Cans grow US craft beer share
Cans now account for more than 30 per cent of packaged craft beer in the United States, according to new research for the Brewers Association.
IRI Group scan data for BA-defined craft beer found cans represented 30.9 per cent of packaged volume in 2017, up from 24.5 per cent in 2016, Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson revealed.
“In scan, we can attribute the growth in cans primarily to two things: shifting mix within breweries and patterns of growth, where breweries that have higher can share are growing faster than those with lower share,” he said.
However, Watson said most brewers didn’t actually change their packaging mix last year, so that was a smaller driver of growth in cans.
“Around two-thirds of brewers (65.9 per cent) didn’t change a thing in 2017 versus 2016, and the vast majority (88.2 per cent) saw their can percentage stay within +/-10 per cent of where it was in 2016,” he said.
Watson said the growth of cans was largely driven by the fact that smaller brewers were more heavily in cans in 2016, grew faster in 2017, and shifted more heavily toward cans in 2017.
“This means that craft would have seen a shift toward cans even if no one changed their packaging decisions at all, simply based on the fact that smaller, more can-heavy brewers were on average growing faster than brewers a notch or two larger,” Watson said.
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