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Ready-to-eat foods drive demand for packaging metal
Tuesday, 21 September, 2010, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai

Worldwide consumer goods packaging market has witnessed a sturdy growth over the past few years, translating into healthy demand for packaging products including metal cans, and containers.

A report titled “Metal Packaging Materials: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of industry overview, market trends, technological innovations, new product introductions, recent industry activity, and profiles of market players worldwide.

Analysis has been presented for major geographic markets such as the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and rest of world.

Market analytics are provided in terms of dollar (value) for product segments including aluminum, tinplate and steel. The study also presents historic data for an insight into market evolution over the period 2000 through 2006.

Growing number of consumers inclined towards economical and ready-to-eat food have been instrumental in raising the demand for metal packaging materials. Food manufacturers have been quick to respond to the changing requirements by offering single-serve packs with attractive packaging. Metal can manufacturers are offering new convenient and easy-to-use containers that come with resealable metal lids, pull-tab lids, twist tops, as well as rectangular cans with an innovative peelable opening mechanism. Further, food manufacturers are focused on attracting young customers with lightweight, attractive and colourful packing materials. Advancements in packaging technology, which has helped metal cans offer improved functionality and storage features, has also been a major factor triggering growth in the soft drinks end-use sector.

A major issue that is likely to be of concern to the packaging industry in the near future is safety of food being packaged. The microwave packaging innovations, related to healthy living, are forecast to witness increasing favour in the market. Steaming technology that cooks food in microwave packaging is also expected to garner higher consumer interest towards such foods.

In the wake of recession, factors such as slow economic growth, higher private label branding, rising awareness about food safety and ever-changing consumer preferences are all expected to have a major impact on the packaging market. The economic downturn had an adverse affect on new product introductions in the US and UK food and drinks packaging markets. Product introductions witnessed a significant 30% decline in 2009 as compared to the corresponding period in 2008. Consumer flexible packaging market was also hit by the global recession in 2008 and 2009.

As stated by the new market research report on metal packaging materials, Europe represents the largest market worldwide. The region is driven by growth and proliferation of metal packaging in European markets such as Poland, Turkey, Germany, UK, France, among others. The US and Asia-Pacific follow as the next significant metal packaging markets globally. In terms of growth, increasing usage and demand for packaging in Brazil and Mexico are expected to propel Latin America as the fastest growing market worldwide. China and India are the other markets in the Asia-Pacific region promising high growth trends, particularly with regard to flexible packaging.

The world metal packaging materials market is defined by three broad classification types, Aluminum, Tinplate and Steel. Among the product segments, the fastest growing is Tinplate, which is forecast to witness a surge in demand through 2015, notwithstanding the economic slowdown. New wave of innovations in the overall packaging business as well emergence of lucrative markets in developing countries will drive growth in the global tinplate market. On the other hand, Aluminum retains leadership position as the single largest market for metal packaging materials worldwide.

The global packaging materials market consists of a sizeable number of large and medium-sized manufacturers, competing fiercely for a greater share of the pie. The market in most parts of the globe is witnessing a restructuring exercise, with increased number of strategic alliances and consolidation driving future growth and product innovations. Key market participants include Rio Tinto Alcan, Alcoa Inc, Amcor Ltd, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., Ball Corp., Crown Holdings, Inc, Hoe Chong Tin Pte Ltd, Pactiv Corp., Rexam Plc, Semiconductor Packaging Materials Corp., Silgan Holdings Inc, Sonoco Products Company and Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Ltd.
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