Beverages Packaging: Key Trends and Innovations in Asia Pacific

June 2021

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, retail sales of beverages are set to continue growing over the forecast period to 2024. This is driven by rising health consciousness in soft drinks and demand for lightweight packaging of PET bottles. Meanwhile, metal beverage cans are set to grow in alcoholic drinks due to their light weight and convenience. Sustainability is becoming a key focus area as manufacturers become more environmentally conscious and launch recycled packaging.

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Key Findings

Beverages packaging consumption set to recover

In 2020, the volume of beverages in Asia Pacific declined by 12% from 2019 to reach 548 billion units, due to the lockdown. Nevertheless, post-pandemic, over the forecast period 2020-2024, it is expected to recover with 5% CAGR growth.

Soft drinks leads volume size, while alcoholic and hot drinks set to observe slow recovery

Soft drinks, which accounted for 67% of the 2020 retail volume, will drive the bulk of volume growth due to rising health consciousness and increased home consumption. Alcoholic and hot drinks were hit hard due to the lockdown restrictions caused by COVID-19, which resulted in declining sales in foodservice channels in 2020.

PET bottles continue to dominate

Although PET bottles remain the key leading pack type, other pack types such as metal beverage cans are set to rise, competing in traditionally glass-dominated categories such as beer and energy drinks due to their light weight and portability.

Smaller pack size set to grow

Smaller pack size trends have been seen across many categories within the beverage industry. While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a decline in impulse purchases, smaller pack sizes continue to appeal due to their portability, portion control and price affordability.

Sustainability to grow with more recyclable pack types and claims

With increasing environmental awareness in Asia Pacific, various stakeholders are coming together to push for greater use of recycled pack types and recycling initiatives, ensuring a strong ecosystem for sustainability in the long haul.

Digitalisation set to be incorporated into beverages packaging

More packaging labels are set to incorporate QR codes or enable the packaging designs to be scanned with mobile devices, providing an augmented reality experience for consumers.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

Beverages in Asia Pacific: Packaging Overview

Strong forecast growth observed in all three beverage industries
India and Vietnam set to record the fastest growth over the forecast period
Rigid plastic to continually lead growth in beverages packaging
Greater push towards sustainability observed in Asia Pacific in the long haul
Yet challenges are faced in the recycling and collection process

Soft Drinks: Rigid Plastic Propels Growth

Rigid plastic led by PET bottles propels growth in soft drinks packaging
PET bottles set to drive growth across all markets over the forecast period

SOFT DRINKS: RIGID PLASTIC PROPEL GROWTH

Bottled water: PET bottle and thin wall plastic containers drive growth
Carbonates: PET and metal beverage cans lead growth in the region
RTD tea: Portability and affordability enable PET bottle’s dominance
RTD tea: PET bottles in Japan are even more dominant in e-commerce
Juice: PET bottles and liquid cartons are the leading pack types
Juice: rising health consciousness and affordability push smaller pack sizes
Energy drinks and RTD coffee: metal beverage cans remain king
Energy drinks and RTD coffee: s maller metal beverage cans set to prevail
Demand for plastic packaging and sustainability set to rise in Asia Pacific
But currently, sustainable claims in bottled water remain limited
Recycled PET bottles launched in bottled water
Partnerships in recycled PET for a circular economy: Coca-Cola examples
Label-free packaging and recycled plastic shrink wrap launched
Besides PET bottles, recycled packaging is seen in other pack types

Alcoholic Drinks: Glass Remains King

Glass remains king in alcoholic drinks yet metal challenges its crown
Glass bottles still highlight strong growth across most markets
Beer: glass faces strong competition from metal beverage cans
Beer: smaller pack sizes are set to grow due to affordability and health
Beer: metal beverage cans remain prevalent in e-commerce
Beer: multipacks rise in availability
Beer: limited edition packaging pushed during festivities
Within glass returnables, beer remains the dominant category
Spirits: Vietnam offers strong potential for glass in other spirits
Other spirits: new innovations observed in glass packaging
Spirits: whiskies, brandy and cognac and rum dominate glass in India
Wine in glass continues to dominate across Asia Pacific
RTDs: metal beverage cans drive growth, led by Japan due to culture
Cider/perry: China and glass show most promise in the region

Hot Drinks: Small Pack Sizes Dominate

Hot drinks in Asia Pacific dominated by flexible packaging
Coffee: small pack sizes hold strong appeal for instant in Asia Pacific
Fresh coffee pods: machine penetration to remain strong in most countries
Fresh coffee pods: sustainability efforts set to become more widespread
Tea: small pack sizes remain a strong appeal in Asia Pacific
Flavoured powder drinks: single sachets propel strong growth due to price

Prospects

What is next for beverages packaging in Asia Pacific?
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