Despite a challenging economic climate across Europe in 2011, figures were encouraging for the beverage can. Full year results show an increase of can shipments of up to 5% across Europe, outperforming the overall beer and soft drinks market growth, forecast at just 2% by beverage research agency Canadean.
Canned soft drinks performed particularly well, with a 7% jump on last year’s overall figures. In the Netherlands, figures showed growth of up to 20%, while in Europe’s biggest soft drinks can market, the UK, growth was up by 5.6%, with 273 million additional units shipped compared with 2010. Within the carbonated soft drinks category, energy drinks have had a big impact, with buoyant unit rises in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland and Hungary. Though the success of energy drinks is an important driver, progress is also being driven by both consumers and producers alike.
The canned beer and cider market showed growth, overall, with a rise of between 3% and 4% in 2011 across Europe. West Europe saw an increase in beer cans shipped of 2%, but East Europe empty can shipments had an impressive rise of 7%, amplifying the overall results. In the UK, there was a slight drop in demand due, in part, to the lack of stimulus from sporting events, such as the World Cup, and the effects of the economic situation on overall beer and cider sales. However, despite this, according to Nielsen, retail sales of lager in cans have still performed better than other pack formats in the category, with the 12 multipack format seeing strong sales. Nielsen retail audits also showed that there was growth in the UK for retail sales of single cans and cans smaller than 44cl, with increases of 6% and 13%, respectively.
The beverage can market results for 2011 are strong and show that the can is still a preferred pack of choice for consumers and retailers.