According to the latest Nielsen research by the Can Makers, canned drinks are seeing significant growth in the UK market. Carbonated soft drinks (CSDs), craft beer and flavoured cider are proving to be the main driver behind recent rise in popularity.
Nielsen says that CSDs continue to be the largest market for beverage cans, growing by +5% units (MAT to June 2017).
The overall cider market growth areas are all in cans too. Glass and PET pack formats experienced declines in unit sales of -9% and -5% respectively, whilst the cans’ market share grew by +6% so far this year (MAT June 2018).
The change in consumer perception around the beverage can as a premium product for great tasting drinks has had an impact on growth, as well as the overall experience it provides, which fits in with today’s lifestyle.
With growing interest and concern over packaging’s environmental impact, consumers now want to know what happens to the packaging once they’ve used it and cans have the best recycling and sustainability record. Beverage cans are not just ‘recyclable’ (which consumers are increasingly aware has little true meaning) but are also already highly recycled. In the UK, 72% of all aluminium cans were recycled back into other products in 2017.
Marcel Arsand, chairman of the Can Makers, said: “Cans are a great choice for drinks brands, retailers and consumers alike. We expect to continue to see greater interest in drink cans pack format after witnessing the success craft beer in cans has enjoyed.
“Not only are cans convenient and easy to chill, they are also infinitely recyclable. This means that consumers can enjoy their favourite drink in a packaging that can be back on the shelf as another drinks can in as little as eight weeks.”
Flavoured cider trend
Flavoured cider in cans continues to rise in popularity as more consumers look for new tastes and experiences beyond the traditional apple cider. This is highlighted by the 6% jump in sales of flavoured cider in cans last year. The combination of a different taste sensation and a completely sustainable pack format are making canned cider a hit with consumers. Smaller pack sizes are also a growth driver, as it meets the convenience needs of consumers too.
Craft shows no sign of slowing down
Furthermore, Nielsen’s research confirmed the craft beer trend is still on the rise in the UK and continues to thrive in cans, growing notably faster than bottled craft beer – +66% versus -3% respectively in the first half of 2018. Retailers have been increasing their product ranges in the past year, making canned craft beverages more accessible for consumers.
Younger customers in particular are drawn to the bold, vibrant 360 degree designs that have become synonymous with craft beer. On the other hand, brewers like cans because they are easy to transport and protect the beverage from light, ensuring the drink they are so passionate about tastes the same when consumed as it does when brewed.
According to Nielsen, there have also been early indications of increased interest in craft cider, which is also expected to generate further interest in the can pack format, following the success of canned craft beer.