Market Overview

2018 Beverage Trends in Packaging and Processing -


The "2018
Beverage Trends in Packaging and Processing"
report has been
added to's offering.

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

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

  • 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.

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