Big contract packers, in particular those producing supermarket own-label and other brands, were moving away from PET and more towards cans, KHS UK sales director Andy Carter told Food Manufacture.
This was to some extent a rebalancing, he argued. “There are a lot of contract packers with capabilities in PET and glass, but there’s a distinct lack of capacity with cans.”
KHS recently supplied the UK’s first wine canning line, while a competitor’s system went to a canned water brand, Carter said. The company’s new Innoket Neo can labeller, now being used by BrewDog in Scotland, could be applied to applications beyond beer, he added.
KHS’ reputation as a supplier of fillers for cans, and less so for plastics, might affect his perceptions, he admitted.
However, it was a trend backed up by Stefano Baini, product manager for filling at Sidel, who emphasised the value of premium appeal over sustainability. “Beverage manufacturers – and especially craft breweries – are turning towards cans and glass as packaging materials for the premiumisation,” he said.
“But PET remains by far the preferred packaging material of choice in the non-alcoholic beverage market,” Baini added.
Growth in glass over the next few years was anticipated by Sidel. “This will especially hold true for the beer market, but also for other categories such as water, juices and carbonated soft drinks,” said Baini. The company hoped its new EvoFill Glass filler, equipped with “accurate and flexible” level probes, would benefit from some of this growth.
Sharing the same type of open, hygienic design and extensive use of servo motors, Sidel also recently introduced its EvoFill Can system.