Sugar free, mixers and hot weather drive canned drinks market growth

Chilled beverage can macro shot

Canned soft drinks saw a growth surge following the hot summer and rising popularity of low sugar beverages, according to the latest research revealed by the Can Makers, the UK industry trade body for drinks can manufacturers.

The UK’s sugar tax has driven the popularity of sugar free alternatives, which has subsequently fuelled the growth of canned carbonated soft drinks. Sugar is the number one health concern for consumers for the fourth consecutive year, according to Nielsen consumer research (2018), with half of British shoppers wanting to purchase healthy products.

Market research conducted by Nielsen showed soft drinks were the second fastest growing super category this year, with cans experiencing a 4% sales increase versus last year (Units, MAT September 2018), meaning cans now account for 20% of soft drink unit sales.

There is also a clear trend of consumers moving towards larger single can multipacks; 330ml can multipacks (large packs of 24) experienced a rapid 15% growth as shoppers switch from large multi-serve plastic bottles.

Mixers in cans increased by 39% (Units, YA 2018), as people see cans as an affordable yet premium pack format that fits in with their lifestyle. The can sizes available are great for mixers too, as a 150ml can is an ideal amount of mixer to be used for one drink. There is no need to leave half empty bottles or having to use flat tonic for the next drink.

Marcel Arsand, chairman of the Can Makers said: “Soft drinks continue to be a key growth driver for the drinks can market. Consumer shopping habits are clearly changing as they seek lower sugar alternatives that can be bought in bulk and are convenient. Combined with the need to use more sustainable packaging, now is a great time to be switching more soft drinks production to the infinitely recyclable aluminium can.”

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