Ball signs Coke marketing giant Acosta to promote aluminium cups

Ball has signed a deal to market its aluminium drinks cup, a product it hopes will replace disposable plastic cups in bars, music and sports venues when it makes its commercial debut later this year.

Sales and marketing agency Acosta will promote the global canmaker’s latest container at retail outlets including supermarkets, convenience and corner shops, and restaurants throughout the US. Acosta specialises in marketing food and drinks companies, including Coca-Cola, Conagra, Kraft Heinz and Nestlé.

Canmakers rarely if ever sell their products direct to retail. But Acosta’s “deep industry knowledge and cutting-edge technology will enable us to leverage the initial success of the Ball Aluminium Cup as we launch the brand into retail and on-premise outlets in 2021, and ensure that consumers have a more sustainable cup option when they shop,” said Ball’s operations chief Daniel Fisher.

Ball has invested heavily in the tapered aluminium cup as a recylable alternative to plastic and paper cups, and sees the product as a key differentiator as canmakers compete to capitalise on growing demand for sustainable packaging. It is spending US$217 million to build a dedicated cup manufacturing line at its beverage can plant at Rome in Georgia. They are currently made at a test line at its headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado.

The cups have already had test outings, including at the Super Bowl American football final in Miami earlier this year, where they were expected to eliminate the use of 500,000 plastic cups.

The products 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.