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RTD brands urge bars to use cans

Ready-to-drink (RTD) brands Moth Drinks, Longbottom, The Uncommon, Jukes and Trip have launched a campaign that calls on the on-trade to adopt canned cocktails.

The Canifesto
The Canifesto has been launched by canned RTD industry leaders

The group of canned RTD brands launched an open letter, dubbed ‘The Canifesto’, to change the stigma around the use of cans, by promoting the aluminium vessel’s sustainability credentials, and its ability to help the on-trade achieve its environmental goals.

Sam Hunt, co-founder of Moth Drinks, commented: “We are dedicated to supporting our on-trade partners, and the can helps us to work with them to reduce waste, energy and time whilst providing a delicious cocktail that elevates the customer’s experience.

“An example is in a recent Greenhouse Gas Analysis commissioned by Moth; we found that in scenarios with a garnish, our Espresso Martini and Margarita had 30.64% and 14.06% less GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions, respectively, per drink in the Moth canned cocktail compared to making the drink from scratch.”

Jake MacKay, CEO of canned Bloody Mary brand Longbottom & Co, added: “Cans have been the cornerstone of our packaging strategy since we launched Longbottom & Co. Their sustainability credentials are unrivalled, yet not at any cost in product quality, which is vital when delivering a premium, real tomato juice product to our customers.”

The Canifesto documents the benefits of using cans for single serves, and lays out a five-year plan to aid the on-trade with the adoption of a canned drinks strategy to help reach environmental goals and provide customers with ‘an even better experience’.

Citing the System Bolaget Study, which examines the climate impact of packaging, The Canifesto notes that 79% of CO2e could be cut by switching from a 750ml glass bottle to three 250ml aluminium cans, as it is more easily and endlessly recyclable. It is said that 75% of the aluminium ever produced still in circulation today.

In the comparison of aluminium with glass, it also notes that the single-serve nature of cans means less wasted ingredients and less money spent.

Furthermore, the convenience of cans allows for more efficiency with pouring and less requirements for training. It also notes the lighter compact shape allows for 40% more space in fridges verses glass bottles.

The Canifesto also highlights the can’s ability to maintain serve quality for the on-trade.

As cans are lined with a water-based polymer, which prevents the liquid’s contact with the metal, no effect is made on the taste.

In addition, cans block out UV light and oxygen, keeping liquid fresher for longer, meaning customers receive a consistently high-quality serve.

‘Efficiency already felt’

The RTD brands said that thanks to the single-serve format, time and cost efficiencies have already been felt in the casual dining sector.

Moth RTD cocktail line-up
Moth’s RTD cocktails are already served in the on-trade

Amy Tuson, operations director at London pizza chain Homeslice, which has been serving Moth cocktails since 2021, said: “[Moth’s] drinks allow a consistently high standard of service across venues, reduced wastage, and improved speed of service dramatically, allowing us to sell double the amount of drinks in the same timeframe.”

In addition, UK event operator Peppermint Bars has embraced a can strategy to drive its sustainability agenda.

“The RTD category plays an important role in working towards our sustainability goals at Peppermint, as well as ensuring an efficient speed of service for festival goers and consistency in serve,” said Carl Storrie, head of stock, Peppermint Bars.

“With a focused move towards a packaged goods strategy, cans allow us to reduce waste and storage across our events whilst improving recycling efficiencies.”

Matthew Clarke and Bibendum owner C&C Group is also seeing the benefits of the canned format for its customers.

Angela Ham, agency manager at C&C Group, said: “Cans help us significantly reduce road miles and carbon emissions.

“For our customers, serving from an RTD can support speed of service, where access to quality drinks like Longbottom, means you don’t compromise on taste in the process.”

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