Swiss firm NOMOQ wins the Can of the Year award

Winner of the Can of the Year 2022 competition, which is backed by The Canmaker magazine, is a digitally-printed beverage can produced by NOMOQ, a Swiss-based distributor of containers and service provider to the craft beer sector.

The trophy was presented to NOMOQ’s chief executive and co-founder Peter Stein at a gala dinner during The Canmaker Summit held in Prague, in the Czech Republic. It was the first time in two-years that the Can of the Year awards had been presented at the Summit, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The last two Cans of the Year had been held virtually.

The winning 330ml aluminium D&I can was digitally printed by NOMOQ for Dr Brauwolf, Zurich’s first craft brewer with a matt finish and spot varnishes for the design depicting a wolf howling at the moon. The NOMOQ name derives from the company’s NO Minimum Order Quantity ethic in which it offers the capability to meet the needs of smaller drinks producers.

Speaking after accepting the Can of the Year trophy Stein (pictured above) commented: “I was highly excited to have won the Can of the Year at The Can of the Year Awards. NOMOQ, as a new company, really appreciates getting recognition from the leading magazine in the industry. It helps us to foster innovation.”

As winner of the Beverage Two-piece category in the Cans of the Year, the NOMOQ qualified to be selected as a possible overall winner.

While this year’s winner contrasted with the highly-decorated three-piece tinplate container that won last year, judges recognised that a well-executed sparse design is capable of offering an equally memorable impact.

“This can has a great story – a new company geared to the craft beer market showing terrific innovation of style and featuring a design that adds value,” remarked one of the judges during the selection process in advance of the Summit.

In an era when sustainability is at the forefront of the industry’s mind, judges were pleased to learn that the can was designed in NOMOQ’s Kirchheimbolanden facility in Germany and transported to Dr Brauwolf’s brewery by rail rather than by road, lowering the carbon footprint of the can’s distribution.

NOMOQ was founded last year after entrepreneur Peter Stein, who’s passionate about IPA beers and other craft beverages, noted there was a lack of decorating options for the cans used for these drinks.

He focused on researching ways to get around minimum order quantities from major canmakers and found out that digital technology had matured enough to justify an investment, which also came with sustainability credentials by helping brand owners replace of labels and shrink film. A trio of co-founders embarked with him in the venture: mechanical engineer Albrecht Haake, software engineer Gabriela Andrei, and marketing specialist with an established career in the beverage sector Patrick Schweizer.

After a year of evaluating a range of digital printing systems, the group decided to commission a Hinterkopf machine with capacity to print up to 90 cans per minute, which was installed at a facility at Kirchheimbolanden in Germany.

“We chose Germany because central Europe is a very good location, close to very good markets. One of the decisive factors in opting for the Hinterkopf printer was the quality of graphics, which are really a strong point of this equipment, including the images that it can produce in the necking area,” explains Schweizer.

“The technology is being successfully used in North America, so we feel that its efficiency has been proven. Plus, for us it is a nice extra that they are also based in Germany, as we had great support while getting the system up and running.”

NOMOQ made its first delivery to a customer in August. The cans were commissioned by a Swiss craft brewer for a wrestling event. “We are making sure that we deliver on the quality. We print 360-degree labels from the can bottom to the neck, in photo-realistic quality, using unlimited colours. Our customers are very creative,” said Stein.

A number of leading canmakers supply NOMOQ with 330ml, 440ml and 500ml standard cans. Schweizer wouldn’t name the canmakers, but said that they “work with almost all of the big ones”.


2022 WINNERS

Can of the Year 2022
Winner: NOMOQ, Switzerland
Digitally-printed 330ml D&I aluminium can with matt and varnish textured finish for Dr Brauwolf; Dr Brauwolf – Sour IPA craft beer

Delegates’ Choice 2022
Hoffmann Neopac, Switzerland
Three-piece welded tinplate can with easy-peel and plastics lid made from Bluemint® CO2-reduced steel for Ricola; Ricola herbal drops

AEROSOLS
Gold: Aryum Aluminium Aerosols, Turkey
Impact-extruded aluminium can in four designs with 360° embossed shaping for J. Junaid Jamshed; J. Pour Femme body spray

Silver: Montebello Packaging, USA
Impact-extruded aluminium can with split-ink printing for American Spraytech; Dr. Scholl’s Athlete’s foot treatment spray

Bronze: Crown Cork & Seal, USA
Three-piece welded tinplate can with metallic finish for 18.21 ManMade; 18.21 – Spirits Spritzer body spray

BEVERAGE THREE-PIECE
Gold: ORG Technology, China
980ml three-piece welded tinplate with crackle textured print for Beijing Guangyu Culture Communication; #024 beer

Silver: Daiwa Can Company, Japan
Film laminated three-piece welded tinplate can for Suntory Foods; Starbucks Coffee Choice

Bronze: Envases Öhringen, Germany
Special edition three-piece welded tinplate 5-litre keg with Spotify playlist via QR code for Gaffel Kölsch; Gaffel Kölsch beer

BEVERAGE TWO PIECE
Gold: NOMOQ, Switzerland
Digital printed 330ml D&I aluminium can with matt and varnish textured finish for Dr Brauwolf; Dr Brauwolf – Sour IPA craft beer

Joint Silver: Crown Embalagens Metalicas da Amazonia, Brazil
350ml D&I aluminium can with tactile varnish for Inab – Indistria Nacional De Bebidas; Therezópolis Gold lager

Joint Silver: Canpack (Brzesko), Poland
500ml D&I aluminium can with frosty tactile effect for Saku Brewery (Carlsberg); Saku On Ice non-alocoholic beer (radler)

Bronze: Toyo Seikan, Japan
Neck embossed 375ml polyester laminated aluminium (aTULC can) for E&J Gallo Winery; Dark Horse wine

BOTTLES
Gold: Trivium Packaging, Argentina
Lightweight 473ml impact-extruded aluminium bottle with up to 10 per cent PCR for KHappy Indústria e Comércio de Bebidas; Low Ka alcoholic drink

Silver: CCL Container, USA
Re-useable 740ml impact-extruded aluminium bottle made from 100 per cent recyclable aluminium for PathWater; Path purified water

Bronze: Montebello Packaging, USA
12oz (355ml) impact-extruded aluminium bottle with Marvel graphics for Sports Water; Water Co spring water

DECORATION & PRINT QUALITY
Gold: TinPak, Sri Lanka
Lock-seam tinplate can with lever lid and vibrant graphics for Seraya Plantation; Al Safir Tea ceylon tea

Silver: Nikita Containers, India
Embossed three-piece welded tinplate can with slip lid and valve for Forest Bean; Forest Bean – Matanga/Nari coffee beans

Bronze: Brasilata, Brazil
Digitally-printed three-piece welded tinplate can with 1,500 different lid designs for Make Make/Brasilata holidays gift

ENDS, CAPS & CLOSURES
Gold: Tinpac, China (Tin Horse Design, UK)
FDA-approved tinplate cap with scoop dock for ByHeart; ByHeart infant formula

Silver: Toyo Seikan, Japan
Aluminium easy-open end with finger-fitting tab for ITO Shokuhin and various brands; products include mackerel, tuna, and fruits

Bronze: Independent Can, USA
Embossed tinplated steel closure for U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company; Copenhagen tobacco

FANCY CANS
Gold: Klann Packaging, Germany
Lock-seam tinplate secondary container fine embossing for Everdrop; Everdrop cleaning products

Silver: Meister, Brazil
Decorative lock-seam tinplate can with hinged lid for various confectionery companies

Joint Bronze: Eviosys, UK
Flower-shaped lock-seam tinplate container with slip lid for Mondelez; Cadbury Roses confectionery

Joint Bronze: Zenith Tins
Lock-seam tinplate container with flush lid and embossing for Mondelez India Foods; Cadbury Celebrations – Rich Dry Fruit Collection

FOOD THREE-PIECE 
Gold: Nikita Containers, India
Embossed three-piece welded tinplate can with slip lid and valve for Forest Bean; Forest Bean – Matanga/Nari coffee beans

Joint Silver: Crown Food Packaging, Thailand
Three-piece welded tinplate can with bespoke debossing, printed end and 12.6% material reduction for Theppadungporn Coconut; Chaokoh Coconut Milk

Joint Silver: ASA Italia, Italy
Decorative 5-litre three-piece welded tinplate can for various Italian farmers; edible oils 

Bronze: Independent Can, USA
Lock-seam tinplate can with plug lid and reflective print for B&G Foods; McCann’s – Irish Oatmeal porridge

GENERAL LINE 
Gold: Colep Packaging, Portugal
Three-piece welded tinplate pail with RL closing system and plastics handle for AkzoNobel Coatings; Bruguer paint

Silver: Trivium Packaging, USA
Impact-extruded aluminium threaded bottle for Bravo Sierra; Bravo Sierra sulphate-free body wash

Bronze: Montebello Packaging, USA
Impact-extruded aluminium bottle with ROPP neck for Paramount Global; Manscaped body wash

PROTOTYPE
Gold: Ardagh Metal Packaging, Germany
Printed aluminium end using H!ghend technology, which allows up to 200 different designs in one batch

Silver: Tubex, Germany
Monobloc aluminium aerosol with PURe overvarnish, an ecologically-friendly overvarnish

Bronze: BNM, China
Peel-off end with implanted NFC 

SUSTAINABILITY
Gold: Hoffmann Neopac, Switzerland
Three-piece welded tinplate can with easy-peel and plastics lid made from Bluemint CO2-reduced steel for Ricola; Ricola herbal drops

Silver: Ball Aerosol Packaging, Czech Republic
Impact-extruded aluminium aerosol with 50% recycled content for various customers; products include hairspray, deodorant, and hand sanitiser

Bronze: Trivium Packaging, Hungary
Three-piece welded tinplate can with easy-open-end for Petcura; Doothie liquid dietary supplement for dogs

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