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Beer Boom Britain - A Technology Revolution

On 30/09/16

By Martijn van Buuren, of Broad Green Partnerships:

Digital print teamed with customisation has transformed the packaging industry as we know it today. Personalised, direct-to-can digital printing is a revolutionary step in packaging for aluminium cans and arrives at a perfect time for Britain’s booming beer industry.

For small volume brewing from either small or large brewers, in a competitive market, this type of packaging innovation provides huge opportunity and is guaranteed to generate brand excitement and recognition.

Canned beer is back in vogue and with approaching 2000 brewers in the UK alone and nearly 10,000 brands, it is an extremely competitive beer market.

While cans are undeniably becoming extremely popular, there is still a lack of ability to provide small batch brews in cans with the same print quality as mass produced product. This is due to traditional processes and the economic crossover point of the suppliers, with minimum order quantities of around 150,000 cans and long lead times creating a barrier to the fluidity and potential rapid growth of small, independent brewers who need batch sizes of 10,000 to 50,000.

Until now, the only alternative for small batch brewing to be packaged in cans is to utilise indirect label printing at a considerable additional cost to conventional manufactured cans. New digital can printing technology addresses these issues while opening-up a whole new world of opportunity. Digital print technology for beverage can decoration, whether for craft beer or mainstream brands can deliver the variety, flexibility and choice that producers need to succeed. In fact, with limited edition flavourings or one-off special brews increasing in popularity, packaging can help a brand stand-out.

From a cost perspective alone, direct to can digital printing from manufacturers such as Tonejet is roughly 20 times cheaper than label printing for cans.

With the inherent nature of digital print and minimum orders of almost one, brewers are now provided with virtually limitless personalisation opportunities. Not only that, but as the technology is capable of printing several batches a day, product time-to-market is decreased too, enabling brewers to respond quickly to seasonal trends or produce and can key beverage brands for events or social media campaign, opening-up new business opportunities.

True personalised packaging, may be key to unlocking significant investment opportunities, for a variety of business models – be that simply as a financial investor or in setting up individual custom digital can printing operations.

With an increased focus on branding and customer communication, there is a huge opportunity for such canning operations, whether that be for small and contract brewers, larger beverage producers, printer converters or potential investors.

Viva la beer revolution!


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