Welcome to our yearly top 25 beverage packagers feature where we reveal the biggest names in packaged beverages. In the accompanying chart, we list the beverage packagers in order from largest to smallest, based on 2014 revenue numbers, and some key brands that make these companies so popular.
The beverage industry is changing as consumers are moving away from the traditional, mass produced, one size fits all beverage to a more customized and local option. Popular drinks like soft drinks are stepping aside to make room for alternatives like upscale bottled waters and single-serve coffee drinks.
Also, consumers, especially Millennials, are shying away from the long-standing domestic beer brands and opting for local craft beer varieties.
It seems like we are drinking more and more beer, specifically craft beer. Mintel (mintel.com) Food and Drink analyst, Beth Bloom, estimates sales of craft beer (including craft-style offerings) reached $20 billion in 2014, doubling sales just five years prior, and the category is forecasted to reach $36.3 billion by 2019. The steady growth of the category is due, in part, to the 55% of respondents who report that they are willing to spend more for craft beer than non-craft.
Millennial beer drinkers are significantly more likely to select products they’ve never tried before and to take recommendations from store employees and friends. What’s more, 8% of craft beer drinkers say label/packaging design is important in their purchase decision.
Consumers today want just as much uniqueness and craft from their water. What is evident within growing water sales is a new surge of ‘alternative’ waters such as coconut water, maple water, aloe water and banana water. Bottled water sales are up in general too for plain old drinking water.
According to a Canadean (canadean.com) report, bottled water sales are projected to surpass packaged soft drinks sales in the near future. The report predicts that packaged water will overtake global carbonates consumption, reaching over 233 billion liters in 2015, while carbonates are expected to grow at a slower pace to around 227 billion liters. Back in 2010 the global population consumed only 170 billion liters of packaged water, compared to 215 billion liters of carbonates.
Another beverage trend that is here to stay? The rise of specialty coffee, particularly single-serve choices such as K-Cups from Keurig, VIA packs from Starbucks and Nescafe offerings, not to mention packaged coffee drinks from major retail chains.
According to Euromonitor (euromonitor.com), pods remained the major growth driver in the US coffee market in 2014, as the convenient coffee category continues to captivate consumers. And data shows that as an industry whole, consumers are drinking less coffee but spending more on it. Why? Increased prices overall and increased use of specialty coffee and single-serve choices, which carry a higher price tag.
Click here to view this year's Top 25.
Click here to download the 2015 Top 50 Beverage Packaging Companies PDF.