When you think ‘six pack’ you’ll either be thinking of that unused gym membership or that very first beer, sneakily stolen from your parent’s fridge. In fact, we tend to think that the can and beer have been an entwined duo that could rival the likes of Bonnie and Clyde, Romeo and Juliet or Ross and Rachel.
Cans are no longer synonymous with mass beer brands and now make up a quarter of all craft beers sold in off licenses and grocers in the UK. Whilst over in the USA, cans account for 30% of packaged craft beer volume and 18% of overall craft production.
However, cans aren’t just forging a name for themselves in the craft beer market, the sleek designs and change in reputation means they’re paving the way for the latest new drink styles and innovative formats.
Coffee or water anyone?
For example, coffee is no longer just served piping hot in polystyrene cups, instead it’s increasingly being found in cans and stacked in the chilled section of your local supermarket. Cold brew coffee is – unsurprisingly – coffee that is brewed using cold water rather than hot and is then typically canned. With canned coffee entering the mainstream those late risers can pick up their caffeine fix without the worry of burning their tongue, all in a conveniently small, light, portable and recyclable can.
Meanwhile with water, your options are usually in the shape of a tap or bottle. However, a number of brands are now bringing canned water into the mainstream. And it’s not just limited to sparkling or flavoured varieties, still water is now being canned with companies like CanOWater hoping they’ll be the ones to make it stick.
It’s an age thing
With millennials leading huge changes in consumer opinions, brands are increasingly putting a focus on sustainability and this has led to the wider adoption of cans. Consumers are looking for lightweight, convenient packaging that is easily recyclable and cans tick all of these boxes and more. Infinitely recyclable, lightweight and transportable without the fear of breakage, all the while being easily collated into 4, 6 and 8-packs (using the latest multi-packing technology of course!) make cans the perfect sustainable choice for a range of drinks going forward.
And a sustainable one too!
Indeed, the perfect example of this is the can’s adoption by Kombucha producers. (For the uninitiated Kombucha is a fermented, slightly alcoholic, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink commonly offering a variety of health benefits… we Googled it too!)
In the USA, Brew Dr. Kombucha was the first Kombucha brewer to offer their drink in cans nationwide. And why? Well, citing convenience for their ability to be taken into festivals, beaches and parks the company also highlighted the incredible environmental benefits of aluminium cans over bottles – which Kombucha has traditionally been served in until now.
So, there we have it, whilst it may be a long way off before cans make up a majority of the drinks market, when it comes to the latest flavours and innovations they are clearly taking a lead. In 2017 they swept the craft beer market, in 2018 they’ve taken the world of cold brewed coffee, wine, spirits, water and even new entrant Kombucha by storm.
Which leaves one question, what drink will succumb to the charms of the can in 2019?