Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks consumed in Asia. It is also the oldest beverage prepared by fermentation of grains. Many variants of beer are available in Asian market with varying tastes and flavours. Modernization and increase in disposable incomes has led to increased consumption of beer which indirectly increased the market for beer bottles. Beer in Asia is usually packed in metal cans, glass bottles, draft, other packing such as aluminium bottles, plastic bottles, and refill glass bottles. Now-a-days, beer packing is done majorly in cans and glass bottles. The cans and glass bottles have increased in volume, but, cans occupy a major share from the past few years compared to glass bottles. Almost all consumers demand for quality, natural and clean labelled beer. Asian consumers care about maintenance of glass bottles that are 100% recyclable. Beer consumption growth rate has increased rapidly due to excellent demand and protective qualities of glass packaging.
According to the study “Asia Beer Bottle Industry Situation and Prospects Research report”, almost all the beer bottles vary in size and shape, however, brown or green glass is the commonly used material which reduces spoilage from light, especially ultraviolet rays. The widely established alternatives to glass containers for beer in retail sales are beverage cans and aluminium bottles. The unique properties of glass beer bottles guarantee fullest enjoyment. Glass beer bottles optimally preserve the beer’s carbon dioxide content for a longer time, ensuring that the taste and quality of the beer remains the same. Glass beer bottles are classified into various types such as amber (brown) glass beer bottles, white flint (clear) glass beer bottles, green glass beer bottles and other types. Beer is easily spoilt when exposed to light, heat and oxygen. Cans are another alternative for beer packaging because they do not let in any light and are completely machine sealed for better storage. The standard brown-hued glass bottle keeps out UV rays, but doesn’t prevent all light. Cans are more portable as it is easy to get the beverage cooled faster and easy to handle while travelling. Cans are more often used in craft beer packaging in recent years, but glass bottles are still the most common traditional packaging format of beer. Labelling a glass bottle is easy as per beer industry standards compare to labelling on cans which is a logistical challenge for all the manufacturers.
Consumer’s first choice for reliable, healthy, sustainable and premium beer products will continue to keep glass bottle packing in strong demand among all brands that hope to meet the expectations and make a distinction of their products on the shelves in Asian markets. The growth in beverages is likely to remain tough, with majority of the beer brands embracing glass bottle packaging to meet consumer’s expectations. At the same time, PET bottles attracted the Asian market for beverages. The PET bottle manufacturers manufacture bottles with detailed specifications for storage of beer. Changing or switching to PET beer bottles can witness more outstanding results in Asia.
Majority of the manufacturers will benefit in terms of cost reduction, lower energy consumption and fewer harmful emissions during transportation. Asian countries are expected to contribute to the consumption of PET bottles for the storage of beer in the next few years. The leading players in Asian beer bottles are O-I, Ardagh Group, Beatson Clark, Orora, Wiegand-Glas, Encirc Glass, Hillebrandt Glas, Systempack, All American Containers, Encore Glass, Sisecam, Huaxing glass, SuoKun Glass Grou, Yantai Changyu Glass, Jintai boli, Yantai NBC Glass Packaging, SHENZHEN TONGCHAN GROUP, Sino-Belgian Beer (Suzhou), ShangHai Misa Glass, Taiwan Glass and Sichuan Shubo (Group).
Modernization, consumption rate, high disposable incomes, and increased consumption by younger generation, along with heavy taxation, legal regulations, and health issues of beer consumption are slowing the growth of beer and beer bottles market. Various innovative products, such as flavoured and crafted beer are demanding for imported beer along with glass beer bottles. The beer bottle market is based on the product type, category, and packing. However, the glass bottles market is expected to grow at a steady rate over the next few years competing with PET bottle market. Asia’s beer metal cans may anticipate a second highest growth due to flexibility to handle which will witness a massive growth in terms of volume sales compared to volume sales of glass beer bottles.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications