Beverages cans are metal containers designed to hold fixed amount of liquid beverages such as alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, tea, energy drinks, etc. They are manufactured using either aluminum or steel and are highly recyclable. The cans are witnessing an increase demand among the beverage manufacturers owing to their sustainability and recyclability without any degradation.
According to Fortune Business Insight, “The global beverage cans market size was USD 25.31 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 36.59 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period”.
Every year or so nearly a half trillion beverage cans are manufactured – that’s about 15 thousand per second – so many that we often overlook superb engineering behind a can’s manufacturing.
We take for granted that soda cans are cylindrical – the shape is easy to hold and the cans stack well on top of each other. But how did today’s can design become standard? After all, cylindrical cans don’t pack together as well as cube-shaped cans would, and they use more metal than spherical cans would.
So, why cylindrical?
Well, a spherical can may use the least amount of packaging, but it would be hard to keep on the table before it is rolled off the table – so that’s out. A cube-shaped can wouldn’t work as well because its edges are weak points, and the walls would have to be made much thicker to withstand the pressure of the carbonated beverage within. (It’s not particularly easy to hold or drink from, either.)
So, to create a can engineers use a cylinder that has elements of both shapes. From the top, it’s like a sphere, and from the sides like a cuboid. A cylinder has a maximum packaging of about 91% – not as good as a cuboid but much better than a sphere. Most important of all: a cylinder can be rapidly manufactured. The cylindrical shape enables a beverage can to hold beverages at pressures up to six atmospheres while it is less than a tenth of a millimeter thick.
Preserve drink’s flavor
Aluminum cans help to preserve the quality of drinks for a long time. Aluminum cans are completely impervious to oxygen, sun, moisture, and other contaminants. They don’t rust, are corrosion-resistant, and have one of the longest shelf lives of any packaging.
Protect the environment
Today, aluminum cans are the most recycled beverage container since they are the most valuable box in the bin. 70% of the metal in an average can is recycled. It can be recycled time and time again in a true closed-loop recycling process, while glass and plastic are usually down-cycled into items like carpet fiber or landfill liners.
Innovation: Cans enhance brands
A designer’s dream, aluminum beverage cans offer 360 degrees of branding real estate.
The result is a true brand icon that creates a lasting impression on consumers. Add to that new production features like resealability, temperature indicators and dynamic shapes, and you have the ultimate in beverage container innovation.
- Aluminum cans highlight your brand’s unique appeal
- Showcase your brand on a wrap-around canvas
- Break norms with new shapes, new marketing opportunities
- Improve functionality with resealability and temperature indicators
- Allow for the most attractive and high-quality graphics
Cans are better for the refreshment on the go
Beverage cans are prized for their portability and convenience. Durable, lightweight, they chill faster and are a perfect match for active lifestyles without the possibility of accidental breakage.
Cans are also ideal for use in outdoor venues where glass bottles are prohibited, such as arenas, festivals, and sporting events, enabling consumers to enjoy their favorite beverages whenever and wherever they choose.
Shipping efficiency: the weight advantage
Aluminum cans are light and can be stacked easily. This reduces storage and shipping costs while also lowering overall transportation carbon emissions through logistics and supply chains.
New innovations that make beverage can packaging more sustainable
Corona Fit Packs
The Fit Pack utilizes a design that allows up to 10 beer cans to stack on and screw into one another. If successful it could eliminate the need for plastic, cardboard or any other kind of packaging – we’re talking genuine zero waste.
Carlsberg Snap Pack
Late last year European beer giant Carlsberg announced it would phase in new Snap Packs, which use a small speck of glue to hold cans together. The cans are then carried by a thin, narrow handle of plastic film. The revolutionary new glue cuts plastic usage on multipacks by up to 76%.
E6PR Eco Rings
First made popular by Salt Water Brewery in Florida, E6PR (stands for Eco Six-Pack Ring) are truly biodegradable carriers made from agricultural by-products (specifically, the unharvested portion of wheat stalks that are otherwise left in the field as waste).
Key Industry Players
The top 5 manufacturers of beverage cans globally who have been able to maintain their dominance in the industry.
Ball Corporation (U.S)
Crown Holdings, Inc. (U.S)
Ardagh Group S.A. (Ireland)
CANPACK S.A. (Poland)
Biosteel Metal Co., Ltd. (China)
Beverage Can Printing
Beverage can printing in the market primarily involves printing a label and then adhering it to a can. With recent strides in inkjet machines, the ability to mass produce aluminum cans with the label printed directly onto the product is now gaining momentum. The benefits of direct-to-can printing are endless.
With a large printable surface area and a wide range of sizes, shapes and decorating options, beverage cans are the perfect packaging format to create a compelling brand presence where it counts – on the shelf in consumers’ hands. Add to that their being highly recyclable in nature, the brands and manufacturers alike are adopting them to meet their sustainability goals as well as enhance their brand.
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