Single-serve beer is generally packaged in aluminum cans or glass bottles. Many factors can influence how beer packaging trends one way or the other each year. No matter which is used, corrugated plays a vital role in protecting beer in commerce.
Beer Packaging Trends: Glass vs. Bottles
The Beer Institute is a trade association representing the $331 billion dollar industry, including 6,600 breweries. The association provides a holistic view of the packaging landscape by working with members, allied associates, and government agencies. Data shows that domestic beer in bottles decreased from 2008 to 2018 by 34 percent, while can use has increased by more than three percent. This doesn’t mean people are drinking less beer. Imports for both bottles and cans increased, six percent and 124 percent respectively, over the same timeframe. During this time, bottles, in general, were seeing much less use than cans.
One of the reasons for this trend is that aluminum cans weigh less than bottles, making them cheaper to transport. However, there are many reasons for this trend. For example, concession stands require shatterproof containers. Plus, beer is susceptible to light, heat, and oxygen damage, and aluminum cans provide better protection from UV light and oxygen.
Ultimately, the taste is what drives most consumers to buy beer. One small taste study of people who were served the same beer packaged in bottles and cans showed people thought they preferred bottled beer, but when each was served blindly in a glass, the results were split evenly, suggesting there is no discernible difference.
Since the pandemic, aluminum can shortages have faced the industry. During the pandemic, the beer that would have been sold in kegs to bars and restaurants was packaged for consumer at-home use. Beer sold in cans was already at 60 percent in 2019, putting additional stress on the market. Hard seltzer’s popularity also peaked, further driving the need for cans. This shortage forced some to source cans from overseas and others to reduce the production of less popular beers. But don’t count out aluminum yet. The global beverage can market is estimated to experience a CAGR of 5.3 percent between 2023 and 2030.
Corrugated Solutions for Beer
Whether your brewery follows trends or moves to the beat of its own drum, your beer must be packaged and protected for shipment to warehouses and retail stores. As cans and bottles are sensitive to impacts, corrugated plays a critical role in preventing damage that can decrease profits.
Your packaging design will include choosing corrugated grade, packaging size, use of divers, etc., to ensure optimal strength and suitability for the conditions (cold, damp). Beer may be provided in six-packs, specialty four-packs, cases of 12, or uniquely crafted gift packs. Corrugated gives you the versatility to provide your beer in various ways.
A mother carton is a corrugated box that holds a dozen or more standard 12 oz bottles but can also be used for larger bottles. It may use dividers or hold four six-packs. Its robust construction offers optimal strength and support for shipping and displaying at retail stores or warehouses. Handholds can be cut into them for ease of carrying. Mother cartons provide a blank canvas to showcase your brand with printed graphics. Direct print and litho are great printing options, depending on whether you need simple, understated graphics or full-color graphics that will pop.
Can and Bottle Trays
Can and bottle trays are used to support cans and bottles and are a terrific way to ship and store large quantities of them. These boxes are open on top and have short sides that allow the bottles, cans, or their secondary packaging to show. The tray may hold twenty-four individual cans, two 12 packs, or four six packs. The cans and bottles are secured into place with overwrap. Their durability and strength allow them to be stacked, palletized, or displayed. Like mother cartons, these provide additional branding opportunities or can be left plain to allow the contents’ graphics to dominate.
Increase Sales with Unique Offers
Your brewery doesn’t have to limit itself to traditional packs of bottles and cans. Gift sets and samplers offer a fun way to increase sales.
• Seasonal packs – create a gift pack of single bottles or cans of seasonal beers
• Special release – Exploit the current fear of missing out (FOMO) trend by offering a series of special releases in exclusive packaging.
• Pair with glassware – Create a gift box that includes your beer with branded glassware to provide the ultimate drinking experience. Branded bottle openers, insulated can holders, and other items also pair well in kits.
• Combine brands – Find a local snack company to partner with to show unique beer and snack pairings.
• Flights and tasting parties – Offer flight packages or assemble beer groupings to encourage tasting parties.
• Monthly subscription – for distributors or brewers who love to experiment, monthly subscription boxes are a great way to increase sales and brand awareness.
Whether you are following beer packaging trends or creating the trends, corrugated is the ideal substrate for packaging all of these items. The unlimited design and variety of print options make its versatility unmatched.
Capitalize on Beer Packaging Trends with Tyoga
Decades of experience creating custom packaging solutions are combined with state-of-the-art printing and die-cut technology to create beverage solutions that are strong, cost-effective, and, most importantly, get noticed by consumers.
Ready to discuss your beer packaging needs? Reach out to our team to get started.