The Expansive World of Water Beverage Packaging

expansive world of water beverage packaging graphic

An In-Depth Exploration

Ska Fabricating serves a wide range of markets – from beverages of all types to consumer packaged goods in glass, plastic, or metal containers.  In diving into each of these product types, we hope to share our insights into these dynamic markets and how they are shaping the trends we see in the larger packaging industry.

a conveyor belt with empty bottles on it

According to Precedence Research, the global water market was valued at USD 302 billion in 2022 and is projected to hit USD 503.05 billion by 2032.  For comparison, the global canned coffee market in 2022 was USD 33.36 billion (Statista) and the global canned beer market was USD 14.62 billion (Grand View Research).  Water dominates the beverage industry and continues to show strong growth versus other beverage verticals.

In the water beverage packaging industry, staying ahead of the curve is crucial to meet the evolving demands of a market as vast as the ocean. At Ska Fabricating, we lead the way in manufacturing depalletizers and palletizers that enable the packaging of diverse water beverages. Today, we’ll take an immersive journey through the world of water beverage packaging, tailored for experts in the packaging industry.

Still Water: The Staple

Amid the ever-changing landscape of water beverage packaging, one category stands the test of time – still water. In the sea of beverage choices, still water remains a steadfast classic, and  accounts for nearly a quarter of the water market, emphasizing its enduring appeal (Beverage Marketing Corporation). Consumer preferences for a straightforward water experience remain strong – from a replacement water bottle for the day, a quick sip on the side of a sporting event, or being sure your family has what they need for a road trip or emergency situation. Still water is a trusted alternative to filtered water from the tap.

Carbonated Water: Effervescence in Every Sip​

Effervescence is the name of the game in the sparkling water market, consisting of carbonated water, seltzer, club soda, and tonic water. The global carbonated water market has skyrocketed to a staggering  USD 49.5 billion in 2023, reflecting the growing consumer demand for fizzing beverages (Market Research Future). As people seek healthier and more exciting alternatives to sugary sodas or plain water, packaging becomes pivotal in preserving the delightful bubbles in carbonated water, delivering a refreshing and crisp drinking experience. 

Flavored Water: A Symphony

Flavor-infused water is a captivating landscape marked by continuous expansion. The realm of flavored water encompasses flavored still water and flavored sparkling water, which offer a wide array of choices to cater to various tastes and preferences. In 2023, the flavored still water market has surged to an impressive value of USD 29.5 billion, reflecting the evolving palate of the discerning consumer (Market Research Future). Meanwhile, the U.S. flavored sparkling water market shines brightly with a valuation of USD 6.2 billion (Statista), with new companies emerging and packaging their products themselves or relying on the help of co-packers. Packaging for these options plays a crucial role in preserving the integrity of unique flavor profiles each type of flavored water is known for.

Functional and Innovative Water: Hydration with a Purpose

Functional water beverages represent a dynamic category that combines hydration with purpose, offering a wide array of options to cater to various health and wellness goals. In 2023, this segment has become a cornerstone of the beverage industry, incorporating vitamins, electrolytes, and other beneficial additives. In 2020, the global functional water beverage market was estimated to be worth USD 12.86 billion (Fortune Business Insights). These beverages are not just for quenching thirst but aim to enhance the consumer’s well-being, making them a reflection of a more holistic approach to hydration. Packaging for functional water beverages is crucial in maintaining the integrity of these additives, ensuring that each bottle delivers the intended health benefits while maintaining a refreshing and enjoyable taste.

Embracing Nature: Sourcing the Finest Water

In the realm of water sourcing, natural spring water and artesian water have gained recognition for their unique attributes and exceptional qualities. Spring water, sourced directly from natural springs, retains its naturally occurring minerals and unique taste, attracting consumers with a value of USD 14.2 billion in 2023 (Beverage Marketing Corporation). Artesian water, on the other hand, originates from confined aquifers beneath the Earth’s surface, offering remarkable purity and distinctive mineral composition. The global artesian water market continues its remarkable growth trajectory, with an estimated value of USD 25.2 billion in 2023 (Grand View Research). The natural filtration process of artesian water results in exceptionally clean and contaminant-free water, appealing to consumers who prioritize water quality.

Premium Choices: Elevating Hydration

The premium choices in the water market include artisanal water, glacial water, and deep sea water. These offerings cater to consumers who seek not just hydration but a unique and luxurious experience. The segment of glacial water, for instance, boasts a remarkable valuation of USD 18.9 billion in 2023, emphasizing the growing appreciation for natural mineral water and the unique attributes of glacial water (Market Research Future). Water Sommeliers at restaurants can help patrons decide which pairing would work best with their meals, and boutique water bars have popped up across the globe with menus filled entirely with unique waters (Iceberg! Volcanic!).  Many luxury brands have also created their own branded, boutique water.  Packaging for these premium choices must convey the exclusivity and exceptional quality of their sources, ensuring that each sip is a journey into the world’s most exquisite (and exclusive) water sources.

Packaging Expertise in a Diverse World of Water Beverages

three plastic bottles with blue caps are lined up in a row

Water packaging companies have an array of options to consider when choosing the most suitable vessel for their products. Glass, plastic, and aluminum bottles are among the most common choices, each offering distinct advantages and considerations. Traditional aluminum cans, known for their durability and recyclability, have been growing in popularity as a sustainable choice for packaging water beverages. This surge in demand for aluminum cans can be attributed to their ability to maintain the freshness and purity of water while also being infinitely recyclable, reducing environmental impact. 

The lightweight and stackable nature of aluminum cans also makes them convenient for consumers on the go, aligning with modern lifestyles that prioritize convenience and sustainability in tandem. This versatility positions aluminum cans as a favorable choice for water packaging, appealing to both ecological and practical considerations. Moreover, innovative aluminum bottles have started to emerge, offering the lightweight and eco-friendly benefits of aluminum with a design that mimics the look and feel of traditional bottles.

Glass containers, on the other hand, provide a premium appearance, ideal for brands seeking an upscale image and different storage characteristics. They offer an unmistakable sense of quality and elegance, making them a perfect fit for water brands looking to position themselves as high-end or for products meant for special occasions. Beyond aesthetics, glass containers maintain the water’s taste integrity, ensuring that consumers experience a crisp and unaltered drinking experience. While glass bottles are undoubtedly heavier and more fragile than other options, their value as a symbol of sophistication and their role in preserving water’s natural taste are undeniable advantages in the beverage packaging landscape.  

many bottles of water are lined up in a row

For companies focused on convenience and accessibility, plastic bottles remain a practical option, thanks to their lightweight and easily recyclable nature. They are the go-to choice for water brands targeting consumers with active, on-the-go lifestyles who prioritize portability and durability. Moreover, plastic bottles are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing companies to cater to different market segments and offer a range of product volumes. Their affordability and shatter-resistant properties make them a reliable choice for brands that want to reach a broad consumer base, emphasizing convenience and affordability without compromising on the quality of the water within.

As the beverage market continues to evolve, plastic bottles serve as a versatile and cost-effective solution, providing a straightforward and accessible option for both businesses and consumers.The selection of the right packaging vessel depends on numerous factors, including brand positioning, product quality, environmental impact, and consumer preferences. Marketing considerations also play a crucial role, encompassing the type of liquid enclosed and the design and labeling of the bottles, all of which influence the packaging decision. Water packaging companies must meticulously evaluate these elements to determine the best choice for their specific product and target market.

Depalletizing Excellence: Ska Fabricating's Global Beverage Solutions

Ska Fab stands as a frontrunner in water container handling, accommodating an extensive range of materials, including plastic, glass, aluminum cans, and aluminum bottles. Our cutting-edge solutions seamlessly integrate with the equipment of all major filler companies, whether you’re in the business of bottling carbonated beverages, alcoholic beverages, still water, or beyond. 


For beverage companies both large and small, there are clear and immediate advantages to automating your packaging line that can save money and increase output for your entire operation.  The FHA 3000 Depalletizer, designed for plastic or metal containers, has become a staple in beverage facilities worldwide. Its precision and efficiency in unloading containers have earned it a reputation for streamlining operations and ensuring a seamless production process. 

Meanwhile, the FHA 5000 Depalletizer, compatible with glass, plastic, or metal containers, offers exceptional versatility, making it a popular choice for beverage companies with a wide range of product offerings. Its reliability and adaptability have made it an industry favorite for maintaining high production standards. 

a packaging machine with a yellow ladder leading up to it

For aluminum containers, the CIB Depalletizer stands out as a specialized solution, meeting the requirements of beverage facilities that prioritize the sustainability and recyclability of their materials. The CIB is the industry choice for both aluminum can or aluminum bottle filling. Ska Fabricating’s depalletizers have consistently demonstrated their quality and reliability – the trusted choice for beverage manufacturers around the globe.

Can depalletizer

For companies operating at high speeds with aluminum cans, the MAB Depalletizer emerges as the dependable choice. Designed to handle speeds ranging from 400 to 1,000+ cans per minute, the MAB offers a fully automated solution from the beginning to the end of the production process. It’s a preferred choice in a wide range of facilities, from independent operations to major co-packing sites, making it the ideal selection for businesses in search of an automated and high-speed packaging solution for aluminum cans.

Choose Ska Fab for Automated Beverage Packaging Machines

The beverage industry’s rapid evolution requires innovative solutions to meet consumer demands. Ska Fabricating offers a wide array of automated, semi-automated, and manual equipment for beverage production. Whether you are a beverage innovator looking. to expand your brand or a co-packer navigating the challenges of an ever-changing market, Ska Fab’s commitment to customer care and innovative solutions makes all the difference. With Ska Fabricating’s equipment, the water beverage industry, along with countless other beverage sectors, can continue. to thrive, adapt, and produce high-quality products that quench the thirst of consumers worldwide.

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