Packaging Fueling Growth of Craft Beer and Spirits Market According to New PMMI White Paper

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Consumer demands prompt a projected rise in overall unit sales and use of metal, glass, and liquid cartons

Metal, glass, and liquid cartons are projected to be the fastest-growing materials used in the craft beer and spirits market through 2027, according to a new white paper, Craft Beer and Spirits: Success Through Packaging, released by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. This comes as consumer demands for ready-to-drink, e-commerce, and variety and multipacks have moved the market to a projected 1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) or 78.1 billion unit sales from 2024 to 2027.

“Metal already represents the lion’s share of craft brew and spirits packaging – followed by glass, then rigid plastic,” says Rebecca Marquez, director, custom research, PMMI. “But liquid cartons are slated to grow at the fastest rate over this period at 2.2% CAGR.”

Marquez highlights that these trends are also fueling shifts in equipment, notably driving higher demand for automation. This manifests in integrated robotics and end-of-line packaging operations, including machines like palletizers.

The white paper also delves into how variety, sustainability, and premiumization can provide craft producers with a way to stand out in a competitive craft market:

The most important tool for craft producers in establishing this [unique] identity is packaging. Packaging features such as premiumization and sustainability make products stand out on the shelf and speak directly to the concerns of customers, while providing a variety of packaging formats and sizes caters to convenience and consumer lifestyles.

The white paper was compiled from the opinions and responses of craft beer and spirits industry professionals. Participants were asked to expound on their experiences to better understand craft producers’ packaging needs and the future trajectory of the craft industry as a whole.

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