You’ve created an excellent craft beverage, but how do you take it to market and maintain healthy margins?
This is one of the questions being asked by suppliers to the craft beverage market or those looking to capitalise on its growth.
And the answer is in the brand new, cutting edge technology that enables decoration of cans for craft beverages at very low costs and with no restrictions on run lengths!
Craft beer is a rapidly growing and exciting market. The increased variety of craft drinks being launched shows no sign of slowing, from soft drinks and energy drinks to ready-to-drink, spirit-based cocktails.
Craft drinks are fast becoming a significant and growing percentage of the overall worldwide beverage market. Some have already diversified their offerings to capitalise on this trend, and all are looking for creative ways to increase brand/product recognition and most importantly, appeal to the consumer.
Small batch beers have been canned in the USA for around 20 years, and it’s a market segment that is continuing to grow rapidly.
However, the move towards packaging in cans is not limited to the US, with hundreds of craft brewers globally making the switch. But it isn’t without its barriers.
Minimum order levels typically in excess of 150,000 continue to throttle a brewer’s ability to cost effectively grow their business by moving from bottles to cans.
Long lead times of one to two months and purchasing of excess cans has also meant that until now, canning craft beverages hasn’t been an option for small to medium sized breweries.
New digital can printing technology is addressing these issues, opening-up a whole new world of opportunity – and not just for smaller breweries.
In fact, with limited edition flavourings or one-off seasonal brews, digital can printing meets today's beverage demands head-on.
From a cost perspective alone, digital can printing is roughly 15 times cheaper than the label printing of cans often used as a short term solution to move from bottles to cans.
Cans are a better solution for preserving the beverage from light degradation, storage and transportation, as well as being a better recycling option than many other packaging materials.
The ability to digitally print directly onto cans also opens-up huge opportunities for larger brands/breweries too. They can now cost effectively package their beverages in smaller volumes, with the printing flexibility to version or change the messaging on cans as required.
In realising this potential, digital print technology for metal can decoration, whether that be in craft beer or non-alcoholic craft beverages, wines or spirits, is expected to deliver the variety, flexibility and choice that producers need to succeed.
While digital can printing is extremely popular among craft producers who have access to it, there is still a lack of availability to these services in most countries through the world.
Printers from manufacturers such as Tonejet and its partners are seen as the key to unlocking significant investment opportunities for a variety of craft beverage packaging business models.
Tonejet, a Rockwell Automation Machine Builder partner, will integrate the iTRAK intelligent transport system with its Digital 2-piece Can Decorator to create a full digital system for short-to-medium run 2-piece cans.