Table of Contents
Strong growth in healthy beverages to support gains
Demand for beverage containers in the US is forecast to increase just under two percent annually through 2019, outpacing beverage production as the shift toward smaller containers continues. Best opportunities are expected in the healthy beverage segments including water, sports drinks, almond milk, and ready-todrink tea and coffee. Among packaging materials, the fastest growth will be registered by containers that are environmentally friendly and offer cost savings and marketing advantages. Plastic is the leading beverage container material type overall and it will continue to post gains well above the industry average.
Beverage container size proliferation to persist
One of the most important trends in beverage containers is the proliferation of sizes in nearly all segments and this is having a material impact on the number of units sold. In many cases, the trend is toward smaller single-serving containers, especially for those beverages with higher calorie counts such as carbonated soft drinks. Some of the new sizes have been the result of efforts by manufacturers to maintain profitability while keeping product prices steady. In other cases smaller containers are being offered for convenience and portability reasons. While smaller containers in general are seeing the fastest growth, in some segments there is a concurrent move toward larger packaging, most notably with bag-in-box products in the wine industry and larger aluminum cans in the beer industry.
Plastic bottles & aluminum cans to remain dominant; newer formats to grow faster
While plastic bottles and aluminum cans will continue to dominate unit sales, faster growth will be registered by newer formats such as pouches, aluminum bottles, aseptic containers, and bag-inbox packages. These containers help beverage manufacturers differentiate their products from their competitors’ while also offering functional improvements and/or cost savings. In contrast, traditional containers like glass bottles and gabletop cartons will continue to face competition from plastic containers in most markets, although this trend has mostly run its course. Going forward these formats will benefit from their use with organic and specialty beverages. Metal cans have seen a resurgence of interest in recent years due to their cost and environmental advantages, although this trend is masked by the increasing prevalence of larger sizes, which mutes unit growth to some degree.
Changes in demographics, consumer preferences to continue shifting demand
Demographic changes, a preference for convenience, and health concerns have been behind many of the shifts in beverage packaging usage over the past decade and this is expected to continue. Younger consumers are drinking a wider variety of alcoholic beverages and are more amenable to novel packaging concepts including single-serve bottles for wine and pouches for flavored alcoholic beverages. These package types, along with bag-in-box wines, are also convenient to use and reduce waste. Health concerns are boosting sales of smaller cans across a number of markets, most notably carbonated soft drinks, while smaller glass and plastic bottles are increasingly used for wine, fruit juice, and milk.
This upcoming Freedonia industry study, Beverage Containers, is priced at $5300. The study presents historical demand data for 2004, 2009, and 2014, plus forecasts for 2019 and 2024 by major market and by container material type. The study also discusses market environment issues, evaluates company market share and profiles 38 US industry participants such as Amcor, Ardagh Group, Owens-Illinois, Ball and Rexam.
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