Unit volumes within the US alcoholic drinks packaging market fell 1% in 2012 to 60 billion units, due mainly to volume sale declines in beer.
Beer continues to heavily dominate the alcoholic drinks category, accounting for nearly 88% of the all alcoholic drinks packaging. Beer packaging remained flat in 2012, which was impacted by numerous developments in the market.
The introduction of Bud Light Platinum, which was initially launched primarily in glass bottles, helped to diminish some of the pressure that has been facing glass in beer over the past few years. The brand became incredibly popular with consumers since its launch due to the product's heavy advertisement and higher alcohol content than regular Bud Light.
Alternative packaging continues to make gains in wine, as products such as single-serve plastic cups of wine as well as foil pouches of wine are introduced by independent companies with increasing frequency. These products have largely become attractive to consumers as they allow them to easily decide the amount they wish to drink at any given time. In addition, the product's packaging is very resilient to breakage, which is normally of concern with glass products.
Glass bottles and metal beverage cans are the standard packaging formats available for beer in the US. The advantage for metal cans is that they are highly convenient to transport and are easier to recycle than bottles. This recyclability aspect holds true for metal bottles, which grew by 2% in retail outlets for beer in 2012.
According to 'Alcoholic Drinks Packaging in the US,' Metal beverage cans, however, saw a small decrease in unit terms, but new craft breweries are becoming far less hesitant about using cans, and this decrease may only be temporary for the year.
Besides the major growth of pouches and cartons, PET bottles continued to demonstrate significant growth in 2012, expanding by 6%. Much of the growth of the category comes from spirits, where numerous manufacturers are replacing or supplementing their current glass line up of spirits with PET bottles.
For more information on the US alcoholic drinks packaging market, see the latest research: Alcoholic Drinks Market Research
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