Beverage cans are a popular form of beverage packaging among consumers because they are light, easy to buy, quick to chill and protect their contents effectively. Beverage producers favour them because they are quick and efficient to fill, easy to transport and store, and maintain product integrity. Their appeal has been enhanced by different shapes and sizes, higher quality graphics and finishes and improved convenience features such as resealability. Added to all this, beverage cans are fully recyclable and, with widespread recycling facilities, meet growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly packaging. Today approximately 45% of the unit pack mix for CSD and around 30% for beers is made up of beverage cans.
Beverage can making is a capital intensive business where profit is dependent on the high utilisation of installed plant capacity. Rexam works continually to achieve and maintain high levels of utilisation at its plants. Optimum capacity is around 95% which allows for full utilisation of assets whilst allowing for sufficient maintenance downtime and peak demand periods.
The beverage can industry is a well consolidated, global industry with sales in the region of US$20bn. Rexam is the leading player producing just under a quarter of the approximately 230bn beverage cans currently made globally each year. We operate predominantly in the US, South America and Europe. There are four players in the US and three significant ones in South America and Europe. Our market share in these regions is 22%, 68% and 45% respectively. The overall global beverage can market, which is made up of largely standard 12oz (33cl) cans, is growing at a rate of nearly 5% pa in terms of value. In the markets in which we operate, growth in non standard sizes, such as those for energy drinks or larger cans for beers or iced teas is significantly higher but from a lower base. Recent developments include cans with resealable closures and the aluminium bottle, further enhancing the appeal of metal beverage packaging.