Indie Beer Can Festival finalists

The Can Makers has published a white paper taking a close look at trends driving the UK export industry, expressly relating to canned drinks.

Post-Brexit, the industry organisation says, there’s never been a better time for British businesses to explore new markets and export their products.

Brand Britain is currently worth almost £1.5 trillion, with the UK shipping goods in excess of £300bn across the globe annually.

The government wants to increase its food and drink export figure by 2.9bn by 2020, with 75% of this to countries outside the EU.

In the UK Food and Drink International Plan 2016-2020, the government states its plan to work with the industry to deliver a boost to the export market, with British brands supported though trade, and cultural activity to promote UK food and drink, open new markets and developing existing ones.

The white paper features top tips to help businesses start thinking in the right way about export.

Export trends

Over the past two years, sales from craft breweries have been booming as increasing international demand for craft products has coincided with a growing thirst for British beer.

More than 220m pints of ale, from the likes of Yorkshire’s Ilkely Brewery and Aberdeenshire’s BrewDog, were shipped to the States in 2015, worth a record £164m —  (that’s up 35% on the year before).

In the craft segment, British brands are expected to see domestic competition ease as foreign competitors, affected by the weakness of the pound and the long-term threat of trade barriers, reduce exports into the UK.

And, while a number of associations already exist to support brands with exporting, craft associations have launched their own schemes, such as the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) with its Export Club to help members send their drinks across the world

With more than 500 new breweries launched in the UK in 2016 alone, the UK market could reach saturation point, says The Can Makers, unless breweries look to other export markets.

The number of craft brands in a canned format has gone from a few to a few hundred. The can is seen as the ideal pack for any drink brand that exports its product, being lightweight, easily stacked and taking up less space than bottles.

Cans have an unparalleled safety record, too, being sturdy and unlikely to break, plus their tamper-resistant and temper-evident packaging provides consumers with peace of mind that their products have been safely prepared and delivered.

Read more » The Can Makers’ white paper in full