Added value is shaping the plastic closures market in Europe

Added value is shaping the… The outlook for the plastic closures market is positive with further output growth and increasing demand for added value and premium products shaping the landscape, according to a newly published report from industry consultants, AMI Consulting.

Plastic closures demand in Europe exceeded 230 billion units in 2014, up from 215 billion in 2010, with the fastest growing market segments being solid food and non-carbonated beverages.

In the last couple of years growth prospects have improved in tandem with the economic recovery in a number of European countries. "Brand owners are looking for a full packaging solution for their products in which the role of closures is increasingly valued," says Márta Babits, AMI Consulting's Consumer Packaging Market Analyst. "Well designed closures can improve product differentiation, aesthetics and functionality."

The caps & closures industry is becoming increasingly technology driven with rising levels of R&D investment and technical expertise required. Technology developments enable added value and premium products to be produced at lower cost and speed time-to-market.

Whereas beverages are still growing they now account for only 35% of the market, non-beverage applications are growing faster and provide a number of added-value and developing niches. The report identifies strong inter-polymer competition between polyethylene and polypropylene with the former gaining in beverages and the latter in non-beverages.

The structure of the industry is changing with consolidation underway driven by both organic growth and merges & acquisitions such as 3i Group acquiring Weener Packaging (WPPG) in July 2015. The largest producers in Europe include Alpla, Aptar, Bericap and Global Closure Systems.

AMI Consulting forecasts that demand overall will reach 256 billion units to 2019, a 2% CAGR 2014-2019, but growth in added value products will be well above the average. "Innovation is gaining importance in protecting and growing profitability and it will create opportunities for well informed and well organised companies," concluded Márta Babits.

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