When a consumer is faced with choosing a beverage, what influences their decision? Certainly things like price, branding, portability and sustainability all play a role. But one attribute stands above all others: taste. It turns out consumers are increasingly turning to aluminum cans as they seek the highest quality drinking experience.

Recently, the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) commissioned research in an effort to understand how consumer preferences and perceptions of beverages are impacted by package form. The findings confirm and provide specific insights into the aluminum can’s status as the leading beverage container in key areas—such as convenience, affordability, and a range of sensory attributes that include tactile sensations, aroma and, most important, taste.

So what makes the can so superior when it comes to taste? It all comes down to the fact that consumers perceive the aluminum can as a high-performance package that protects flavors and accentuates other sensory aspects that are linked to the expectation and delivery of refreshment.

  • Cans retain freshness and carbonation. It starts with the flavor sealed inside. With cans, the beverage remains refreshing and satisfying. Since cans so effectively seal carbonation in, drinks stay fizzier longer. That means when consumers pop the top, they get a big rush of bubbles. Carbonation is a primary element of the soda sensory experience, as it carries the aromas that contribute so much to taste, especially when consumers are drinking straight from the package. In fact, 64% of consumers say there’s a unique sound and aroma from popping open a cold can of soda that you don’t get from a bottle.
  • Cans protect beverages from air and sunlight. For blocking the damaging effects of light and air—two enemies of taste and freshness—nothing offers better protection than the aluminum can. And no other container comes close for delivering a perfect product every time. “That’s why 56% of consumers prefer cans to bottles and other types of packaging for protecting their beverages from light, and a full 85% agree that “cans effectively block out damaging effects of light and help preserve my drink’s flavor and carbonation.”
  • Cans preserve distinct flavors. When consumers open a beverage, they expect it to taste the same way, every time. Aluminum cans excel at enhancing and protecting the taste experience. For example, consumers in the fast-growing craft beer market appreciate cans for their ability to preserve the distinct aromas and flavors of hops and barley.

It’s clear that a great beverage experience involves more than just what’s in the package. Aluminum cans help create the expectation of delicious, refreshing taste even before the can is open.

69% agree that “Relative to a plastic bottle, a chilled can of my favorite beverage feels colder and more refreshing.”

65% say “The cold feeling of a frosty can is a big part of the refreshing drinking experience.”

57% say “There is a unique cold and refreshing feeling when I drink straight from a can that I don’t get when drinking from a bottle.”

When you’re deciding on your next beverage package, remember that consumers appreciate cans for their ability to protect flavor and seal in carbonation while delivering a refreshingly cold drinking experience.

To learn more about the research presented in this article visit the Open Up to Cans microsite at www.smartcansolutions.com.