Cans are cheaper to produce, easier to recycle and more adept than bottles at protecting beer and cider from oxygen and light, leading a host of British craft breweries and cidermakers to follow their US counterparts by championing 33cl cans.
UK drinkers are buying into it as canned beer stole 1% volume share from bottles over the past year (Nielsen, year to January 2015) and canned cider seized 7% share.
The off-trade beer market has grown and cans have a higher share of it, with Nielsen reporting canned beer volumes up 2.4% and canned cider volumes up 6%.
Multipacks are a key tool for the industry and four-packs accounted for 43% of sales volume. Over the past year 15 and 18-packs gained in popularity and are now worth 17% of the category.
Trade group Can Makers said: “The recovering economy and greater consumer spending power are positive indicators and should drive growth in both take-home beer and cider and soft drinks.
“While there are both the rugby World Cup and the cricket World Cup in 2015, they are unlikely to drive volume, like the football World Cup in 2014.
“We are confident that the inherent attributes of drinks cans, their consumer appeal, infinite recyclability, ease of recycling and cube efficiency in transport and on the retail shelf, will continue to be recognised by the trade and consumers.”
The soft drinks market has performed well in the UK, growing by 146 million cans, while the explosive growth of canned cider saw the alcohol sector to increase by 82 million cans,
“The focus of the our activities in 2014 has been the promotion of cans for the newly emerging market for indie beer in cans and we are excited by the prospects in this market,” added Can Makers.