Budweiser looking to score big with bowtie cans

April 17, 2013 at 12:48 PM ET

Budweiser handout /
Budweiser cans will get "a little bit of a waistline," said Pat McGauley, the vice president of innovation at Anheuser-Busch.

Budweiser is about to get a makeover by cinching its waist and adding some heft to its cans.

Anheuser-Busch on May 6 will add a new shape to its lineup, selling its primary Budweiser beer in cans with twice the aluminum and a 10-degree indentation meant to evoke the brand’s traditional red bowtie graphic.

The cans will get “a little bit of a waistline,” Pat McGauley, the vice president of innovation at Anheuser-Busch told NBC News.

The taste of the beer will stay the same, and the traditional-shapes and sizes of the other cans are not going away. “We’re not getting rid of anything,” McGauley said.

The new cans are meant to appeal to new Budweiser drinkers. “Trend seekers are always looking for something new and they are often younger, the Millennials,” he said.

The company’s test marketing indicated it will appeal to both men and women. The cans will be more rigid and harder to crush.

The bowtie cans will be manufactured on a one-of-a-kind machine in Newbergh, N.Y., designed by Belvac Production Machinery, Inc. The empty cans will be transported to Los Angeles and Williamsburg, Va., to be filled with beer.

Sold in eight-packs, individual cans will hold 11.3 ounces of beer, amounting to about 137 calories.


Although this is the first time Anheuser-Busch has changed the shape of its cans, it has rolled out other sizes and packaging in recent years.

Two years ago the company started making 8 ounce cans, which have proved popular, McGauley said. In the past year it has also partnered with the NFL to introduce team-specific packaging. The next change on tap will come this summer as the West Coast will get 25- ounce cans, adding an extra-ounce option to Budweiser’s single-serve offerings.

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