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Special Delivery: How cans are taking over the market for specialist drinks

Special Delivery - Cocktails in a can - Metal Packaging EuropeOnce the exclusive domain of mass-produced beverages such as beer and soft drinks, cans are now rapidly becoming the packaging of choice for several niche products as well. From craft beers to premium mixers and even pre-mixed cocktails… Cans combine convenience and freshness with an even wider array of enticing options to choose from. 

We’ve all seen them nudging their way onto shop and supermarket shelves: premium tonic waters, fancy mixers, pre-mixed “cocktails in a can”, long drinks made from popular spirits and even the craft brews of the world’s microbreweries. And they are all making their appearance dressed in steel or aluminium. Indeed, their combination of taste, style and sustainability is making cans a winning formula for many specialist products that are rapidly expanding their consumer base across the globe. 

What’s in a can?

For today’s young, dynamic and design-conscious consumers, cans are now top of mind for brands that aim to attract them with premium lifestyle beverages. Combining superior performance properties with customisable creative credentials, cans are the ideal vessel for artfully crafted thirst quenchers. Especially when you see what innovative product developers are doing to turn the beverage can into genuine works of art. Brands like Happy Down and All shook up Cocktails in the UK or Halmstad in Norway for whom taste is everything, are some great examples.

Happy Down Cocktails in can - Metal Packaging Europe© Happy Down Cocktails - UK

Halmstad Mojito in cans - Metal Packaging Europe© Halmstad Mojitto - Norway

All shook up cocktails in cans - Metal Packaging Europe© All Shook Up Cocktails - UK

Sociably convenient

The convenience and easy-to-chill nature of cans is helping brands reach new, typically younger target groups while also enabling alternative and more spontaneous consumption occasions. And since there are so many more places where you are allowed to take cans (think Henderson’s Gin and Tonic by the swimming pool, Henkes’ variant on the golf course or Novo Fogo’s Sparkling Caipirinha on the beach), they open up new opportunities for enjoying previously niche products on the go.

Gin & Tonic and Caipirinha in cans - Metal Packaging Europe © Henkes Gin & Tonic
© Nove Fogo Sparkling Caipirinha

Think global!

It is universally accepted that cans offer the best conditions for preserving the quality of beverages. No wonder they are helping craft beverages and distributors of, e.g., premium and flavoured mineral waters tap into new and emerging international markets as well!

So if it’s premium refreshment you’re after, it’s time to get cracking!


Metal Packaging Europe gives Europe’s rigid metal packaging industry a unified voice, by bringing together manufacturers, suppliers, and national associations. We proactively position and support the positive attributes and image of metal packaging through joint marketing, environmental and technical initiatives.

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