Record value growth for cans says NielsenIQ

The value of canned craft beer and wine has shot up in the last 18 months according to experts at NielsenIQ.

Speaking recently to industry trade body Can Makers, researchers from the consumer data specialist said canned alcoholic drinks now make up 17% of the alcohol market’s total annual value.

NielsenIQ’s client team leader Rob Hallworth, and global customer success leader Arwen Finlayson, revealed that the annual value of alcohol sales has increased by 23% compared to 2019. Moreover, cans have overperformed within this sector growth, demonstrating a 30% increase in annual value.

The largest percentage growth for cans came from the wine industry, with a disproportionately high 187% increase in the value of canned wine compared to the wine category’s modest 19% value increase as a whole. Craft beer emerged as another strong sector for cans, with the value of canned craft beer rising by 118% compared to the beer sector’s 69% collective value increase.

Simon Gresty, Can Makers chairman, said: “This data from NielsenIQ shows the beverage can industry is booming. We can see demonstrable growth across the board and the demand for cans has risen to record levels, driven partly by restrictions facing the hospitality sector during lockdowns.

“However, more consumers have now experienced the quality of canned beverages and are likely to stick with the format.”

Ms Finlayson said the growth was likely due in part to the beverage can’s visual appeal. She said: “We’re starting to see that retailers are giving preference to [cans] on shelves.

“There is an emerging need for products that can stand out from the crowd on shelves as it starts to get busier in stores across the UK.”

Consumer awareness of the sustainability benefits of beverage cans was also identified as a key factor driving demand.

Ms Finlayson said: “A quarter of the population have what we call a LOHOS, or ‘lifestyle of health and sustainability’. This represents a massive opportunity going forward to engage consumers through sustainability and, in particular, through the health and wellness aspect of no/low and hard Seltzer’s.”

Mr Hallworth noted that a shift in shopping habits, partly due to the pandemic, may have also affected can demand. He said: “In our research, we found that two million more males were claiming to be the primary household shopper.

“Manufacturers need to think about their consumer as it isn’t necessarily the same shopper that it was before the pandemic “

When asked about the key messages that the industry should take away from the last 18 months, Mr Hallworth said: “I can summarise it as: reinvent retail, repurpose the big stores and reimagine how we shop in the store as the three key focus areas.

“Stores, particularly convenience stores, have to think about what and who they are catering for because it may be different to before.”