Metal cans are containers that facilitate the distribution and storage of goods such as food, beverages, chemicals and oil among others. They are commonly made from metals such as aluminum or steel and come in various shapes and sizes depending upon their application. The most popular form of a metal can is the basic round cylindrical can. Metal cans acquire less space and are easy to stack. Beverage cans, especially, chill faster and remain cold for a longer duration. The interior of these cans are lined with a synthetic material to prevent any chemical reaction with the substance it holds. The market for metal cans is driven by their environmental benefits, the increase in demand for canned food and beverages and their fast recycle rate. However, with the introduction of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) materials in the packaging industry, metal cans lost significant share in the market. Fluctuation in raw material prices and threat from alternatives pose a barrier for the market’s growth. The lack of microwaveable capability and the cost effectiveness of metal cans in comparison to other alternatives such as paper and plastic are the roadblocks for the market’s growth. By focusing on innovations and new product development the market participants can ensure a substantial growth opportunity in the coming years. Product differentiation and use of eco-friendly products and practices could also provide immense opportunity for the markets growth. Strategic collaborations and focus on key growth regions would benefit the market participants.
The metal cans market can be divided into products such as food, beverages and others (aerosol sprays, paints). In the food industry metal cans are used for the packaging of vegetables, fruits, soups and miscellaneous foods and other foods (baby food, poultry, etc.) The metal cans market, however, is dominated by the beverages industry owing to the high consumption and broad range of products. The introduction of new players in the beverage industry coupled with the product differentiation through innovative shapes and sizes are some of the key factors for the growth of the beverage cans market. Some of the products in the beverage cans market are carbonated soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, fruit and vegetable juices and new drinks (sports and energy drinks).
North America and Europe are the leading markets for metal cans owing to the high consumption of canned beverages and processed food. However, their markets have been saturated and are hence expected to grow at a slower rate than the Asia Pacific market in terms of volume. The higher growth rate of the Asia Pacific market can be attributed to the abundant population in regions such as India and China, the shift in consumer preference towards convenience goods and the increase in disposable income. The easy availability of raw material and labor in China makes it one of the lucrative region for setting up of manufacturing facilities. The increase in production and consumption capacity is the key factor for the market’s growth in Asia Pacific.
The global metal cans market comprises of companies such as Amcor Ltd., CPMC Holdings Ltd., Siligan Containers Corporation, Crown Holdings Inc., Ardagh Packaging Group Plc., Sonoco Phoenix Inc., Ball Corporation, Kian Joo Group, BWAY Corporation and Rexam Plc. among others. These companies cater to the FMCG industry, hence manufacturing is done on a large scale. Speeding up the production cycle and minimizing waste are some key initiatives taken up by the market participants. The development of innovative technologies will provide a competitive edge to the market players. For example the patented blow molding shaping technology of Crown Holding’s Inc. is used by some premium brands such as Crosse & Blackwell and Heineken.