Is the current state of beverage canning reminiscent of the walking dead? Shipping problems, supply issues, and the pandemic have all led to a troublesome shortage of aluminum cans that makes the landscape look rather bleak. Beverage makers in the United States and worldwide have been struggling to meet their aluminum can needs. In fact, Monster Beverage could not meet the increased demand for its products during the third quarter of 2021 due to the shortage of aluminum, which affected its profits and potentially the company’s reputation. Here at Twin Monkeys, our staff is always looking for innovative ways to help our industry. Recently we learned of a new canning option being offered by Canimal: the ZombieCan.

Unused Aluminum Cans

While getting new, unlabeled aluminum cans is now tricky, companies can find a supply of unused, already labeled cans with no home. These orphaned cans exist for several reasons; companies sometimes over-order cans, some cancel their orders before fulfillment, and others stop operating before they can use their supply. These cans are perfectly good, except they have been printed with a distinctive label advertising a specific product. Until now, this problem made using them challenging. Canimal has found a way to take these cans and make them suitable for another company’s use.

Repurposing Aluminum Cans

Canimal, located in Colorado, has created the ZombieCan, a product brought back to life by a new repurposing process.

First, the company acquires “like-new” unused cans from can manufacturers and beverage companies. All of these cans meet strict quality standards and are purchased only from domestic can makers. Then it upcycles them by applying a special coating that covers all of the existing graphics on these “left-behind” cans. The coating is a water-based, food-safe metallic varnish that creates a permanent opaque varnish. None of the original labels are visible or will become visible with time.

These cans are sold as brite cans, lightweight, quickly chillable, cans that seldom break, and are easy to ship. They are also completely recyclable.

ZombieCans are quite versatile and can be branded with sleeving, adhesive labels, or digitally printed to order. Testing has shown that these cans perform as well or even better than traditional brite cans. Currently, they are available in 12 oz., 16 oz., and 12 oz. sleek cans.

Advantages of the ZombieCan

The ZombieCan is an affordable, environmentally friendly, and practical canning solution. It eliminates the need for melting down and recycling unused cans and the need for plastic sleeves. Although Canimal’s initial production was just a truckload a month, the company plans to soon ship millions of cans each month from multiple facilities. The supply of unused, already branded cans is a huge, largely untapped resource.

While this process certainly helps companies through the current aluminum shortage, it has long-term potential as well. Aluminum shortages happen periodically, and as most companies are aware, the world’s resources are dwindling. It only makes sense to cultivate a practical alternative to relying solely on newly produced or recycled cans.

Companies Using the ZombieCan

A number of companies are currently using the ZombieCan. They include:

Let’s Talk Monkeys!

At Twin Monkeys, we appreciate creative canning solutions like the ZombieCan. It’s an integral part of our company culture. We offer canning systems to meet the individual demands of our customers.

First, we configure your system to fit your specifications. Then we work tirelessly to deliver your system to you in the promised time frame. This process has been enhanced by producing parts in our onsite machine shop.

We then come to your company to help you set up and train your staff on the new Twin Monkeys system. We even assist you in completing a canning run using water as part of the training. Then we often stay to watch your first product canning run to troubleshoot problems and answer any questions you may have.

But the process does not end there! We solicit your feedback and address any concerns you have as time goes on. We constantly strive to improve our product and our customer service.

Want more information? Let’s talk monkeys.

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