Two Decades of Strength and Sustainability: Crown’s SuperEnd® Beverage End Turns 20

Image of the top of two beverage cans
Friday, May 22, 2020

Sometimes, an idea can spur a revolution. When we debuted the SuperEnd® beverage end in 2000, we knew it would be a gamechanger for the industry. By using 10% less metal than traditional designs, the end contributes to a lighter-weight beverage can that reduces material usage and requires less energy during distribution. Yet, the end’s unique geometry delivers increased panel strength and 8-10 psi more buckle resistance than standard ends, preserving package integrity throughout pasteurization, shipping and handling. These features have resulted in a sustainable packaging innovation that classifies as both trim and tough—a combination that transformed the beverage can after decades of little advancement. 

In addition to exceling in efficiency, SuperEnd® beverage ends offer a range of functional and marketing benefits. Available in 200- and 202- diameter sizes, the end combines a distinct countersink wall angle, reinforcing bead and smaller opening panel to create a modern-looking package for beer, carbonated soft drinks, juices and other beverage categories. The innovation’s design enhances pourability, increases finger access to the tab by 20% for greater openability and is easier to sip from thanks to a better can-to-mouth fit. For brands, a chuck wall angled at approximately 45 degrees creates an additional billboard area suitable for promotional messaging or language that encourages responsible recycling.

Even with all these advantages, we could not have predicted the SuperEnd® beverage end would impact the market to the extent it has today. Nearly 700 billion ends later, the innovation has generated substantial material savings, reducing aluminum usage by over 177,000 metric tons and coatings by over 3,000 metric tons. The ends have also saved close to 1.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gases—the equivalent of nearly 300,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year or more than 1.5 billion pounds of coal burned—and will continue to yield higher savings following more recent lightweighting of the end. These performance levels serve as an extraordinary achievement by any standard, but especially given the fact the savings can be attributed to a single technology innovation. For that reason, we continue to look for opportunities to evolve the SuperEnd® beverage end and extend its reach. Most recently, we modified the original design to create the Interchangeable SuperEnd® beverage end, which can run on the same seamer tooling as other designs and makes implementation easier. We have also licensed the technology to ensure international customers can boost their own sustainability scores.

As we look back at this breakthrough, we are reminded of the work our innovation team leads to create technologies that, by serving our customers and protecting our planet, become the new industry standard. In the spirit of the SuperEnd® beverage end, we look forward to reimagining what is possible for the beverage can and continuing to connect our customers with cutting-edge capabilities.  

Cheers to 20 more years!