Many of us instantly recognize the familiar Heineken beer can. But what a lot of people may not be aware of is the fact that the new tactile packaging appearing in stores across Europe was achieved using technology developed by AkzoNobel.
The newly designed can features a stylish, embossed effect which uses tactile ink to form a series of tiny raised dots on the surface. When held, the improved grip becomes noticeable, while the texture gives the impression of condensation and the contents appear to be ice cold. These unique visual and sensory elements boost brand recognition and help the can to become even more instantly recognizable.
The technology behind the new can was supplied by our Industrial Coatings business, whose Aquaprime 186 product makes the so-called differential texturing possible. It offers a better alternative to current techniques as traditional embossing slows down the production and stiffens the can.
Heineken initially approached the can makers in 2008, requesting ideas for how to change the specialty finish of cans that were embossed for the European market. The texturing proposal then surfaced, which is when AkzoNobel became involved, because we had the product which made it possible. Trials were conducted with can makers and, following a few modifications, the appearance and formulation were finalized and production was scaled up.
Heineken is now promoting the textured can globally.