The consumer perception of canned drinks, and how it has changed in the last decade, has been widely explored in recent research by GfK, which was commissioned by BCME. The results of the research have shown a positive upward trend in popularity for the can, particularly with younger age groups. Today cans are seen as delivering a good tasting product in an easy to drink, recyclable pack offering good value for money; 71 per cent of people say that canned drinks taste good, a 16 per cent increase since the research was first conducted in 2007.
The can is progressively becoming the consumer’s drink pack of choice. In 2007, 36 per cent of consumers in the UK said the can was the pack they drank from most. This number has increased to 40 per cent. On average, 55 per cent said they currently drink a canned beverage at least once a week, a figure which is higher for males at 61 per cent and slightly less for females at 48 per cent. The percentage is notably in the 14-17 age category where 77 per cent drink from a can at least once a week. These numbers correlates with the rise in the energy drinks market; 52 per cent of energy drink consumers now say the can is the pack they drink from most. In 2007 that figure was just 34 per cent.
Cans are now increasingly being recognised for their great design. In 2007 when just 16 per cent of people agreed that cans looked good. That figure is now 44 per cent. With more exciting and innovative can designs hitting the market, this is a number that is expected to rise further in years to come. Furthermore, consumers increasingly feel the can is good value for money: 64 per cent would say this is true in 2016 compared to 35 per cent in 2007.
Martin Constable, Chairman of the Can Makers says: “The growth of the canned craft beer movement in recent years has played an important role in changing the general perception of the can’s aesthetics. Bold, innovative designs are helping craft beer brands form, and cement an image of the can as a premium pack. As a result of this, we might now expect adult soft drinks in a can to follow a similar design path.”
Respondents answered questions about the environmental attributes of drinks packages alongside as their own general attitudes towards recycling. In 2007, the UK was supportive of recycling with 77 per cent saying that they at least try to recycle most things, but now in 2016, this figure has increased further to an impressive 89 per cent. That consumers care about the environment is good news for the can which is 100% recyclable and made from permanently available materials. Encouragingly, 74 per cent are aware of this and believe that all, or the majority of recycled cans are made into new products. Just one per cent thought that beverage cans are not at all recyclable.
Martin continues: “This research tells a very positive story for the drinks can, a product that has been in production for more than 80 years but which continues to grow in popularity to this day. The results are important for drink brands and can be used to benefit marketing strategies, identifying which demographic groups to target in order to drive growth. ”
The research is a follow up study to a similar study conducted by GfK in 2007 on the attitudes of consumers towards drinks packaging. The sample was demographically representative of 14-54 year olds who drank carbonated soft drinks (CSDs), energy, sports drinks and beer (aged 18 and over).