For the first time in its 94-year history, Acqua S. Bernardo (colloquially known as San Bernardo) has turned to metal packaging for its premium still and sparkling mineral waters. Marketed as “the lightest water in the world,” the product has historically been packaged exclusively in glass bottles. However, the company reportedly recognized the importance of diversifying its packaging portfolio to enable consumption during large outdoor events, sporting activities, beaches and other locations where certain formats can be restrictive. Beverage cans were ultimately chosen for their portability, sustainability and range of printing and decoration options that support brand differentiation.
Acqua S. Bernardo partnered with Crown to develop a creative design that reflected its quality and heritage. The final graphics were inspired by the artwork on La Giocca, the brand’s bottle created in 1994 by the legendary automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. His design featured 105 water droplets, intended to bring the packaging to life as a “work of water”. Printed in Crown’s Parma Italy plant, the cans employ a special tactile finish to great effect, creating a multi-sensory product that truly stands out on retail shelves, at the same time ensuring brand consistency. The same number of tactile droplets are printed on each can, delivering on the mantra that every Acqua S. Bernardo spring water product should be beautiful to look at, handle and serve. The cans featuring this special finish performed well on the production line being as easy to print as the regular cans.
Since this was the first time for Acqua S. Bernardo to use metal packaging, Crown helped educate the company’s designers about the nuances of printing onto metal and how to adapt graphics to account for the curved surface of the beverage can. The teams worked closely throughout the entire process, including production – where Crown experts and members of the Acqua S. Bernardo teams collaborated closely to ensure the final product was of the highest quality.
Beyond offering visual and functional benefits, the 33cl cans are a key part of Acqua S. Bernardo’s commitment to the highest levels of quality. Metal packaging serves as an unbeatable barrier to light, oxygen and bacteria, and offers consumers the freshness intended by the company as it preserves the water in exactly the same condition as when it was canned. The format is also a perfect example of the circular economy at work, making it a responsible packaging option. As a permanent, highly recyclable material, the resources utilized in metal manufacturing continue to be reinvested in the production of new metal products, including cans, once they have gone through the recycling process.
“Acqua S. Bernardo is committed to preserving the environment and taking actions that minimize our impact as a company,” said Antonio Biella, general manager at Acqua S. Bernardo. “For example, our factory has been powered by wind energy for many years. We also reintroduce any surplus water back into the natural environment. With this project, we wanted to stay true to our roots but leverage alternative packaging formats that would enable consumers to enjoy our products in outdoor settings and other events without limitation. Beverage cans were a natural fit due to their sustainability credentials as well as the ability to keep our water colder for longer periods of time.”
“We value working with customers that appreciate the sustainability credentials that beverage cans have to offer,” said Veronique Curulla, marketing and business development director at Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East. “The format enables consumers to take Acqua S. Bernardo with them wherever they go and do their part to be environmentally responsible. We enjoyed the collaborative partnership with Acqua S. Bernardo and think the final package will stand out proudly at the point-of-sale.”
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