Miller Lite Punch Top Can

This is one of my first packaging innovations @ MillerCoors. It’s reminscent of the way we used to open cans with a church key not too long ago. It allows for the can to pour more like a pint glass. The ad campaign officially launched yesterday. If you guys have the opportunity, please try it out and let me know what your thoughts are.

Sorry, I tried to embed the video but it wasn’t working for me. Maybe a mod can fix? [fixed… NURB]

Nice! Can’t wait to try it. When can we expect to see the cans in stores?

Nice work, just curious if “shotgunning” a beer was any type of inspiration?

Also as a designer in Milwaukee let me know if you ever wanna hook up and talk design.

Chevis W.

As a Wisconsinite living in exile, I’m so jealous. Great project!

@Nurb, it should be out in the markets this May. I know the older inventory has been sold out, so you should be seeing these in markets in the next few days to weeks.

@Chevis, It’s technically not possible to shotgun the can with this opening because of location and proximity. I’d love to get together and talk about design based stuff. There’s another 77er here in MKE too that I’ve been able to hangout with and get to know. It would be great to add another one to the mix.

@Mr- Thanks! I have a lot of stuff coming to market in the next couple months/years.

Nice idea, should be popular in the frat houses. Why require a separate tool? what if you could do it using the tab that is already attached to the top of the can?

Interesting. I know you probally can’t share, but I think we all would like to see the presentation given with this idea and variations (if there are any) shown to Miller, that would be pretty neat.

In the commercial I see that this feature will get you babes, so it must be cool. Of all the methods shown I like the spark plug the best.

Maybe we should start a contest for the most Rube Goldberg method of punching the can?

I would like to give kudos to whomever convinced Miller that its light beer was comparable to a pint of english (or any other) beer!!

Nice job!

Funny you mention this because I happened to run across a company trying to bring the flat-top can back in style.

We wanted to build a “ritual” when it came to opening our product. It kinda speaks to what is being said in the church key can ad in this thread. It also lends itself to self customization and ownership when selecting your own way of opening the can. We looked into using the tab and while it is technically possible, it introduced a whole new level of challenges that we would need to work through. It also didn’t seem to have a robust “story” versus having to use your own tool to open the feature.

@Devon, I would love to share the other work that lead to this, but we’re still looking at refining those for possible applications in the future or on other brands.

@Mipe, Yes, I spotted that churchkey company about a month ago. I’m curious when they came up with bringing it back as it took us a bit of time to get this version to market. I would also love to see how they are recieved by the public. It’ll be interesting.

Here’s a better video that shows it’s functionality.

Yeah dude! Punch top can! Enjoying one right now.

It’s been a while since the development of the “pop top” so it’s great to see the beer can wars starting up again.

For a while,starting in the mid-sixties, there was a wave of container innovation by the breweries; can-top designs, opening designs. Some of the first pop-tops were so hard to get open that new “church keys” (aka; can-openers) started to show up specifically for a given brand (it kind of defeated the intent of the pop-top, but when you’re in production and your customers can’t get their beer cans open you have to something… quick).

The opener designs were so varied, and short lived, that images don’t show up on google searches.

This Coors can is from the early 70s.

It’s amazing, there’s a significant difference. There must have been some outcry when the pop top was first introduced. Or perhaps people were just blinded by convenience and didn’t notice.

There must have been some outcry when the pop top was first introduced.

quite a bit actually…

and it was even commemorated in song…

I blew out my flip-flop
Stepped on a pop-top
Cut my heel had to cruise on back home
But there’s booze in the blender
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on

Margaritaville > - Jimmy Buffett

but I stray off topic… my bad.

Nice work. I can imagine the huge levers that you needed to move to get that innovation into production. Looking forward to trying one.

Can a consumer (drinker?) punch any place along the top, or only in that one side, and does it have perforations so a certain size of hole is created?

Thanks! There’s a few more challenges that remain, one of which is educating the consumer on the ritual of opening the container. It will come in time. It’s interesting to go out and see people use it for the first time. There is a score in that area of the can that allows you to open it in that specific location.

It’s crazy how a little change in the package can attribute to a change in your experience huh? :smiley:

Yes, this is one of our major considerations during development. This also is top of mind for many consumers and they easily identify the inconvience of having additional waste when it comes to accessing their beverage. However, a change in application and culture can garner more acceptance of stray pieces of packaging.

Lmo -

Thanks for posting that picture. Cool to see that someone else remembers those silly Coors cans with the two hole punch top. I’m sure I have one or two in my beer can collection, as well as the plastic opener they gave away when they first came-out. It fit over the entire top of the can and had two studs that would punch the tabs open when you pushed down on it. If I remember correctly, since no one was going to carry such a silly opener around with them (it was so much less convenient than a “church key”), one of the biggest complaints about the top was that people were using their thumb or finger to punch the holes open and cutting the heck out of themselves on the sharp edge in the process.

You know, with all the time/effort/money Miller Lite has probably spent to think-up their new “easy-flow” top, I wonder if they could have saved a lot more time/effort/money if they had just gone back to the old flat tops and included a promotional “church key” with each 12-pack?

Can you clarify how it makes sense to “just use the old church key”? You are suggesting accelerating something to market in order to save time and money internally. But at the same time, you said carrying an extra tool around is a failure. The solution presented in this thread prevents consumers from injury based off of your comment AND it allows the consumer flexibility to use anything they have around them to activate the secondary opening. These are two strong points that you stated as problems which caused the previous concept to fail.

FYI, it takes a lot more time/effort/money to insert a promotional item into a carton than just building the technology directly into the primary container.

Thanks for logging in just to troll this thread. :laughing:

I bought a 12 pack of the big cans and have been working through it. Its not a ‘shotgun’ experience but I definitely finish the beer faster, vs drinking a tallboy without punching the top, its liable to be ‘sandbagged’ and abandoned half-full. The top isn’t super easy to punch open (as in the video ads) but just a little crack in the lid makes it work.

MMMM beer. Happy Friday June 1st to beer drinkers everywhere.