The transition to a circular future

For many, the last 12 months in industry have been characterised by a lack of stability, slow sales and a focus on margins rather than volume. However, the beverage can industry has continued to perform well overall, despite the recent lack of competitive activity in retail. While a continued period of uncertainty is likely to prevail as we move towards the second quarter of 2024, there remain many reasons to be optimistic.

Indeed, the beverage can industry continues to reap the rewards of continuous innovation in manufacturing and design while the adoption of cans by an ever-greater number of brands across all market segments is testament in no small part to the can’s sustainability credentials. Certainly, there is no doubt that the beverage can is among the most circular of packaging formats and it remains the most recycled beverage packaging format in the world.

With a varied programme of communications activity planned throughout 2024, I am particularly pleased to note that the Can Makers Design Accolades will continue to recognise excellence in design in months ahead, showcasing notable designs which are set to help brands differentiate and create a premium position in their markets. Looking ahead, the future of can design holds the promise of continued innovation, driven by advancements in materials, printing techniques, and sustainability practices. Meanwhile, advancements driven by AI present fascinating prospects, including the digitisation of the sample matching process and the development of a Pantone colour chart specifically for the metal decoration industry. And looking back at the journey of evolution of aluminium cans reveals not just a transformation in packaging technology, but the development of a dynamic canvas for brands to tell their stories.

In addition, we will continue to work with influencers of note to highlight the increasing wide variety of high-quality beverages in cans, replaying consumer insights to highlight the competitive advantage cans offer and helping brands to target new demographics and establish a competitive proposition in new market segments.

Of course it’s easy to overlook the many properties which continue to make cans the preferred choice for consumers but the fact is that as we navigate the challenges of 2024 and beyond, the beverage can has never been more ideally suited to the needs of consumers and brand owners and as the most circular packaging format, it is ideally positioned to help brands, retailers and consumers transition to a more sustainable future.