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According to “Beverage Containers,” a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., U.S. demand for beverage containers is projected to increase 2.4% per year to 272 billion units in 2012, or nearly 42 billion gallons of packaged beverage production. Unit gains will be driven by continued consumer preference for single-serving containers in many markets, growing interest in enhanced or functional beverages and high levels of new product introductions accompanied by aggressive marketing efforts.
Plastic containers, which held 61% of total gallons packaged in 2007, will continue to be the fastest growing segment of the beverage container market, having captured a substantial share from traditional metal, glass and paperboard containers over the past several decades. Advances will be buoyed by continued healthy growth for PET-bottled waters despite environmental concerns related to plastic bottle usage. The use of single-serving PET bottles has been a key factor in positioning water as an alternative to soft drinks.
Metal containers, the second leading beverage container type in volume terms due to widespread use in the sizable soft drink and beer markets, will register minimal growth as a result of declining soft drink and beer production. However, good prospects are expected in fast-growing beverages, such as energy drinks and 8 oz soft drink cans. Demand for aluminum bottles will increase rapidly from a low base due to their upscale appearance, which provides a key element of product differentiation in markets such as beer.
Glass container demand will expand modestly, helped by the entrenched position of bottles in wine packaging and robust gains in markets such as RTD tea and other nonalcoholic RTD beverages, where glass’ premium image continues to be a marketing advantage.
Carbonated soft drinks, bottled water and milk were the largest markets for beverage containers, with a combined 64% share of packaged beverage production in gallon terms in 2007. Although soft drinks’ share of packaged volume will decline as a result of concerns about the link between soft drinks and obesity, bottled water will continue to post above-average gains as a result of its healthy profile.
For more information, call (440) 684-9600, fax (440) 646-0484, or visit www.freedoniagroup.com.