2018 Beverage Trends in Packaging and Processing

  • ID: 4602341
  • Report
  • 66 pages
  • PMMI
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The premium and ultra-premium segments of just about every beverage category have experienced very strong growth in recent years. Mid-tier brands, particularly in the spirits industry, have been refreshing their packaging to present a more premium image through enhanced labels, more sophisticated closures, and eye-catching, shelf ready packaging.

Demand is growing for teas made from actual tea leaves. Co-packers are scrambling to acquire the processing equipment to meet volume expectations and are investing in new facilities around the country.

In food and beverage marketing, “all natural” does not have a specific meaning. However, the fast-growing trend toward “no additives or preservatives” has put some real teeth into the natural beverage movement. Beverage companies often need to adjust their processing lines, such as adding agitation equipment and adjusting filling lines to adapt to the different behaviors of additive-free beverages.

Consumers’ increasing desire for natural and organic products has driven the increased use of glass bottles and cartons - two containers with a healthier and environmentally friendly image among most consumers. In the beer industry, the craft brewery movement from glass bottles to aluminium cans is also perceived as the more environmentally responsible option.

Although PET bottles are expected to increasingly dominate the beverage packaging industry, this material engendered the most misgivings among respondents due to environmental concerns and recycling challenges. Fortunately, new technology was launched just this past year (2017) that can make PET bottles from 100% recycled PET resin with the same clarity and barrier properties as bottles made with 100% virgin PET.

Many respondents called out the secondary packaging of plastic rings that hold cans or bottles together as harmful to the environment. Photo degradable options are available, but these substances only begin to break down, after about a month or so, in very sunny conditions. Respondents at large beverage companies are excited about using this material, but will likely not move to the biodegradable format until it’s proven in the market by smaller beverage companies.

The most excitement in packaging innovation, surprisingly, involves aluminum cans and bottles. Aluminum container innovation is expanding in three distinct categories:
  • Design: Aluminum is being used to develop a broader set of sizes and shapes than plastic or glass can reach (e.g., from 7.5 oz. to 32 oz.; from bottles to cans; from fat to thin). In addition, innovations in aluminum are catching up with plastic regarding lower weight and resealability options for both cans and bottles. Can graphics quality has historically lagged far behind paper labels. However, improvements continue in inks (temperature- and light-responsive), print quality, and tactile effects. Shrink sleeves are increasingly used on aluminum cans and bottles. New PET bottles with better air barriers are expected to hit the market in the near future. This will make PET better suited for smaller sizes, such as 8 oz. PET CSD bottles.
  • Container Enhancements: Nitrogen charges are now available for cans to provide creamy foam in certain beverages. Can suppliers are also developing new, BPA-free internal can coatings.
  • Can Graphics: Aseptic packaging providers are also expected to offer packaging with new closures that maintain aseptic integrity even after the beverage has been opened multiple times.
As far as packaging trends go, convenience and portability are still key trends in North America. Depending on the category of beverage, the convenience factor results in changes in design and sizes (smaller or larger).

Different Designs
  • Slim, tall cans have spread rapidly to CSD, energy drinks and sparkling water. They fit more easily in smaller hands (e.g., women’s), are more elegant than standard cans, and stand out well on the shelf.
  • Multi-serve bottles with thin necks are easier to carry and pour.
  • Aluminum cans with resealable closures provide more portability and safety over glass.
Smaller Size
  • 8 oz. CSD for portion control and classier appeal.
  • Single serve PET wine and cocktail glasses with aluminum peel-off closure.
Increasing Size
  • Single serve beer in the 19-24 oz. size are more convenient for large venues.
  • Spirits bottles in 1.75-to 2-liters offer more value for consumers.
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SECTION 1: Executive Summary and Perspective
  • Beverage Packaging Innovation and Trends
  • Consumer Trends
  • Retail Trends
  • Regulation and Taxes
  • Manufacturing and Supply Chain
  • Concerns and Needs
  • Key Take-Aways and Opportunities
  • Respondent Demographics
SECTION 2: Detailed Report Findings
  • Market Size and Growth
  • Beverage Industry Trends
  • Consumer Trends: Convenience and Portability
  • Areas in Decline
  • Packaging Materials and Consumer Perceptions
  • Generational Preferences
  • Retail Trends
  • Other Industry Trends
  • Microbrew Focus
  • Manufacturing and Supply Chain
  • Equipment/Machinery
  • The Fast Changeover Solution: Automation
  • Distribution/Logistics Challenges
  • Challenges with Packaging
  • Co-Packer Production
  • Regulation and Taxes
  • What Machinery Providers Can Do To Help
  • Concerns and Needs
  • Packaging Reliability
  • Keeping Up with Pace of Change
  • Security of Packaging People
  • What Suppliers Could Do Better
  • Needs and Expectations for Monoblock Equipment
  • Needs and Expectations for Automation
  • Global Trends
  • Mexico Focus
  • Appendix
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