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Exquisite printing on cans delivers the sophistication for Admiral Iced Tea

A good category audit can uncover opportunities that might not seem readily apparent when the goal is to break into a crowded category with a new product.
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FILED IN:  Package design  > Graphic
But that’s just what Hansen Beverage Co., Corona, CA, did when it wanted to introduce Admiral Iced Tea and was mulling options to position the product amid a shelf full of competitors in ready-to-drink tea.

The audit pointed to a clear direction. “In ready-to-drink tea, everything is premium and in PET or glass bottles,” says Dylan Spencer, Admiral Iced Tea brand manager. “Our idea was to bring an ultra-premium item to that subsegment of the ready-to-drink iced tea aisle in a 24-oz can with a worldly design and a premium look.”

Hansen Beverage, working with its supply chain, developed a stunningly decorated, two-piece, 24-oz can, from Rexam Beverage Can America. Hansen Beverage selected a can because there was only one existing ready-to-drink tea brand in a can.

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Admiral Iced Tea is made from tea leaves sourced in India, England, and the Pacific Rim, locations that served as the inspiration for the exquisitely detailed graphic design and razor-sharp printing on the cans. The brand’s core audience is 15- to 35-year-old consumers. “They’re saying they want something more sophisticated,” Spencer explains. “Some of the more sophisticated students will see these cans and say, ‘Gee, this is a much better value, at 99 cents, based on the look of the can.’ Tea is worldly, and if our tea comes from other places, let’s let our consumer know that.”

The multi-faceted graphic design features fine-detailed drawings of tea leaves, raspberries, and a globe, depending on the product variety, and also a very detailed brand logo. This depth of graphic presentation required skillful printing to produce the sharp lines that deliver high-quality images, notes Steve Clark, Hansen Beverage’s director of marketing services.

Hansen Beverage turned to VN Graphics to prepare the art files for printing and assure that the images would not lose sharpness during the ink application. With so much detail to print in the graphics area of the can, Clark explains, press operators had to apply just the right amount of pressure during the ink application. If the rubber plates applied too much pressure on the can surface during inking, the dots would get bigger and create a muddy look.

The cans are dry-offset-printed in six colors. Working with Inx International, Hansen Beverage opted for a white base coat and a top layer of varnish to intensify the other colors. Printed cans then go to a contract filler for filling.

Admiral Iced Tea is rolling out in stores in the Pacific Northwest and in the Southwest.



Just a brief comment. Reading about Hansen new foray into the crowded market of cold tea. They have very good intentions and their ideas are solid, but in my opinion, the idea is doomed to failure because of the 24 oz. can. I'm a BS in Marketing and I also love Arizona Iced Tea. Hansen new sophisticated can blows Arizona away, but here's the thing. I try Hansen's tea OK it pretty good I'm going back to Arizona because they give a great big can of iced tea and to tell you the truth its hard to see the can when I am chuggin' down an iced cold tea. The point is Hansen not giving me value, sure Its a great looking can but it ain't a TV, after a few cans I'll go back to Arizona because Arizona's got a BOGO, (buy one get one free)That's two great big cans of iced tea for half priced, I can stock up with that. Secondly, Hansen may be 1st to market with a fabulous can, I know there is already a fancy can out there,but all Arizona has to do to meet the challenge is make their cans fancy and BOGO. Man, Hansen's going to have some serious revenue problems with that line. Here's the solution if Hansen wants to grab some serious market share. 1. Hansen has to have a price point below .99 cents, I'm thinking .75 cents. See that way when Arizona goes BOGO to stop Hansen market share grab with a price reduction Hansen can significantly meet that challenge by going BOGO itself effective eliminating the most effective weapon against them. Now this is all said with idea that one has to remain profitable. If Hansen cannot execute this strategy and be profitable then it will have two choices, not take the chance on losing a couple of million on a error in judgement or they can roll the dice and hope the competition is brain dead while they watch Hansen roll out a new line of wonderfully fabulous tasting iced teas that come packaged in the greatest cans you've ever seen. Me, my choice would be to lower the price point, increase the can volume and then go to market with the greatest iced tea in a can the world's ever tasted and seen, but that's just me.

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