Necessity is the mother of invention, and entries into the 2022 The Canmaker Cans of the Year demonstrated that old adage in a tough year for the industry.

Despite new economic and supply-chain challenges supplanting those caused by the Covid-19 pandemic over the previous two years, the 2021-2022 batch of cans showed that innovation and creativity remained intact in times of adversity.

This year’s judges – who comprised, as always, leading professionals drawn from the canmaking industry, designers and brands – sensed a buoyant mood in the top-class submissions put before them.

Perhaps this is a reflection of the increasing importance being assigned to metal packaging by policy makers, brands and consumers, who recognise the can’s recyclability and role in creating a sustainable circular economy.

Adding to the upbeat atmosphere was the fact that, for the first time since 2019, the winners were able to receive their awards in person at a special gala dinner held during The Canmaker Summit in October.

While the competition wasn’t cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic, Covid-19 mitigation measures and the associated travel restrictions meant the awards ceremony could only be a virtual affair.

This year, however, entrants and delegates met face-to-face in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, to celebrate the best and the brightest in the industry.

Stand out cans

Top of the class was an eye-catching design from Switzerland-based NOMOQ, a distributor and printer for the craft beverage industry, which delivered a can of such high visual impact that judges declared it the 2022 Can of the Year.

Made for Dr Brauwolf, Zurich’s first craft beer company, the 330ml D&I aluminium can had a matt and spot varnish textured finish that helped give the vessel an eerie appearance befitting the depiction of a wolf howling at the moon.

The digitally-printed can, which was made for Dr Brauwolf’s Sour IPA, also took home gold in the Beverage Two-Piece category.

While it contrasted with the highly decorated three-piece tinplate container that won last year, judges recognised that a well-executed sparse design can have an equally memorable impact.

“This can has a great story – a new company geared to the craft beer market showing terrific innovation of style and featuring a design that adds value,” remarked one of the judges.

In an era when sustainability is at the forefront of the industry’s mind, judges were pleased to learn that the can was designed in NOMOQ’s Kirchheimbolanden plant in Germany and transported to Dr Brauwolf’s brewery by rail, lowering the carbon footprint of the product’s distribution.

In the Beverage Three-Piece category, judges agreed that the unusual appearance and finish of China-based ORG Technology’s submission made for a worthy winner.

They described the design, which featured a textured crackled finish and a conical end, as “stunning, fantastic and visionary”.

ORG, which is also one of China’s largest manufacturers of two-piece aluminium beverage cans, said it worked hard to ensure the 980ml container could be easily personalised, had a premium look and was hard to counterfeit. Made for Beijing Guangyu Culture Communication’s #024 range of beers, the three-piece welded tinplate container was designed with shelf appeal in mind.

The glittery effect on the can body was achieved with metal offset printing and wrinkle varnish. The jet black characters and conical screw top provide a sense of contrast and luxury, akin to the bottles traditionally used for Chinese rice wines, and the can’s uneven texture creates a pleasant tactile experience.

Cap of many colours

ORG won with its pared-back colour palette, but Ardagh Metal Packaging (AMP) took the Prototype award with a printed end decorated with faultlessly rendered, complex and colour-soaked features that enables designs to extend from the can body. The H!ghend prototype, which can be deployed in aluminium and steel, has perfected a technique that’s been dogged in the past by the appearance of cracks and misalignments caused during the end- forming process.

This is very pretty and I can see it being really popular,” said one of the judges of the entry, which showcased AMP’s H!ghend technology, a decoration technique that ensures can ends are as vibrant as the can bodies they seal.

H!ghend comes at a time when brands are keen to differentiate their cans and boost their shelf appeal. Ends that may once have received little consideration are now part of a seamless can design and offer an additional space for branding. H!ghend has the capability to offer up to 200 different designs in one batch in an “infinite number of colours”, AMP said.

Aryum Aluminium Aerosols of Turkey also went bold when it came to colour, and its design for J. Junaid Jamshed Pour Femme body spray made the container unmissable.

Awarding it Gold in the Aerosol category, which the company last won in 2020, judges described the 360-degree embossed printing on the bottles as “electrifying and mesmerising”. The impact-extruded aluminium can comes in four designs and the judges noticed thoughtful touches such as the fact that the actuator is the same colour as the can.

“Very, very elegant with an impressive bottom stamp,” they concluded.

Ends, Caps & Closures was a popular category this year with judges agreeing that canmakers submitted a wider variety of products in 2022 than before. Among stiff competition, UK-based Tinpac emerged victorious. They won for a specially-designed tinplate screw-top lid, fitted on a three-piece welded tinplate can produced by Independent Can and used for infant formula.

Infant formula cans are traditionally covered with plastic lids, but the design for ByHeart used a metal cap made from two components of pressed tinplate. The external item sports ByHeart’s signature blue colour, with the inside designed to hold the measuring scoop used to dispense the powder.

Judges loved the thoughtfulness of this – it is another take on a design that means parents of babies needn’t fish out the scoop from the powder, as is usually

the case. They said the all-metal container in a product range that usually includes plastic lids further emphasises what metal packaging is able to offer.

Tin Horse of the UK, which designed the can, said it specifically chose a metal cap because the fact that all the packaging could be easily recycled made it more appealing to consumers.

The can, which is US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, won the favour of the judges who described it as a “great design” and “a good development to promote metal packaging”.

Winning food cans

The Food Three-Piece category also had a bumper crop of high-quality entries this year with entrants winning Gold in a total of three classes.

Winning Gold for the category was India’s Nikita Containers, whose embossed three-piece welded tinplate can was agreed to have a “stunning design”.

Made for Forest Bean’s Matanga coffee beans, the can has a green, gold and white colour palette with a slip lid and valve to keep the beans fresh even if the container is opened multiple times.

Another standout design for the judges came in the Decoration & Print Quality category in which TinPak of Sri Lanka submitted an “opulent and vibrant” lock-seam tinplate container for a brand of Ceylon tea.

“A traditional tin with a traditional finish makes it stand out in a world of matt

finishes,” judges agreed as they praised the vibrant refined decoration for Seraya Plantation’s Al Safir Tea, which is topped with a lever lid.

Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are part of every canmaker’s brief and it was the can made with ‘low- carbon’ steel for Ricola herbal drops that won Hoffmann Neopac the Gold award in the Sustainability category.

In partnership with German tinplate producer thyssenkrupp Rasselstein and confectioner Ricola, the Switzerland-based canmaker used patented Bluemint steel to produce the three-piece welded tinplate can. Bluemint steel has 70% “reduced CO2 intensity” compared with a conventionally- made hot-rolled strip, the canmaker said. Judges were delighted that the product was “a demonstration of collaboration between multiple parts of the canmaking value chain”.

Hoffmann Neopac said carbon emissions relating to the can are further reduced because the sheets of Bluemint steel are transported from Germany to Switzerland by rail and its Swiss canmaking facility is powered by 100% renewable electricity.

Another benefit to customers that choose low-carbon steel is that it can be part of their strategies to reduce scope-three GHG emissions – those that refer to discharges made by suppliers and customers.

Sustainably made

Hoffmann Neopac wasn’t the only winner to highlight the sustainability of its packaging offering. Top prize in the Bottles category went to Trivium Packaging, Argentina, for its range of three impact-extruded aluminium bottles.

Made for K-Happy Indústria e Comércio de Bebidas Low Ka, Brazil’s first alcoholic kombucha, each 473ml bottle is made with an aluminium alloy that contains up to 10% post-consumer recycled (PCR) aluminium.

“Elegantly executed,” was the judges verdict on the bottles, which are decorated with a dry offset printing process that brings warmth to their tones of soft cream, green and peach.

The look of the metal-capped bottle dovetails with the brand’s desire to highlight that Low Ka is made from natural ingredients and is low in calories.

“The varnish gives the bottles a wonderful sheen,” the judges agreed.

The Fancy Cans division was won by a sustainable package for a sustainable product. Klann Packaging, Germany, designed two lock-seam tinplate secondary containers for Everdrop, which makes household cleaning products and natural cosmetics. The brand shuns single-use plastics and Klann Packaging’s clean- looking design fitted well with Everdrop’s zero-waste commitment.

Judges agreed the fine embossing on the lid, body and end resulted in “beautiful finishing”.

It was the many good features that Colep Packaging in Portugal combined in its three- piece welded tinplate pail that won the canmaker gold in the General Line division.

Designed for AkzoNobel Coatings Bruguer paint, the 2.5-litre and 5-litre cans have a broader opening diameter so the paint is more easily poured or accessed. Colep Packaging’s new RL closing system specifically supports frequent opening and closing of the pail while ensuring the seal remains intact and the packaging undamaged. The stackability of the cans and the detachable plastic carry handle when it is time for the can to be recycled were also benefits that the judges applauded.

CAN OF THE YEAR 2022

WINNER NOMOQ, Switzerland

Digitally-printed 330ml D&I aluminium can with matt and varnish textured finish for Dr Brauwolf; Dr Brauwolf Sour IPA craft beer

DELEGATES’ CHOICE 2022

WINNER Hoffmann Neopac, Switzerland

Three-piece welded tinplate can with easy-peel and plastics

lid made from thyssenkrupp Rasselstein Bluemint CO2-reduced steel for Ricola; Ricola herbal drops

AEROSOLS

GOLD Aryum Aluminium Aerosols, Turkey

Impact-extruded aluminium can in four designs with 360-degree embossed shaping for J. Junaid Jamshed; J. Pour Femme body spray

SILVER Montebello Packaging, USA

Impact-extruded aluminium can with split-ink printing for American Spraytech; Dr. Scholl’s Athlete’s foot treatment spray

BRONZE Crown Cork & Seal, USA

Three-piece welded tinplate can with metallic finish for 18.21 ManMade; 18.21 – Spirits Spritzer body spray

BEVERAGE THREE-PIECE

GOLD ORG Technology, China

980ml three-piece welded tinplate with crackle textured print for Beijing Guangyu Culture Communication; #024 beer

SILVER Daiwa Can Company, Japan

Film laminated three-piece welded tinplate can for Suntory Foods; Starbucks Coffee Choice

BRONZE Envases Öhringen, Germany

Special edition three-piece welded tinplate 5-litre keg with Spot- ify playlist via QR code for Gaffel Kölsch; Gaffel Kölsch beer

BEVERAGE TWO PIECE

GOLD NOMOQ, Switzerland

Digitally-printed 330ml D&I aluminium can with matt and varnish textured finish for Dr Brauwolf; Dr Brauwolf -Sour IPA craft beer

Joint SILVER Crown Embalagens Metalicas da Amazonia

Brazil 350ml D&I aluminium can with tactile varnish for Inab – Industria Nacional de Bebidas; Therezópolis GOLD lager

Joint SILVER Canpack (Brzesko)

Poland, 500ml D&I aluminium can with frosty tactile effect for Saku Brewery (Carlsberg); Saku On Ice non-alcoholic beer (radler)

BRONZE Toyo Seikan, Japan

Neck embossed 375ml polyester laminated aluminium (aTULC) can for E&J Gallo Winery; Dark Horse wine

BOTTLES

GOLD Trivium Packaging, Argentina

Lightweight 473ml impact-extruded aluminium bottle with up to 10% PCR for KHappy Indústria e Comércio de Bebidas; Low Ka alcoholic drink

SILVER CCL Container, USA

Reusable 740ml impact-extruded aluminium bottle made from 100% recyclable aluminium for PathWater; Path purified water

BRONZE Montebello Packaging, USA

12oz impact-extruded aluminium bottle with Marvel graphics for Sports Water; Water Co spring water

DECORATION & PRINT QUALITY

GOLD TinPak, Sri Lanka

Lock-seam tinplate can with lever lid and vibrant graphics for Seraya Plantation; Al Safir Tea ceylon tea

SILVER Nikita Containers, India

Embossed three-piece welded tinplate can with slip lid and valve for Forest Bean; Forest Bean – Matanga/Nari coffee beans

BRONZE Brasilata, Brazil

Digitally-printed three-piece welded tinplate can with 1,500 different lid designs for Make Make/Brasilata holidays gift

ENDS, CAPS & CLOSURES

GOLD Tinpac, UK (Tin Horse Design, UK)

FDA-approved tinplate cap with scoop dock for ByHeart; ByHeart infant formula

SILVER Toyo Seikan, Japan

Aluminium easy-opening end with finger fitting tab for ITO Shokuhin and various brands; products include mackerel, tuna, and fruits

BRONZE Independent Can, USA

Embossed tinplated steel closure for U. S. Smokeless Tobacco Company; Copenhagen tobacco

FANCY CANS

GOLD Klann Packaging, Germany

Lock-seam tinplate secondary container with clean

fresh design and fine embossing for Everdrop; Everdrop cleaning products

SILVER Meister, Brazil

Decorative lock-seam tinplate imperial chest with hinged lid for various confectionery companies

Joint BRONZE Eviosys, UK

Flower shaped lock-seam tinplate container with slip lid for Mondelez; Cadbury Roses confectionery

Joint BRONZE Zenith Tins, India

Lock-seam tinplate container with flush lid and embossing for Mon- delez India Foods; Cadbury Celebrations – Rich Dry Fruit Collection

FOOD THREE-PIECE

GOLD Nikita Containers, India

Embossed three-piece welded tinplate can with slip lid and valve for Forest Bean; Forest Bean – Matanga/Nari coffee beans

Joint SILVER Crown Food Packaging, Thailand

Three-piece welded tinplate can with bespoke debossing, printed end and 12.6% material reduction for Theppadungporn Coconut; Chaokoh Coconut Milk

Joint SILVER ASA Italia, Italy

Decorative 5-litre three-piece welded tinplate can for various Italian farmers; edible oils

BRONZE Independent Can, USA

Lock-seam tinplate can with plug lid and reflective print for B&G Foods; McCann’s – Irish Oatmeal porridge

GENERAL LINE

GOLD Colep Packaging, Portugal

Three-piece welded tinplate pail with RL closing system and plastics handle for AkzoNobel Coatings; Bruguer paint

SILVER Trivium Packaging, USA

Impact-extruded aluminium threaded bottle for Bravo Sierra; Bravo Sierra sulphate-free body wash

BRONZE Montebello Packaging, USA

Impact-extruded aluminium bottle with ROPP neck for Paramount Global; Manscaped body wash

PROTOTYPE

GOLD Ardagh Metal Packaging, Germany

Printed aluminium end using H!ghend technology, which enables up to 200 different designs in one batch

SILVER Tubex, Germany

Monobloc aluminium aerosol can with PURe,

an ecologically-friendly overvarnish

BRONZE BNM, China

Peel-off end with implanted NFC

SUSTAINABILITY

GOLD Hoffmann Neopac, Switzerland

Three-piece welded tinplate can with easy-peel and plastics lid made from thyssenkrupp Rasselstein Bluemint CO2-reduced steel for Ricola; Ricola herbal drops

SILVER Ball Aerosol Packaging, Czech Republic

Impact-extruded aluminium aerosol with 50% recycled content for various customers; products include hairspray, deodorant, and hand sanitiser.

BRONZE Trivium Packaging, Hungary

Three-piece welded tinplate can with easy-open-end replacing plastics packaging for Petcura; Doothie liquid dietary supplement for dogs