Survey highlights a growing thirst for canned drinking water

Posted: 19 October 2020 | | No comments yet

Results of a new survey reveal that UK consumers are open to the proposition of buying water in cans, rather than plastic bottles.

water in can

Following a poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of Ball Corporation – a major global producer of aluminium cans – British consumers expressed increasing support for buying canned drinking water for on-the-go purchases. 

The survey indicates that the Covid-19 outbreak is affecting consumer expectations and consumption patterns, with 79 percent of the 2,000-plus UK adults polled agreeing that “As businesses return to usual, this is a valuable opportunity for retailers and brands to reconsider their approach to packaging”. 

Furthermore, 75 percent of those surveyed indicated that “since the coronavirus outbreak, (they) now feel that it is more important that retailers and brands consider the environment”.

Higher levels of home-working, fewer UK commuters, and restrictions on events are expected to negatively impact domestic sales of on-the-go water. However, when current work and leisure habits stabilise, consumer tastes for more sustainable products will present an opportunity for the market to suitably adapt. 

Education and availability will influence can preference

Plastic bottles are currently by far the most commonly purchased on-the-go water package in the UK : three-quarters (73 percent) of the UK adults surveyed have purchased water in a plastic bottle, compared to only eight percent for aluminium cans; for regular purchasers of on-the-go water, 90 percent said they regularly bought water in a plastic bottle.

However, a lack of packaging alternatives was cited as the most popular reason for this purchasing choice (42 percent), rather than any particular preference for plastic.

The study indicates that UK consumers would be far more willing to purchase canned water when supplied with the correct facts about aluminium recyclability and recycling rates. Just over half of adults (53 percent) are aware that aluminium is infinitely recyclable, whereas just less than half (47 percent) are aware that aluminium cans are the most widely recycled type of drinks container.

The survey reported that 55 percent of adults claimed they would be more likely to buy water in a can if they knew that the can is infinitely recyclable.

Ana Neale, Director, Marketing and Strategic Planning, Ball Corporation, said:“The results of this survey indicate that once there is awareness of recyclability and availability, younger age groups, especially, will choose packaged water in cans. Just as we’ve seen in other beverages, we expect more and more brands to offer on-the-go water of all types in cans, which is good news for new and existing entrants to the category, and for the development of a truly circular economy.”

Commenting on the Welsh company’s decision to use aluminium cans to package their spring water, John Wallington, Director, Llanllyr SOURCE, commented: “We’re extremely proud of our premium Welsh spring water and have always taken responsibility to the natural environment very seriously. Aluminium cans enable us to offer our customers a refined drinking experience, safe in the knowledge that they can drop empties into a recycling bin and be back on the shelf in as little as 60 days.”