The beverage packaging and processing industry is experiencing major growth. According to the 2018 Beverage Trends in Packaging and Processing report and accompanying infographic, produced by the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI), the North American beverage industry is expected to grow 4.5% to $45.5 billion in the next 10 years.
Despite 70% of respondents believing aluminum cans and bottles are expected to see the greatest innovation in design, container and graphics enhancements, plastic still accounts for 45% of packaging material usage. Ready-to-drink, non-alcoholic beverages (in glass containers) are expected to grow at about 40% and wine (in plastic containers) is projected to increase 100% by 2028.
According to the findings of the report, major consumer trends like convenience and portability are causing a shift in beverage manufacturing. More than 50% of participants at carbonated soft drink companies believe the eight-ounce size will soon become the predominant size across the U.S. and Canada. Of the 75% of beverage companies who talked about pack sizes, more than 75% said their companies are also adjusting pack size and design to improve portability.
Major drivers of these consumer trends include a desire for premium and ultra-premium brands, natural and organic products, environmentally friendly packaging, as well as Millennials craving creativity.
There are also several retail trends that beverage manufacturers should consider:
- Refrigerated section in grocery stores experiences the most rapid innovation.
- Mixed flavor, multi-packs are on the rise.
- Large format club stores, Walmart, and Whole Foods accelerate innovation at all major beverage companies.
Environmental responsibility has increased in importance to beverage manufacturers. PET bottles from 100% recycled PET resin now offer the same clarity and barrier properties as 100% virgin PET. More than 75% of beverage companies are actively taking steps to reduce the materials in their package and lessen their overall carbon footprint. Aluminum accounts for 70% of recycled beverage containers while glass accounts for 23%.
For an in-depth look into the current landscape of beverage packaging and processing operations, download PMMI’s 2018 Beverage Trends in Packaging and Processing report.