canning, a mobile canning service, to ensure a smooth transition to beverage cans. Consumer demand for the new packaging format, combined with shipping and logistical advantages, resulted in Blue Dog Mead being able to expand its distribution network from Washington and Oregon to include Tennessee and other states as well as several international markets.
A key factor in Blue Dog Mead's decision to use cans was metal's inherent ability to block light and oxygen and, in turn, protect the unique flavor of the beverage, as well as its quality. To determine how the mead would perform in its new packaging format, Crown conducted preliminary testing at its Alsip, Illinois research and development facility.
"It was critical for us to work with a partner that could provide support in all aspects of the packaging process, and we recognized Crown's expertise in this field," stated Simon Blatz, owner of Blue Dog Mead. "We really value the insight that Crown provided throughout the process and they helped us to get the most out of this packaging format to achieve our objectives."
Since beverage cans allow for full surface printing, rather than only on a label, the brewery had more space to showcase its unique brand identity, differentiating the 'new' drink on store shelves. Since the company had no prior experience designing graphics for metal, Crown provided strategic counsel both in terms of color and imagery. Blue Dog Mead also took advantage of the opportunity to visit Crown's Olympia, Washington, plant to collaborate on artwork and oversee the metal printing process.
"The launch of Green Collar Mead in aluminum cans embodies Crown's ability to help customers build their brands through packaging," said Neill Mitchell, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Development, CROWN Beverage Packaging North America. "In this case, Blue Dog Mead was able to expand its distribution network and reach a whole new customer base in an efficient, eye catching format."
Blue Dog Mead's products are currently sold in over 150 locations in the U.S., including Oregon, Tennessee and Washington, as well as online at shop.bluedogmead.com.
To learn more about the benefits of metal packaging for the craft brew industry, please visit http://crowncork.com/craftbrew.
About Crown Holdings, Inc.
Crown Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading supplier of packaging products to consumer marketing companies around the world. World headquarters are located in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit www.crowncork.com.