A-B hopes bowling pin bottle is a strike

Last month, bowling alleys across the country began serving beer in an exclusive package they can call their own. The package is a 16-oz bottle of Budweiser shaped like a bowling pin, from Anheuser-Busch, St.

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Louis, MO. "Our sales strategy with this package was to offer our bowling centers an exclusive on-premise package that no one else will carry," Steve Winkler, brand manager for Budweiser, tells Packaging World. The bottle was designed jointly by A-B and Ball-Foster (Muncie, IN), which produces the bottle for the brewer. Its unique shape won Anheuser-Busch a Clear Choice Award in this year's competition sponsored by the Glass Packaging Institute (Washington, DC). Despite its unique shape-especially the bulbous top-few changes were required in the filling line, according to Curt Billmeyer, group manager, packaging changes. "We primarily had to [make] some change parts for the labeler," says Billmeyer. The strip neck label is designed to add to the bowling-pin look, along with a crown that's decorated with a three-finger hold as might be found on a bowling ball. Bottles are packed into a 15-count case that's also decorated with bowling theme graphics, though Winkler says consumers will typically not see the cases unless they're used to create a floor display. Although Winkler declined to specify a suggested retail price since it varies in each market, he confirmed there is no price premium attached to the product as a result of the packaging.

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