Commentary & Analysis
Yes We “Can,” and Do, Says New Promo Campaign for Aluminum Containers
“Open Up to Cans” is what consumers are being urged to do by a can makers’ trade association. But, when it come to beverages, most already have.
By Patrick Henry
Published: July 22, 2015
The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) says it has new research that proves consumers see cans as “the perfect containers for all beverages.” To promote the claim, CMI has created a new informational web site to act as a hub for its recently announced “Open Up to Cans” campaign.
Americans consume enough food and beverages from cans to warrant the manufacture of 124 billion metal containers every year, according to CMI data. Drinkables in cans are said to rate especially high with consumers because of what cans do on behalf of product taste, innovation, performance, and sustainability.
The web site illustrates each of these advantages in detail with snippets from the research, based on studies commissioned CMI between 2012 and 2015. “Cans” means cans made of aluminum, the most widely used metal for the application. Carbonated soft drinks, beer, energy drinks, and specialty beverages are the product categories in focus.
According to CMI, aluminum assures the quality of these drinks by protecting them from air and sunlight (“the two enemies of taste and freshness”). The cylindrical shape of cans gives them a “360º branding canvas” for enhanced brand messaging and shelf appeal. The sustainability of aluminum cans is apparent in the fact that they contain, on average, 68% recycled content and have a 70% recycling rate. And, cans beat other kinds of packaging for speed of filling, resistance to breakage, and efficiency of transportation.
It all goes to show “why the can is the package of choice across multiple beverage categories,” says Robert Budway, president of CMI.
One segment of the beverage industry that probably won’t need much convincing is the craft brewing market. For years, beer snobs derided cans as downscale containers fit only for mass-produced brews (which, for a very long time, were virtually the only kinds available). Can also were said to impart a metallic taste to beer that spoiled it.
But lately, small-batch brewers have been discovering a “cool factor” in sending their beers to market in cans, says this report from NPR. Cans are more compatible with on-the-go lifestyles than glass bottles, and their metallic-taste reputation isn’t as widely believed as it used to be.
“Now canned beer...has proliferated across the country like the craft beer phenomenon before it,” declares a Business Insider article titled, “Why Canned Beer is Way Better than Bottled Beer.”