Dodge Supply Chain Disasters With Real Beverage Packaging Solutions
You Call This a Beverage Packaging Supply Chain?
Beverage packaging resellers, brokers, and distributors are in a pretty tough spot right now. Traditional options like cans and bottles have hit the lottery of supply chain disasters:
- Shortages due to COVID, shutdowns, hiring woes, lack of materials
- A crazy spike in domestic and international shipping costs
- Lead times backed up 12 months or more (try 3 years for aluminum cans)
- Enormous minimum orders (...over a million cans, Ball? Really?)
- Per unit costs that are out of control
- Surging gas prices further exacerbating shipping costs
The domestic supply chain simply can’t handle this. The “Great Resignation” has American factories understaffed as it is. Add that to everything else, and this camel’s back is already broken.
And what about when you go overseas? You’d normally have to cope with language barriers, lack of transparency or supervision at foreign factories, no guarantee of quality, and other new challenges. Not to mention the arm and a leg they’re charging for on-the-water shipping containers these days!
If any of this sounds familiar, we hear you. You’re not alone. Beverage packaging resellers nationwide are strapped for margins and sick of hearing “sold out” or “not at that price” or “later…much later” from every supplier they call. All the major U.S. suppliers are at capacity.
It looks grim.
But this doesn’t mean you’re screwed! No, far from it. This minefield of pain points is a land of opportunity for enterprising packaging resellers who understand what they really bring to their customers. The truth is that YOU are the key to averting catastrophe. YOU are the hero that can ride in and rescue desperate or panicked customers who need beverage packaging solutions FAST.
Sound like big shoes to fill? Trust me, it’s much easier than you think. Let’s get into it.
Your Secret Weapon: A Vetted Global Network of Suppliers
Something’s got to give. When the domestic supply chain is underwater, where can you go? Over the water. Factories overseas have been less severely impacted by the rising fuel prices, demand for wage increases, constant shutdowns, and other issues plaguing domestic suppliers.
And I know the horror stories — tons of resellers are hesitant to dip their toes into overseas supply chains for fear of low quality, poor customer service, and miscommunications. Rest assured, there’s a better way to do it.
What you really need is a fully vetted, carefully scrubbed list of top global suppliers and a 100% guarantee of quality. Better yet, boots on the ground, physically present in every overseas factory that’s working on your beverage packaging products, supervising everything, and advocating for you every step of the way.
You can get all of that, plus U.S.-based, English-fluent customer service while also restoring lost margins and slashing lead times from years to weeks.
But You Can’t Do That…
This isn’t some alternate universe. If you’ve heard it’s not possible, you heard wrong. The Overseas Network from ABC Packaging is your complete answer to supply chain woes. We’ve put in the work to craft a finely tuned global network that gives you:
- Accelerated factory lead times
- Rapid shipping shortcuts
- Reduced costs that save your margins
- The power to vault your brand
- Strategic warehousing at no extra cost
- U.S.-based boots on the ground in every factory
- Experienced guidance with overseas business
- Trending options and exciting alternatives to consider
- 100% quality guarantee
- Beverage packaging that’s IN STOCK, available NOW
We’re a full-service, strategic global supply chain partner. When you partner with The Overseas Network, you’re gaining more than just a list of approved suppliers. You’ll be sourcing globally with a local approach. When you call, we answer.
Our seasoned supply chain specialists shepherd every beverage packaging solution from the factory to the inspection lab to your doorstep. Behind your new, powerful global network of suppliers, our team is hard at work ensuring your products are delivered through thick and thin, shortage or not — and we don’t take no for an answer.
Hot Trends in Beverage Packaging
We’ve been tracking a three-headed monster of big trends in CPG packaging for beverages that are only going to continue to ramp up in consumer interest — but more on that in a moment.
One of your biggest advantages as you position yourself to help beverage-sector customers is your access to a cornucopia of unique packaging options, from commodity to complex, paper to plastic, rigid to flexible. By staying on top of hot and emerging formats that are set to explode, your versatility becomes a competitive advantage for your customers.
Suddenly you don’t need to sell on price alone. Instead of “just another supplier,” a robust global sourcing network turns you into a strategic solution for printed cans, recycled plastic bottles, spouted beverage pouches, and even the latest compostable or biodegradable materials…whatever will vault the customer’s brand. It’s all about solving their pain points with convenient, innovative, and efficient options that can also maximize consumer appeal.
Without further ado, here are the three hot beverage trends that you can’t afford to ignore.
1. Bigger is Better
No one would have predicted this trend a few years back, but then again, no one saw the pandemic coming. Demand for large, multi-serving containers has surged for every product from coffee and tea to cold-pressed juice and more. Larger volumes solve for present-day pain points — working from home, not wanting to make frequent trips to the store, reducing packaging waste, and saving money by purchasing bulk quantities.
Consider offering multi-serve options (or recommend them to your customers) to take advantage of this opportunity in the market. There’s interest here that will drive sales.
2. To Be Seen, Go Green
Sustainability is the name of the game, and you can’t ignore it anymore. Coca-Cola has even announced that 25% of all Coke beverages sold worldwide will come in refillable or returnable glass or plastic packaging by 2030. That sort of shift will shake the foundations of beverage packaging — especially if other larger brands see Coke’s example and follow suit.
There are many different ways to go green with eco-friendly packaging options. You might present the idea of an alternative business model, such as Coke’s new push for refillable bottles, but you could also direct your customer to post-consumer recycled plastics, biodegradables (although these options aren’t quite ready for beverages…yet!), or ditching rigid containers completely for sustainable flexible packaging like the spouted beverage pouch.
That leads us to our next trend!
3. Flexible Beats Rigid
This is the biggest opportunity for beverage packaging in decades. The spouted, flexible beverage pouch is a gamechanger with its environmentally friendly format (100% recyclable, lower emissions in shipping, less material to make, takes up less space in landfills). But that’s just the beginning. Flexible restores lost margins for your customer because it takes less plastic to manufacture, less fuel to ship, less space to store, and frankly costs less per piece than rigid.
Now, to be clear, we’re not against rigid. Jugs and cans aren’t about to disappear, and they have their uses. However, flexible is just too huge an opportunity right now not to consider. You’ve got an impressive range of options, from breathable film for carbonated beverages and beer to wide-mouth spouts for large quantities and spigot-style pouches for wines and water-cooler-style dispensing.
Present flexible options to your customers to convert them away from the rigid packaging (bottles, cans, glass, plastic, whatever) that are costing them a fortune and backed up for years. Remember — solve for their pain and you’re not “just a supplier” anymore. You’re a problem-solver and a valued partner.
Why Try Flexible Alternatives to Cans?
To put it simply, spouted pouches are the future. Flexible packaging is now outpacing rigid containers in demand growth. We frequently work with cans — we’re not against high-quality printed cans that put your brand on par with the big boys — but it’s time to rethink beverage packaging and get onboard the rising profile of flexible early.
Overseas markets are already seeing huge success with flexible pouch packaging in the beverage space. Their popularity in Europe and Asia has slowly sparked real interest in North American markets, where the opportunity is still young enough to make a big splash. But what does flexible do that rigid can’t? For starters:
- It’s new and exciting for curious consumers
- Your unique aesthetic sticks out from the Sea of SameTM
- Costs less than rigid options
- Small minimum runs are possible (1,000 pieces!)
- Available quickly in attractive, fully printed formats
- Convenient (lightweight, disposes flat, takes up less space, doesn’t shatter)
- Versatile fixtures (twist-cap spout, spigot, straw, wide-mouth spout, handle, bottom gusset, etc.)
Advances in breathable film technology even allow modern flexible beverage packaging to safely and securely contain carbonated beverages, releasing tiny amounts of air to relieve excess pressure without compromising the fizzy taste consumers love. For these reasons and many more, the beer-soda pouch is a rising star. Talk with your customers about opportunities with flexible pouch packaging for juice, beer, wine, soda, fermented liquids, and more.
Get Eco-Friendly Beverage Packaging Straight
Demand for eco-friendly beverage packaging continues to outpace supply — a sure sign that consumers know what they want, and this is your chance to give it to them. According to research firm McKinsey, 60-70% of consumers across all segments say they’ll pay more for sustainable packaging.
There’s a lot of confusion around “sustainable” and “eco-friendly,” though, when it comes to terminology. Let’s clear some of it up.
- Sustainable: Your beverage packaging can contribute to a sustainable future in many ways, from reducing emissions in production or shipping, to using post-consumer recycled materials, to using sustainably farmed trees for paper, to decomposing into compost without a trace. The key idea is that your packaging, in some way, makes less of an impact on the environment and resources in the supply chain.
- Eco-Friendly: An eco-friendly beverage packaging solution is an even broader category. You’re promising that something about the packaging helps (or at least doesn’t hurt) the environment. Many recyclable plastic bottles or aluminum cans can be considered “eco-friendly” in the same way that sustainable or compostable products can. Even if your product ends up in a landfill, it can be eco-friendly if it lessens its environmental impact in other ways — for example, by taking up minimal space, like flat pouches.
- Recyclable: Recyclable is good. We love to work with recycled materials and with R7 plastics. However, it’s also important to acknowledge that not everything gets recycled. Even consumers with the best intentions sometimes waste, and the recycling supply chain is notoriously over-burdened since China stopped buying our recyclable plastic waste. Sometimes the bigger impact for your packaging can be made with reduced emissions in transit, reduced impact on landfills, reduced space in the warehouse, and reduced materials needed for production.
- Bioplastics: Be careful! These are really cool, and there are a ton of emerging options that are getting hot in the market, but will they perform as intended for your product and the environment? We always advise testing before committing and generally suggest not going with biodegradable or compostable options in the beverage space. The current structures of those plastics aren’t up to the task of storing liquids (for the same reasons that they biodegrade!).
How to Solve Your Supply Chain Issues and Get Your Beverage Packaging FAST
The domestic supply chain is a mess, and the local guys can’t get you nearly what you need in the timeframe you need it. Your best bet for solving supply chain issues is to broaden your network and incorporate leading suppliers from around the world.
Get a U.S.-Based, Global Sourcing Office
The Overseas Network brings a relationship-first approach to global sourcing. This isn’t Alibaba. Our U.S.-based team of supply chain experts understands the unique challenges facing resellers, distributors, and brokers of beverage packaging, especially in the current market. That’s why we’ve set out to give you an overseas office of your own, as an experienced and English-fluent extension of your team.
Bargain basement international suppliers like Alibaba don’t care about establishing a relationship. Your customers don’t want to be left at the back of the line, with little to no visibility into product quality or delivery progress. Those conditions won’t only wreak havoc on your current business opportunities, but could potentially burn important bridges. With a true strategic supply chain partner, you can increase margins, lower costs, and improve visibility on the shelf.
No Confusion — We’re Your Single Source
Working with a web of unrelated overseas suppliers gives many resellers pause, and we understand. That’s where we come in. The Oversea Network from ABC Packaging is your single point of contact for all overseas beverage packaging needs. We know how to get your business connected with leading suppliers around the world, and we’ll handle the details. That’s right — you deal with our experts, our team, and no one else. Our boots on the ground and in the factory ensure a seamless and secure delivery with 100% quality, guaranteed.
White-Glove Service With a Proven Process
Our process at The Overseas Network follows three simple steps:
- Discover: Tell us all the intimate details of your packaging: specific uses, past failures, current retailers, production methods, competitive landscape, etc.
- Collaborate: Collaborate with us to test the effectiveness of different options and determine the ideal solution for your price point and package style.
- Deliver: From concept to final delivery, we handle all your production and supply chain needs so you can focus on growing your business.
From end-to-end of your ordering process, we’re on-hand, keeping things on schedule and up to spec. The Overseas Network is ready to assist you in all negotiations with overseas suppliers with years of experience in the global supply chain. We know the language, the culture, the business conventions, and how best to get the high-quality products you need at a price point that makes sense — on time, every time. Whereas the local guys have no idea how to get printed aluminum cans inside of the next two years, we can get fully printed, professional cans on the water in 30-45 days.
Get started with your next beverage packaging solutions project right away!