Can you think of a better way to preserve, protect, and promote beverages? Rexam Beverage Can! Rexam Beverage Can is one of the biggest consumer beverage can manufacturers in the world. It has manufacturing plants in the North and South America, Europe, and Asia that produce roughly 60 billion cans annually. The company's lineup includes a slew of gee-whiz offerings, such as screw-top closures, and slim and sleek versions. The can-maker can also boost product differentiation and brand awareness for customers through print options, from thermo to glow-in-the-dark and wet-look inks, to tactile-finishes. Rexam Beverage Can is a subsidiary of Rexam and accounts for about 80% of the UK packaging giant's revenues.
The US (followed by Europe) is Rexam Beverage Can's core market. Nonetheless, like many manufacturers hurt by the economic downturn, parent Rexam offset its losses in 2009 by shuttering plants across North America and Europe. In the US, it consolidated several operations into its plant in Arkansas, a state which provides government-backed financial incentives.
Concurrently, the can-maker is marking a number of efficiency gains. Since the mid-1990s it has managed to decrease the weight of its can by about 15%, resulting in a reduction in its aluminum requirements. Moreover, the benefit of "downgauging" has multiplied as the market for larger 24 oz. beverage cans has continued to grow in North America. To support demand, Rexam has invested in a 24 oz. can line at its Mexico plant.
Rexam Beverage Can sales increased slightly in 2010, buoyed by demand for specialty cans and higher pricing coupled with expanding market share in South America. Its investment in a can manufacturing plant in Brazil has proven a boon. The company is the country's largest beverage can maker. During 2010, demand soared almost 18% thanks to improving employment, access to credit, and a rising middle class. Momentum is anticipated to be fueled by Brazil's hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic games, in 2016.
The company's headway into Eastern Europe, another developing market, has met with some regulatory issues. Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service investigated Rexam Beverage Can subsidiaries due to charges of price setting and other restrictive handling agreements. In addition, a beer duty on beverage can volumes threatened to erode business. The company was once the country's sole can-maker; however, in 2010 another beverage can maker established a foothold. Undeterred, Rexam Beverage Can started production of its Fusion aluminum bottles at a plant in the Czech Republic in early 2010.
In addition to the Fusion breakthrough technology, Rexam Beverage Can is leveraging its can portfolio through a slate of high-end graphic arts and printing plate innovations. The can lineup is tweaked for fashion and function. Since its launch in the early 2000s, the Rexam aluminum SLEEK can, a taller, more slender can version, has proliferated into a family of sizes, closures, and target applications. Blue chip beverage makers such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Starbucks Coffee, and Monster Energy drinks (by Hansen Natural Corp.) have adopted the container for its shelf eye-appeal, as well as manufacturing and shipping advantages.
Although Rexam Beverage Can's business is largely in the soft drink market (it is the primary supplier to Coca Cola), the company has extended its customer base by converting its manufacturing processes to accommodate a wider range of specialty sizes and contents, including beer and flavored alcoholic beverages. The company upgraded its Longview, Texas, plant in 2008 to qualify as an Anheuser-Busch vendor, now one of its largest customers. – less