With COVID-19 seeing the declaration of a state of emergency in Japan, on-trade outlets closed or reduced their operating hours in 2020, with early alcohol curfews in place in any establishments that remained open. Coupled with concerns over social distancing, this resulted in sales of alcoholic drinks through the on-trade slumping in 2020 – losing around a third of their packaging unit volumes in this year.
The metal beverage can continued to gain share in Japanese alcoholic drinks packaging in 2021, helped by this pack type being popular in the off-trade, including for e-commerce deliveries, owing to its robustness and light weight. As on-trade channels were completely shut at the height of the pandemic, which continued to an extent into 2021, people were switching to off-trade channels, with at-home consumption increasing.
The unit volumes of gable top liquid cartons and shaped liquid cartons used in the packaging of spirits continued to grow in 2021, helped by consumers buying alcohol for in-home entertainment and relaxation. These pack types, and other formats such as PET bottles, continue to compete with the main pack type of glass bottles in spirits.
In 2021, the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association introduced a new law that every Japanese whisky must have labelling stating that the ingredients, distillation, ageing and packaging are all from or have been carried out in Japan only. This legislation is likely to influence the packaging volumes of folding cartons, glass bottles and PET bottles used in the packaging of Japanese whisky over the forecast period.
Metal beverage cans and glass bottles are expected to remain the dominant pack types for most of the categories. The strong rebound in on-trade sales in 2022 will boost the sales of kegs in beer, which is a key pack type in this channel.
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Alcoholic Drinks Packaging
This is the aggregation of beer, cider/perry, RTDs/high-strength premixes, spirits and wine.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks Packaging research and analysis database.
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