Sustainability drives innovation in plastic packaging materials for beverage manufacturers

Sustainability drives innovation in plastic packaging materials for beverage manufacturers

In recent years, consumer preferences have continued to change, food packaging technology innovation has never stopped, market competition has become increasingly fierce, and multiple factors have jointly promoted the rapid development of the beverage packaging industry. Nowadays, environmental protection and sustainable packaging have become a trend. In the fast-moving consumer goods market where the trend of "sustainable development" is dominant, sustainability has gradually become the focus of more and more food packaging companies and consumers. Food and beverage companies began to use recyclable or biodegradable packaging materials.

A variety of packaging materials can be recycled

Today, environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging has become the future development trend, and many food and beverage companies have begun to use recyclable or biodegradable packaging materials. Ferrero announced that its goal is to have 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025; PepsiCo has committed to removing all virgin plastic from beverage bottles under the Pepsi brand in nine European markets by 2022.

In addition to meeting environmental goals, sustainable packaging also improves brand image, because consumers care more about product packaging than before. According to research, nearly three-quarters of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. The survey found that most consumers consider themselves "environmentally conscious", and more than two-thirds of consumers believe that environmentally friendly and recyclable packaging is very important.

In the beverage market, aluminum cans, glass and plastics are more commonly used packaging materials.

The recyclability of aluminum cans makes it one of the sustainable development solutions for beverage packaging. Aluminum cans are the most recycled beverage packaging in the world. In 2019, the United States recycled more than 40 billion aluminum beverage cans, with an average recycling rate of 73%. The vast majority of recycled aluminum cans have been transformed into new cans, becoming a model of circular economy.

The glass packaging market also links beverage manufacturers to their sustainable packaging goals. Glass does not degrade over time, and most of it is manufactured and recycled near local and regional markets. The glass is made of non-toxic and natural materials, which also provides key sustainable maneuverability for many brands.

As plastic resin is a common material for FMCG packaging, the plastic packaging industry is implementing different solutions to help increase recycling rates and reduce pollution. Simon Lowden, President and Chief Marketing Officer of PepsiCo’s Global Food Division, said, “Plastic is still a very effective packaging material. Plastic is very light and flexible. This kind of food and beverage is safe and delicious. However, less than 15% of plastic packaging is recycled and used for future use every year, and the rest of the packaging ends up as waste, which is unsustainable. Pepsi is supporting the development of circular economy, circular economy It will enable us to recycle all the plastics we buy and bring them back to the market."

Pepsi's cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juice and smoothie brand Naked Juice has been insisting on packaging made of 100% rPET (recyclable PET) material since 2009. Compared with the use of virgin plastic, the company saves 25% of energy consumption. To further support its circular economy plan, PepsiCo announced that at the beginning of next year, its high-end water brand LIFEWTR will use 100% rPET packaging, while the sparkling water brand bubly will no longer use plastic packaging. The Coca-Cola Company announced the launch of the HybridBottle packaging bottle, which is the company's first packaging made of up to 50% plant-based renewable plastics and recycled plastics, aimed at reducing the virgin PET used in its 20-ounce volumetric bottles plastic.

At present, industries such as health and healthcare are developing rapidly due to the epidemic. Consumers are also inclined to the “take it and go” model, seeking more convenient and portable options. Many beverage manufacturers are showing innovations and products with these product attributes. Release to make adjustments.

Technology research and development capabilities become core competitiveness

In recent years, under the background of the continuous improvement of the national economy and the steady growth of per capita disposable income, my country's food and beverage consumption demand has continued to expand. Beer and beverages are the main application areas of my country's metal packaging. Benefiting from the steady growth of the downstream industry, the canning rate of beer and beverages continues to increase, and the market demand is showing a growth trend. The food and beverage metal packaging industry will also usher in a spring of development in the next few years.

The focus of technology research and development in my country's plastic packaging industry will focus on independent integration and design, focusing on improving production efficiency and reducing raw material consumption. In addition, downstream customers’ demands for different can types and contents are constantly changing, which will place higher demands on companies in the plastic packaging industry to improve their technological R&D capabilities and expand product categories. Technology R&D capabilities will become an important core for leading companies in the industry in the future. Competitiveness.

As leading companies in the packaging industry have gradually established a full-process production model with core customers, providing one-stop food and beverage metal packaging and filling solutions. By extending the business link from the production of metal packaging products downstream to the filling service, a full range of customer services for packaging container design, printing, production, distribution, and filling can be realized, which is conducive to more in-depth exploration of the value of the industry chain. The close cooperation and coordinated development of core customers continue to improve their market position and core competitiveness. The continuous improvement of market concentration, the continuous improvement of food and beverage consumption levels, the continuous development of capital and technology, and the continuous improvement of product quality are the main driving factors for the development of the beverage metal packaging market. my country's metal packaging industry has broad development prospects.

At the same time, as consumers began to abandon non-recyclable plastic packaging, aluminum packaging has gradually become the popular first choice for packaging. Mintel Senior Beverage Analyst Caleb Bryant said: "Consumers, especially Gen Z, have shown a strong interest in environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic bottles, or avoided plastic-packaged water altogether."

"Nearly 70% of Gen Z consumers use refillable water bottles. This proportion is the highest among all age groups. It provides beverage brands with an opportunity to upgrade simple aluminum cans." He explained that aluminum cans are lightweight. , Durability, high recovery rate, and almost infinite recycling, so it has significant benefits to the environment. Because of this, major brands are racing to launch aluminum can products. For example, Pepsi’s bubbly and Coca-Cola’s Dasani have both launched aluminum cans, and Los Angeles-based RightWater has launched a 100% recyclable natural mineral water aluminum with no carbon footprint. Can products. The San Francisco-based Pathwater Company took it a step further and introduced purified water in aluminum bottles. Consumers can refill the aluminum bottles with water after consumption. The company said that aluminum recycling energy consumption is one-fifth of plastic, and it can be recycled repeatedly without loss of quality.

In the beverage industry, packaging and design are constantly updated, new materials, new forms, etc. emerge in an endless stream. Consumers are not limited to the pursuit of product quality, but their expectations and values of packaging have also changed. Packaging is innovative and in line with mainstream values. In order to be more attractive to consumers.