Slimmed down

In time for spring, Heineken USA introduced an 8.5-ounce slim can format. Twelve-packs of these new slim cans began rolling out at retail outlets across the country this month. Citing Nielsen data, Heineken Brand Director Belen Pamukoff said in a statement that the 8- to 8.9-ounce can sizes grew 356 percent in case volume and 522 percent in dollar volume for 2012 and now represent an 8.2 million case segment. He added that 42 percent of that growth is generated in the convenience channel, where the 8-ounce can format is outpacing all other sizes and is a preferred pack size among ethnic consumers, according to Nielsen data. “We are excited to now offer shoppers Heineken 8.5-ounce slim cans, the first premium 8.5-ounce format that caters to the growing Hispanic and African-American demographic who prefer upscale beer and Heineken to mainstream counterparts,” he said in a statement.


Championship can

Coke Zero is suiting up to celebrate the success of the Seattle Seahawks. After the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, The Coca-Cola Co. released a limited-edition commemorative can. A limited number of specially marked 12-ounce Coke Zero cans were produced at the company’s Bellevue, Wash., plant and will be sold at select  retail locations throughout Washington state while supplies last. “Coke Zero joins the legion of fans who cheered on their team to this thrilling victory,” said Bill O’Brien, senior vice president and general manager of the West region for Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co., in a statement. “With this special design, we’re raising a congratulatory toast to the Seattle Seahawks, their staff and the Seahawks’ ‘12th-Man’ loyalists.”


Bigger opportunities

Woodchuck Hard Cider is adding another package size for its flagship Amber cider. The brand recently added a 16-ounce can for Woodchuck Amber, following the success of its 12-ounce cans, which were released in 2012. The 12-ounce package has seen growth of 42 percent during the last year, it says. However, consumers were requesting the can format in a larger size, so Woodchuck Hard Cider answered the call. “The Amber can has been a great success for us,” said Bret Williams, president and chief executive officer of Woodchuck, in a statement. “It allows for our cider to be available no matter the circumstance. The cider category is rapidly growing, and to be able to offer fans a 16-ounce version of our classic red Woodchuck can is really exciting.” The new Woodchuck Amber 16-ounce cans are available in four-packs as well as single cans and will be targeted toward the convenience channel.


More beer for your buck

This month, Founders Brewing Co. began shipping 15-pack cans of All Day IPA. These packs are replacing the former 12-pack cans but retail for the same price as the smaller packs, the company says. “We are able to offer 15-pack cans due to production efficiencies from packaging cost savings,” said Co-Founder Mike Stevens in a statement. “We’re excited to pass the savings on to our customers as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for their reception of All Day IPA.” Founders is calling this new All Day IPA 15-pack a “Brewer’s Dozen.” All Day IPA still will be available in the traditional six-pack bottles.


New look for 2014

Summit Brewing Co. announced it will release new packaging art on all varieties of its Summit beer. The new packaging will be phased in gradually throughout 2014. Summit partnered with Duffy & Partners to develop the new visual stories displayed on each of Summit’s beers. The graphics tell stories of Minnesota landmarks and the ingredients contained in each brew, the company says. The final product illustrates the brand’s evolution while celebrating the place it calls home, it adds. “The new packaging art commemorates a busy time for us,” said Mark Stutrud, president and founder of Summit, in a statement. “Just within the last year, we’ve released several new beers, doubled our capacity with a cellar expansion, and bought new warehouse space for our offices and, eventually, a canning line. We’re evolving during an exciting time for the craft beer industry, and our brand reflects that evolution.”


Home is where the heart is

Hahn Family Wines is promoting the Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH) appellation with changes to the packages of its flagship Hahn estate wines, the company says. Starting with the 2012 vintage, the labels of Hahn SLH Pinot Noir and Hahn SLH Chardonnay will bear the initials “SLH” as the predominant feature. The changes represent the winery’s ongoing commitment to its long-time home, it says. “Our Hahn SLH Pinot Noir and Chardonnay embody the Santa Lucia Highlands’ distinct character, and we wanted to raise awareness of the appellation from which these extraordinary wines originate,” said Philip Hahn, second-generation vintner and chief executive officer of Hahn Family Wines, in a statement. “It’s the location of our vineyards that makes the Hahn SLH wines special.” Other refinements on the new label include changing Hahn’s emblematic rooster (the word “Hahn” in German means “rooster”) from red to a gold foil. The new package began shipments last month.


Dreams come true

When distiller Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton first released his Tennessee White Whiskey, he had to resort to packaging it in mason jars because it was all he could afford. However, Sutton had bigger dreams for his brand. Four years after his death, the distilling company founded by Sutton finally made his wish a reality and released the whiskey in bottles. The new black bottle was created to stand out on the back bar or at retail and capture the founder’s irreverent rebel spirit, the company says. This 750-ml package also uses its front and back sides for marketing and is designed to convey brand messages regardless of which way it faces on the shelf.


Golden anniversary

 To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Hearty Burgundy wine, Gallo Family Vineyards has produced a limited-edition bottle that pays homage to this varietal. Harkening back to the original blend, this golden anniversary beverage packaging was crafted after careful consultation with the blend’s original winemakers. The limited-edition bottling of Gallo Family Vineyards Hearty Burgundy was released in February with a suggested retail price of $9 for a 1.5-liter bottle. In addition to mimicking the style of the original wine label it will feature a special gold label, as a nod to the wine’s “golden anniversary,” and bear a 50th anniversary seal.