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FLEXO Magazine : March 2010
16 FLEXO MARCH 2010 www.flexography.org INDUSTRY INDICATORS PMMI's "Beverage Packaging Market Assessment: A Benchmark Study " is based on interviews with 71 leading beverage manufacturers and packaging supply chain solutions providers, as well as other secondary source research. The study was designed for PMMI members to illustrate the trends and opportunities for all supply chain partners. Non-members can purchase the report for $3,500, at PMMI.org. For more information, contact Paula Feld- man, director of surveys & research: pfeldman@pmmi. org or 703-243-8555. PMMI is a trade association with more than 530 member companies that manufacture packaging, processing and related converting machinery, commer- cially-available packaging machinery components, con- tainers and materials in the United States and Canada. PMMI's vision is to be the leading global resource for packaging, and its mission is to improve and promote members' abilities to meet the needs of their customers. the future, the report shows that manufacturers are looking to their packaging suppliers for more aggressive time frames in delivering the equipment necessary to provide the latest container innovations. In response to the market demand for beverages in many different package types and sizes, bever- age manufacturers are asking for flexible machines that can work with several types of packaging options and sizes. According to PMMI, developing and offering versatile packag- ing equipment may be key to gaining sales. This includes the ability to handle multiple designs, sizes and materials, which presents beverage manufactures with the benefits of reduced production line changes, greater space utilization, and reduced downtime and change outs. Further, packaging companies offering superior service and support will be able to address an unmet need of many beverage manufacturers, it claims. CARBONATED SOFT DRINKS Some carbonated soft drink respondents see their industry stepping up to address health concerns by developing a wide variety of healthy niche products that align with the consumer preferences of "fun" and "good for you." Across all segments, the study shows green packaging as a trend, but carbonated soft drink respondents differentiated themselves by stating that their segment will more quickly be moving away from glass and aluminum in favor of biodegradable plastic. For enhanced safety measures, respondents expect the traceability of products to be greatly bolstered, to the point where each primary ingredient will be traceable. While trace- ability of primary ingredients was a growing challenge from the safety point of view, there is far less if any mention about traceability related to packaging. WATER A concern within the bottled water industry is that the secondary packaging most often used on multi-packs was too flimsy and did not provide adequate protection to the water bottles. Respondents were mixed on whether or not to prioritize green packaging so that it becomes a marketing advantage or to simply be compliant in future regulations. In regards to standards, many respondents believe that sanitation will be the center of attention to ensure water sup- plies and bottling processes are safe. NON-CARBONATED SOFT DRINKS Diverging from most other areas, the report claims this category will see packaging shifting toward a "less is more" philosophy. Packaging is expected to be focused on simplicity with fewer frills in labeling. Some even believe that containers will be designed to be reusable to minimize the carbon foot- print. Cost is definitely a concern for nearly all respondents but non-carbonated soft drink companies specifically stated that they want help acquiring new packaging equipment through better financing options from packaging suppliers. Some of the new packaging equipment purchases will be made to upgrade labeling equipment as some non-carbonated soft drink manufacturers complained that they are having prob- lems correctly placing labels on bottles in exactly the right place. BEER, WINE & SPIRITS Respondents as a whole in this segment see a trend to create a more premium image of their products, according to PMMI. For beer manufacturers, the establishment of microbrewery-type products and innovation in the varieties of beer have created a demand for packaging to better distinguish brands. This is resulting in faster label and packaging innovation. There is also an expected resurgence of aluminum bottle packaging to help reduce weight while continuing to protect the product. On the wine and spirits side, the move toward premium is a major race. This is creating a resurgence of unique bottle types and premium closures which represent a notable challenge to packaging suppliers. This trend has no major sign of slowing. Looking to the supply chain, the largest concerns are with the quality of glass that beverage manufactures are receiv- ing. For beverage manufacturers that use glass containers, providing a more durable product would trump the demand for lighter product. A nuance for the spirits industry is that a wide majority of respondents believe that taxes through government regula- tion are going to change the beverage packaging industry by forcing smaller beverage manufactures out of business. ENERGY DRINKS Energy drink manufacturers see their corner of the beverage industry as a hyper-competitive market driven by a young con- sumer group on an endless quest for something different for the sake of being different. In response to this perspective, energy drink manufacturers stood out from the pack in that they appear to hold the most innovative vision for beverage packaging. The report indicates that packaging is a way to not just dif- ferentiate from other beverages, but also differentiate to the level of being exotic and a fashion statement for its drinkers. An unuti- lized way to offer value and appeal to consumers with more of a fresh face multiple times a year is through seasonal packaging. JUICE Similar to energy drink manufacturers, those in the juice segment were much more vocal in seeing packaging as an area to be very different and stand out from the pack with truly innovative packaging, the study shows. This segment also believes that it will buck the trend of reducing package sizes by developing larger consumer packages to differenti- ate and demonstrate value. Juice manufacturers are expected to drive packaging solutions that increase shelf life of juices and offer a premium drink appearance.
Sustainable Winter 2010