UK consumers love cans, says Can Makers research

Convenience, recyclability, and keeping drinks ice-cold are the top three reasons consumers choose cans for their drinks, according to new qualitative research from the Can Makers.

The canmaking trade body commissioned research to better understand consumer behaviour following a survey by Metal Packaging Europe (MPE) which showed that more than 75% of consumers would choose the beverage can over other packaging formats, once they were aware of its sustainability benefits.

Tim Conybeare, chairman of the Can Makers said: “Our new research has confirmed that consumers love cans for their convenience and robust environmental credentials. I have no doubt that the number of consumers choosing cans as the sustainable, easy to recycle and convenient option will continue to rise in the months and years ahead.”

The research was carried out in focus group discussions in April, and participants said they preferred cans to plastic bottles because cans were seen as easier to recycle and a positive environmental choice.

Consumers told researchers that canned beverages are “more crisp, fresh and refreshing” than alternatives. They also liked the “fresh fizz” from cans and “ice-cold drinks in easy to chill cans”, making canned beverages “extremely enticing”.

Mixers such as tonic water or ginger ale in cans are an increasingly popular option to reduce waste and save money, as the cans come in convenient portion sizes reducing waste, said the Can Makers. The research also confirmed 67% of UK adults believe cans make portion control easier.

Conybeare commented: “The variety of beverages now available in cans is greater than ever before and in the last few years we have seen unprecedented growth as consumers recognise that high quality beverages are now readily available in cans.”

The Can Makers expect that brands will increasingly adopt or launch products exclusively in cans as consumers become more aware of the benefits cans offer.

Conybeare added: “There is a clear opportunity for brands to meet the demand for sustainable and easily recycled packaging while tapping into the many other advantages cans offer.”

Earlier research in March by the Can Makers showed that more than half of UK consumers (60%) agreed that cans were the most convenient form of packaging.

According to the Can Makers the UK is the largest beverage can market in Europe, with more than 10 billion cans shipped each year from UK can manufacturing plants.

The focus groups, consisting of male and female adults aged over 18 years from across the UK, were held via Zoom in April 2023.

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