As the global canmaking industry looks forward to the coming year, it should be mindful of how consumers are changing buying preferences.

The food industry in particular is being driven to address how consumers are increasingly using on-line buying and choosing products with healthier ingredients.

This perception is influencing brand owners, who are responding by adopting what is seen as packaging that enables the consumer to see the product.

There are other trends that should provide encouragement for the canmaking industry. A recent report by Mintel highlighted a number of developments that will impact the global packaging business over the next year.

Top of its list is that packaging will play a pivotal role in reducing food waste. A third of all food produced, more than a billion tons, is lost or wasted. Yet we’ve all known that the canning process is by far the best way of preserving food, and reduces waste. We know that there are campaigns to promote this message, and we hope the millennials are getting it.

Mintel’s list covers eCommerce of course, and canmakers should remember how much secondary packs are being adopted in the supply chain. It says that clear messaging on external packaging will be rewarded.

It’s therefore vital that brand owners are continually reminded of the strong message that metal packaging offers: it preserves and protects, using a system that employs highly-recycled materials.

Brand owners will also be increasingly pressed to consider the impact of their packaging on marine life, says Mintel, with the problems created by waste packaging accumulating in the oceans. Again, there’s an opportunity for canmakers to promote the environmental benefits of their own products.

This year will have two leading events where these issues should be discussed: Cannex Asia Pacific in China from 15-18 May, and The Canmaker Summit in Venice, Italy, from 10-11 October. They are not to be missed.

John Nutting