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The technology facilitates greater brands transparency and consumer interaction

In a first for the beverage industry, Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East, a business unit of Crown Holdings is launching its CrownConnect technology in conjunction with FACT – an all-natural sparkling drink. Each can will be marked with a 2D unique scannable code, making FACT beverage cans the first ever to be produced with a unique digital identity.

To this end, Crown has partnered with tech-savvy entrepreneur Olly Bolton, to launch Almond, a blockchain platform that allows consumers to scan a unique hidden product code and rewards them by unlocking tokens that are redeemable for cash. The platform, launched in June of this year, will also unlock details of FACT Water’s story, giving unprecedented access to supply chain information and building deeper, trusting relationships with consumers that will ultimately foster brand loyalty.

Crown’s involvement in the project is very much as an enabler of the technology. As well as producing the physical beverage can for FACT Water, on which Almond will be launched, its CrownConnect technology provides the 2D codes beneath the tab of the beverage can that facilitate the engagement between consumer (via a scanning application) and brand. The platform, developed in partnership with IoT company EVRYTHNG then comes into effect, intuitively generating rewards and offers based on previous purchases and offering discounts and rewards to users based on their habits and the products they buy.

“The Internet of Things, and specifically blockchain technologies, will continue to drive the way brands interact with consumers and Almond is a very exciting step into this area for the beverage industry”, commented Matt Twiss, Marketing and Business Development Director at Crown. “From a brand’s perspective, the value lies in the ability to capture valuable data about when and where customers consume their products. CrownConnect technology has been designed specifically to facilitate this level of interaction between brand and consumer. The company is proud to be working with innovators such as Olly Bolton and EVRYTHNG to make beverage packaging more interactive and value-added than ever.”

Olly Bolton, Founder of Almond added: “The Almond app will allow users to interact with brands in a new completely way, directly reaping the rewards of their use of the app and pledging their allegiance to brands based on the way they approach transparency and their supply chain. Almond establishes a new type of relationship between brands and consumers: one that is symbiotic and mutually beneficial, giving consumers control and autonomy over the type of brands they buy, while also rewarding their loyalty.”

Almond-enabled cans of FACT Water will be available to buy in the U.K. and selected European countries from the end of June.

Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCK), a leading supplier of packaging products worldwide, announced that it will build a new plant in the Valencia region of Spain to produce aluminum beverage cans. The location of the facility, Parc Sagunt, is approximately 10 miles north of the city of Valencia, and was selected based on its close proximity to key customers as well as the excellent local infrastructure and transportation links.

The Company currently operates two steel beverage can plants in Spain, in Agoncillo and Seville, and will be constructing the new facility to meet the growing demand and preference for aluminum beverage cans in the Iberian region. The plant, which is expected to be operational during the fourth quarter of 2018, will have an initial annual capacity of approximately 900 million units in multiple sizes and will be designed to accommodate further expansion. Initially, the capacity will be utilized to facilitate customers’ transitions from steel to aluminum beverage cans and subsequently to support the growing demand for both beer and non-alcoholic beverage cans in the region.

Ziya Ozay, Senior Vice President CROWN Bevcan Europe and Middle East, commented, “We are excited about the aluminum beverage can market growth in the Iberian region, and our new plant will be ideally located to supply the increasing requirements of a number of key customers and support our other facilities during the conversion from steel to aluminum.”