by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : March 2010
12 FLEXO MARCH 2010 www.flexography.org Outlook for Flexible Packaging Results of a PMMI Study Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) recently unveiled the results of its 2009 Flexible Packag- ing Market Research Study. The report summarizes the comments and opinions of 43 packaging professionals re- garding their current usage of flexible packaging and outlook for future growth. The data presents the decisions companies are facing since flexible packaging for many products offers cost efficiencies and the opportunity to test new materials. Packaging professionals talk about how these changes affect their future machine purchases. Nearly half of the companies participating in this report have reached their level of flexible packaging usage for the next 12 months and do not predict further growth in flexible packaging. Company professionals in the report share their opinions, trends affecting their decisions and their future outlook from the following industries: food (snack food, bakery, confectionery, cereals, frozen food and meat), pet food, infant and children's nutritional products, personal care and beauty products, phar- maceuticals and OTC (over-the-counter) products. Forty-one percent of manufacturers surveyed stated that they are implementing lighter weight flexible packaging as one of their cost saving solutions. The greatest growth for flexible packaging in the near future is in the food industry, where 53 percent of the companies are moving toward increasing usage of flexible packaging; predominantly using the stand-up pouch. Flexible packaging reduces the overall unit package cost, with some companies achieving higher margins. However, the decreasing value of the U.S. dollar in a fluctuating world economy is translating, for some, into decreased operating profits. Factor in consumer reluctance to spend and delays in capital funding, and it's no wonder why packaging profes- sionals are leaning on industry suppliers to help them imple- ment the most cost efficient solutions with a focus on innova- tive product differentiation. POSITIONING FOR THE FUTURE As packaging materials change it affects the operation of a machine. Getting the material supplier, the machine builder and the manufacturer to speak the same language is an industry challenge for everyone. How can suppliers position themselves for growth? Some manufacturing companies have an innovation week, others work closely with the material suppliers and some rely on the machine builder to test new materials. Even though there is no industry protocol, 69 percent of the manufacturing companies said they do collaborate with industry suppliers and machine builders to create the best package, using the most efficient materials to run on the most optimum machine. Sev- eral companies stated that they rely on material suppliers more often than machine builders to bring them innovative ideas. How companies are sourcing machinery and supplies is a subject to examine closely. An estimated 72 percent of com- panies claim to have purchase intentions in the next 12 to 24 months. This may seem out of line with the economic decline and the fact that many industry suppliers are reporting a shortfall in sales. To better substantiate the claims of purchase intention, the study probes further. Of the 28 companies who reported purchase intention, 17--- or 61 percent--- predict spending more on capital equipment in the next 12 months than in the previous year. INDUSTRY INDICATORS The Future is as Close as Tomorrow • Strengthen alliances with customers to gain a com- plete understanding of the packaging challenges they face. • Seek out customer relationships in niche markets that are experiencing increased production. • Stay up-to-date on emerging materials that will affect the package of the future. • Stay attuned to regulation changes for food and pharmaceutical traceability, labeling laws, as well as materials and emissions legislation that could affect future packaging changes. • Packaging industry professionals continue to juggle numerous variables to package their products in more sustainable, innovative and profitable containers. • Manufacturers' number-one priority is to bring con- sumer products to market at an ever decreasing cost using methods of reducing the thickness of material, testing new plastics and producing smaller container sizes that save on transportation costs.
Sustainable Winter 2010