Ball Corporation anticipates strong growth for aluminium packaging business in India

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on April 28, 2021

Firm remains upbeat as new categories of water, wine, and liquor make their way to cans

Global player Ball Beverage Packaging is upbeat on India’s growing aluminium packaging business which is predicted to see a significant growth with new segments such as sparkling water, wine and hard spirits making their way to aluminium cans.

Amit Lahoti, VP and GM, Ball Beverage Packaging, India and South-East Asia, told BusinessLine, “The aluminum packaging business, which is under-penetrated in India, is poised for a significant growth with new segments looking for cans for packaging due to its sustainable nature and circularity.”

Regulatory bodies FSSAI and BIS are also evaluating the addition of some drinks that can be packaged in cans. If the taxation anomalies relating to bottled beverages and cans are addressed, this business could grow much faster. New categories that include some of the untried areas of packaging wine, hard liquor and sparkling water are under consideration, he explained.

The company is part of the $11.8 billion-revenue Ball Corporation of USA. Its manufacturing plants produce beverage cans of 185ml, 250ml, 330ml, 355ml and 500 ml capacities. The firm’s customers include companies that produce carbonated soft drinks, juices, dairy, energy drinks and alcoholic drinks like beer, wine, flavoured alcoholic beverages, and hard spirits.

Potential for capacity expansion

“We have made significant investments in the country by setting up two beverage packaging manufacturing plants at Taloja, near Mumbai, which was set up in 2006, and the beverage can manufacturing plant in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh, set up in 2016. Additionally, the company has an aerosol can plant in Sanand in Gujarat. There is potential to expand capacity over the next two years,” Lahoti explained.

He said the Sri City plant makes aluminium cans for the alcoholic segment and beverage customers--United Breweries, Diageo AB InBev, Pepsico and Bisleri. It also helps with quality printing that goes into branding of products.

The country’s existing market is around 2 billion beverage cans per annum. The current penetration of aluminum cans in India is low as the per capita consmption is one beverage can compared to 70 cans in Vietnam, 40 in China and 140 in Brazil. This low penetration creates opportunity for Ball in India which sees huge potential growth in aluminium packaging. India’s metal packaging market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.52% from 2021 to 2026 backed by the Government’s push to eliminate single-use plastic aligned with the consumers’ preference for sustainably packed products.

“Ball is investing in the future of aluminum because we recognise the powerful impact that choosing infinitely recyclable beverage packaging can have on communities and the planet. We are actively tapping the newer categories in India covering a much wider range of beverages and drinks, sparkling water among others. We are also looking at the regulatory developments closely and hope to see a more favourable environment for use of cans. This augurs well for a country which is looking to bring down the use of plastics,” he explained.

Sustainable solution

Since the Covid pandemic, there is a growing focus on the use of cans as they are hygienic and can be recycled after their use.

Aluminum beverage cans are sustainable, eco-friendly and can be infinitely recycled. Recycling reduces the energy needed for primary metal production by nearly 95 per cent and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, they are tamper-proof and easy to stock/carry.

Aluminum cans are the perfect example of a circular packaging solution as it can be recycled infinitely without any loss of quality. Around 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced in the world is still in use, he said.

Published on April 28, 2021

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