One way ticket How one-way PET kegs are transforming global beer export market By Annemieke Hartman-Jemmett The international beer market has undergone significant change in recent years due to consolidation by the large global breweries and, at the other end of the spectrum, rapid growth of heritage-driven microbreweries which continue to reshape the landscape as their popularity becomes entrenched in key mature markets and they expand geographically. How they deliver their products to these new markets – and the cost of the system – becomes crucial.
brewery have a lifespan of 20 years or more, the impact of intensive export or distribution over expanded routes can reduce this to less than five years. The total cost of initial investment costs for the keg pool, the cost of the constant distribution of new kegs – and the cost of repairs (which can average as much as €4 per keg per year) can be significant. There is also the consider- able cost of return transportation as well as those costs associated with the administration and handling involved in managing the keg pool. A surplus of containers is needed throughout the year to deal with sea- sonal output fluctuations, including the summer months and other peak de- mand periods. In practice, this surplus is often not available, leading to supply shortages or higher filling costs. The problems will intensify in the future as current trends indicate an increasing tendency towards smaller containers of 20 and 30-litre sizes, instead of the traditional 50-litre containers. In this situation, the cost per litre for packing beer in metal kegs increase disproportionately. Another problem facing many brew- eries is the loss of containers, often due to theft. Stainless steel is a valuable
S o as breweries grow and build their brands, many seek to expand their outlets and exploit new mar- kets. Exporting to different countries presents breweries – large and small – with a number of supply chain issues and challenges as the distance – and length of time – draught beer and
containers must travel increases dramatically. High cost of traditional kegs Investment costs in a traditional stainless-steel keg pool can be high. Whilst containers which are mostly distributed in areas close to the
5 z Brewer and Distiller International
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