Water in a can – the best of both worlds

2 July 2019

Water in a can – the best of both worlds

Veronique Curulla, Marketing & Business Development Director Crown Bevcan EMEA

Consumers globally are becoming increasingly health conscious while also being progressively concerned about the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions. For the beverage industry, this presents a real opportunity to combine good-for-you drinks with sustainable packaging, and flavoured waters are a prominent category in this respect.


According to a recent report from Technavio, the global flavoured water market is set to grow at a CAGR of 8.09% between 2017 and 2021[1]. Alongside a renewed focus on sustainability initiatives, forward thinking brands are turning to metal packaging as a 100% and infinitely recyclable packaging option that aligns best with the increasing consumer focus on health and wellness and demand for safe and high-quality products.

A metal can recycled today can be back on a retail platform within 60 days in exactly the same format, due to its ability to go through the recycling process with zero loss of properties, effectively creating a continuous material loop. According to Metal Packaging Europe, up to 80% of all metal ever produced in the world is still available for use today, and with a firmly established recycling infrastructure, it is little wonder that beverage cans are one of the most recycled beverage packaging formats  in the world, with 73% in Europe.

The benefits of getting ‘Ugly’


Not everything labelled ugly is quite as it seems, and this is certainly the case with the flavoured water offering from Ugly Drinks. The brand is dedicated to delivering drinks that are free from the often-seen hyperbolic statements of healthy products, and which focus on what they are – delicious beverages in sustainable packaging. In short, they get ‘Ugly’ with the truth by claiming to pledge “no unobtainable lifestyles, no ridiculous promises, no sugar, no sweetener, no calories and absolutely nothing artificial.”

Joe Benn, UK General Manager and Co-Founder at Ugly Drinks, commented: “What we are seeing more and more is consumers – particularly millennials - demanding the truth and, as you can see from the statements we make about our products, that is a fundamental pillar of our brand. Consumers love what we call that ‘cold can moment’, where an icy cold drink is opened for the first time. We therefore tried to create an offer that is healthy, sustainably packaged and above all, delicious, and then to market that offer in an honest and straightforward manner.

“Working closely with Crown was key to the packaging element, and it was imperative that our design agency was involved to ensure everyone was on the same page,” continued Joe Benn. “Crown’s team showed us how to get the best out of each design we presented, explaining how printing onto metal affects the initial visions we have and how to make them come to life. We are so pleased with the results, and with the fact that we can present Ugly Drinks in a premium packaging format that is 100% recyclable.”

Almond connects – that’s a FACT

FACT Water is another example of the possibilities of metal packaging being used to their fullest extent in this market segment. Using CrownConnect™ technology to enable its “Almond” blockchain platform, FACT water is able to connect directly with its customer base. The all-natural sparkling drink is packaged in cans produced by Crown, and each is marked with a 2D scannable code, making it the first beverage brand to develop products with a unique digital identity.

Consumers scan the 2D code on the can via a dedicated application, which intuitively generates rewards based on actual purchasing information and tailors offers and discounts centred on habits and the specific products consumers purchase. The end result is a symbiotic relationship between the brand and its consumers – with empirical data being fed into the marketing funnel.

Veronique Curulla, Marketing & Business Development Director, Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East, said: “From a brand’s perspective, the true value lies in the ability to capture relevant data about when and where consumers drink their products. CrownConnect™ technology has been designed specifically to facilitate this level of interaction between brand and consumer and we are proud to be working with innovators such as Olly Bolton to make beverage packaging more interactive and value-added than ever before.”

Sparklingly fruity designs that jump off the shelf

Crown also partnered with Britvic’s Ballygowan to commercialize its “Sparklingly Fruity” range of Sparkling Irish Water Drinks in Ireland. The cool white aluminium cans are decorated using High Quality Print™ (HQP) technology, making each can jump off the shelf with truly striking images. Ballygowan Sparklingly Fruity contains lightly sparkling Ballygowan Water infused with carefully chosen fruit combinations. Gently sweetened with stevia leaf extract, each can of Ballygowan is naturally low in calories and sugar. The three flavours – raspberry & blackberry, apple, elderflower & lemon and lemon & mint - feature crisp, vivid images of delicious fruits depicting the beverage flavour, making full use of the large, printable surface area. The can serves as a 360-degree billboard for Ballygowan to convey its brand image and achieve maximum consumer impact - a key benefit of choosing metal as the packaging format.

All these examples demonstrate a simple fact: the flavoured water category is growing as consumers seek healthy and sustainable products. Crown works with brands to create the healthy beverages of tomorrow and that demand a packaging material that adds considerable credibility to their sustainability platform. More and more forward-thinking brands are making the switch to metal packaging, a match that is undeniably perfect to drive continued growth for a future that looks bright for flavoured water in cans.



[1] https://www.technavio.com/report/global-flavoured-water-market

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