Sales by container type

Sales by container type

Description follows

224 billion packaged beverages were sold in the U.S. in 2006, up from 190 billion in 2000. This equates to 750 bottles and cans sold per capita: more than three times as much as the average person consumed in 1972 (254 units).

Market share by container type

Of these 224 billion beverage containers sold, the vast majority (96%, or 215.3 billion units) were traditional bottles and cans. This figure is up 10 billion from bottle and can sales just one year previously (205.7 billion sold in 2005). An estimated 45%  (102 billion ) were packaged in aluminum cans; 17% (38 billion) were sold in one-way, non-refillable glass bottles; 32% (72 billion) were sold in PET plastic bottles; and 1% (3 billion) were sold in HDPE (high density polyethylene)  plastic bottles. Only 4% (9 billion) were sold in non-traditional packages, divided roughly equally among aseptic multi-material drink boxes, gable-top cartons, and foil pouches. Bi-metal (steel) cans and refillable glass bottles together comprise less than one half of 1% of the total beverage market.

Sales growth of PET plastic bottles since 2000 dwarfs the changes in the other package types. Aluminum cans remain the largest single package type, holding strong due to beer sales, and to a slowing of the substitution of PET for aluminum cans in the soft drink market.