Can production strong in Europe

Beverage cans remained the clear leader in the packaged drinks market last year, according to figures released by Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME).

The full year figures released by BCME point to another good performance for beverage cans in 2011, with cans shipped up by as much as 5%.

The BCME represents the interests of a number of the leading can makers and the results come against the backdrop of an economic outlook in the region that remains uncertain. In comparison, beverage research agency Canadean’s latest forecast suggests that European beer and soft drinks volumes will have edged forward by just 2% last year. The beverage can is therefore outperforming the market.

Of particular note in Europe is the marked rise in soft drink cans shipped, which saw a 7% jump on last year’s figures. In the Netherlands, for example, soft drink can shipments expanded by as much as a fifth, while in the region’s biggest soft drinks can market, the UK, sales were up by nearly 6%.

The contribution of energy drinks to the figures can be seen from the buoyant unit rises in Austria and Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland and Hungary. The success of energy drinks is an important factor behind the rise in can shipments in Europe.

The results for beer, although not so vibrant as soft drinks, remain upwards and registered a rise of between 3 and 4% last year. West Europe saw an uplift in beer cans shipped last year of 2% but it is East Europe that is amplifying the overall regional results with an impressive 7% rise.

Commenting on the new statistics, BCME marketing committee chairman Welf Jung, said: ”Despite the economic uncertainties in Europe, the development of cans in 2011 was strong and cans were able to grow their share in the pack mix for beverage packaging.”

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