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Streamlined can wakes up coffee market

Silver Joe's Coffee shakes up the category in a patented, awarded-winning 'tear-drop' shaped can.

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Silver Joe's Coffee Co., Fort Smith, AR, offers a patented new shape in coffee containers: a “streamlined tear drop” shaped can.

"The norm in coffee canisters for almost 100 years has been the round can," states Cameron Clement, principal and designer of Silver Joe’s newest product addition. "All of that changes with this container. Not only does it represent a shift in the coffee industry, but it also represents the outlook and attitude of our company. We’re on a mission to provide a coffee and brand experience like no other. Our products are unique, and customers quickly realize our brand is different."

The 11-oz tin-plated steel cans are manufactured and supplied by Planet-Canit (www.planetcanit.com). The cans are offset-printed plus varnish coating and embossed; the can bottom is printed in brown. The vendor also provides the steel lids. A color-coded, circular paper label is also affixed to the cans to designate the flavor—there are eight varieties, ranging from French roast to hazelnut.

Aerodynamic design

Silver Joe's Coffee Company found a strong pull from the market after introducing its products in bags, and in 2006 became the official coffee of Airstream® trailers. Because of Silver Joe’s connection with Airstream, the canned version needed to convey a sense of motion, so the streamlined shape echoes the Airstream’s aerodynamic shape.

The package design work was by Clement's own design company, C3 Brandworks (www.c3brandworks.com). The can was designed to be functional in three directions, providing full flexibility for in-store display. The front end and both sides of the can display the key information of the brand and coffee flavor.

The cans are stackable and can be arranged in any number of ways to create an immediate impression on the store shelf. The embossed graphics, satin finish, and streamlined shape create a connection with the consumer that draws them to pick it up, hold it, turn it around, and look at it from all angles.

During the initial design phase, Silver Joe's notes that a prototype was tested among several focus groups, and 99% of those tested stated they would buy the product at least once just to own the can.

According to company spokesman Kaleb Kuhl, the products are roasted and packaged at the company's plant in Everett, WA. The cans are sealed with a foil laminate from Selig Sealing Products (www.seligsealing.com).

The unique can debuted at the Summer 2007 Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City. In January 2008, the Institute of Packaging Professionals (www.iopp.com) announced that the innovative cans were awarded an AmeriStar (see 2007 AmeriStars revealed) on behalf of Planet-Canit.

The products are available online at SilverJoes.com for a suggested price of $14.25 to $18.66, depending on the flavor. In January, Kuhl told Packaging World that the company was in the process of "slowly branching out to different chains across the U.S. starting with the Midwest."

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