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World Beer Containers

This article submitted by The Freedonia Group, Inc. on 11/20.

Global demand for beer containers is expected to advance over three percent per annum to 303 billion units in 2001, outpacing growth in beer production. Gains will be based on the shift toward smaller container sizes in developing markets like South America, as well as the trend toward packaged versus draft beer in many developed markets, which in turn reflects the rising popularity of at-home versus on-premises drinking. One-way packaging, both metal cans and recyclable glass bottles, will further supplant returnable glass bottles, especially in developing country markets where the latter have traditionally dominated. These and other trends are presented in World Beer Containers, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm. Cans will gain further share at the expense of glass, approaching 30 percent of the total beer container market based on their light weight, resistance to breakage, performance advantages, excellent graphics and favorable image among consumers in the developing world. Aluminum is the most widely used beer can metal and is employed almost exclusively outside Western Europe and South Africa, where tinplate steel remains competitive. For their part, glass bottles are enjoying a resurgence in important developed markets like the US based on their preferred use in the popular premium beer segment. Bottle sales will also benefit from the trend toward smaller sizes and their dominant position in fast growing beer markets like Southeast Asia. Indeed, China alone will account for over 55 percent of world beer bottle demand growth through 2001. By the end of the decade, plastic bottles fabricated from polyethylene terephthalate and polyethylene naphthalate will emerge as a viable form of beer packaging as costs come down, production capacity is expanded and further improvements are achieved in the barrier properties of such containers. Still, the higher costs, as well as slow anticipated consumer acceptance, will limit plastic bottles to a mere fraction of the beer packaging market for the foreseeable future; their use will be concentrated largely in mature developed markets like North America, Western Europe and Australia. Beer container demand will rise fastest in the developing regions of South America and Asia, which will account for the vast majority of the world's beer market growth into the next decade. By contrast, annual gains in the rest of the world will be limited to roughly one percent or less, with the mature West European market offering the poorest opportunities. WORLD BEER CONTAINERS (published 11/97, 307 pages) is available for $3800 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 3570 Warrensville Center Rd., Ste. 201, Cleveland, Ohio . For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone , fax or e-mail at . Full text is also available online through commercial database companies and the Web site.

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