Ball sets up another retail network for its aluminium cup

Another retail network has been set up for selling the new aluminium drinks cup developed by Ball Corporation.

The canmaker has signed a deal with Blue Ocean Innovative Solutions, an ‘omnichannel’ specialist, for the launch of the recyclable alternative to plastic cups in Walmart and Sam’s Club retail outlets across the US.

The deal follows one signed by Ball last month (May) with marketing giant Acosta to promote the cups at retail outlets including supermarkets, convenience and corner shops, and restaurants.

“We are thrilled about this new relationship with Blue Ocean Innovative Solutions,” said Daniel Fisher, chief operating officer for Ball’s Global Beverage Packaging division. “Our research shows that consumers are hungry for a more sustainable cup solution and Blue Ocean’s expertise in this industry will enable us to bring the Ball Aluminum Cup directly to them.”

Ball launched the US pilot of the Ball Aluminum Cup last September in response to growing consumer demand for sustainable alternative to plastic cups. Just like a D&I aluminium can, which has a global recycling rate of 69 per cent, the aluminium used in the cup is recyclable infinitely without losing quality.

“Blue Ocean Innovative Solutions is very excited to partner with Ball on this game changing category innovation that will have a tremendous sustainability impact on the environment,” said Biffy Fletcher, vice president of sales for Blue Ocean. “We also know customers will be surprised and delighted by the unique drink experience this fantastic product offers.”

Ball is investing US$217 million in the construction of a dedicated cup manufacturing line at its Rome beverage can plant in Georgia in the US. Currently, cups are made at a pilot line at Ball’s global headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado.

The cups are believed to be made using D&I techniques similar to those employed for two-piece beverage cans and use the same printing systems as for paper and plastic cups. They are expected to be recycled through the same channels as beverage cans.