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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Japan's Daiwa Wins Can Of The Year Award

I like to think I know a lot about cans - even the container type.

Daiwa Can Corporation in Japan has won the canmaking industry’s top accolade for 2014, The Canmaker magazine Can of the Year award, for a highly-decorated tinplate coffee can.

Selected by a panel of expert judges, the 20cl three-piece welded tinplate can developed for Kowa Pharmaceutical’s Powered Coffee brand features detailed decoration, registered embossing, foaming ink, gravure printing and an aluminum easy-open end.

The Daiwa can was also winner of the Gold category for three-piece beverage cans.

Powered Coffee is a premium drink new to the Japanese market, and is a combination of enriched nutrients and coffee.

After being approached by Kowa Pharmaceutical, Daiwa designed the can as well as co-developing the drink’s recipe and the necessary filling process, carried out using retorting techniques by Daiwa’s subsidiary Sanwha.

Kowa 'regular' Powered Coffee.

The product features four varieties: Regular, Bitter, Cafe Au Lait, and Black.

The Regular coffee is in the brilliant red colored can, while the other three are in black cans, with the main difference being that little hexagon in the middle of the can, that names the coffee variety.

Powered Coffee is marketed through retailers rather than the vending machines commonly used for selling ready-to-drink canned coffees in Japan. This sector alone is a huge market with more than 10 billion units sold each year.

When I lived in Japan, to me, there was nothing finer than sipping on a steaming hot coffee packaged in a can picked up from a vending machine.

As such, I can only imagine that the Powered Coffee beverage is a cold /cool drink available at retail shops - and I bet it has a higher retail price point - at least the can certainly looks like it is.

What a beautiful can!

After being told of the award, Daiwa director of international operations Kasuhiro Tsujimoto (surname first) says: "It was a surprise and a pleasure to win the Can of the Year in 2014.

"This can design represents our whole technology in three-piece canmaking, so is a combination of our skills and technology."

Daiwa Can is a leading Japanese packaging manufacturer. Along with manufacturing cans for the food and beverage industry, it also does the same with regards to plastic containers for food and cosmetics, produces aerosol cans and caps, and perfumes research and development and design of container manufacturing systems and plants.

Company background: Incorporated as Osaka Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd. in 1939, it began using its trademark icon in 1951 and changed its name in 1953 to Daiwa Can Company.
Daiwa icon.

In 1965, the Kyushu Can Co., Ltd. merged with Daiwa Can, and in 1967 Daiwa moved its headquarters from Osaka to Tokyo (Chuo-ku).

In 1992 it acquired the can manufacturing plant of Sapporo Breweries, as well as achieved a record ¥300 billion (US $2.6-billion) in sales. I should point out, however, that as of March 2012, Daiwa Can had sales of ¥190.8 billion (US $1.65-billion), which is perhaps a reflection of more competition in the market. 

It has around 1,500 employees in eight facilities.

For you amusement, here are four Kowa TV ads… the first two featuring movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, the other two by Bruce Willis, showing you just what sort of star POWER these two have from their days as a terminator that destroyed the world and as a bad-ass cop who killed Snape.

How much money for one word? What? Two words? Each? Okay… I guess they earned their money.

Here's another video showing the making of the commercials - sort of:

Truth be told, I didn't recognize the boys when I first saw their images on the Kowa website. My bad.

Kowa… I will gladly scream 'POWAHHH' like Arnold if you will send me a regular can of your Power Coffee!

For all involved, congratulations on the beautiful package.

Kanpai Power!!!
Andrew Skynet Joseph
PS: If you wish, here are the links to the companies mentioned in this article:
Award website:
Kowa Coffee website:
Daiwa Can website:

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