The beverage packaging industry in North America is expected to reach $26.3 billion in 2015, with plastic bottles leading the way in popularity, according to "Beverage Packaging — An Industry Assessment," scheduled for release next month by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.
The study notes plastic continues to be the most widely used bottling material, accounting for over 40 percent of the market, and bottles, with approximately 55 percent of the market, are the most popular packaging format for beverages. Although they suffered from a drop in soft drink sales, aluminum cans are picking up steam as other beverage categories — such as energy drinks and microbrews — are more than making up for the lost volume. Flexible pouches have experienced the slowest growth, but many respondents still anticipate increased adoption of flexible beverage packaging down the road. Key to that, the report says, would be products geared to consumers accustomed to beverages, such as juice, in pouches.
Regardless of format, nearly all the interviews conducted for the study identified packaging as the primary means for communicating brand values to consumers.
The study also addresses key trends such as packaging size and dimension ratios, openings that offer a finer drinking experience, resealability for portion control, different pack sizes to meet specific market demands, and colors and graphics to cut through the clutter on store shelves. Additional details are given on trends, the supply chain, government regulation, concerns and additional needs of the industry. The executive summary can be accessed now at pmmi.org. The full report, which will be free to PMMI members and $3,500 for non-members, will be available next month.
Beverage manufacturers, who need to bring these trends to life as they address their day-to-day challenges, will find what they're looking for at PACK EXPO International, co-located with Pharma EXPO, (Nov. 2–5; McCormick Place, Chicago). The four-day event, which is North America’s largest processing and packaging trade show, will feature the most innovative trends and technologies for the beverage industry and inspire brand owners with on-floor destinations such as The Beverage Cooler Lounge, hosted by the International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT). The networking hub will serve as a place for beverage professionals to share ideas and network at the show, and ISBT experts will be on hand to help attendees come up with solutions to their operational challenges. Additionally, attendees can benefit from educational sessions that will take place at PACK EXPO International. Educational sessions are listed on Packexpointernational.com.