BRUSSELS (Nov. 26, 10:50 a.m. ET) — — The global caps and closures market showed only some movement last year with 2 percent growth, said industry analyst Dominic Cakebread at the Caps and Closures Conference.
Cakebread, director of packaging services at research group Canadean, said fluctuations in the economy, despite a slight recovery in Europe in early 2011, means the industry has not shown significant changes in terms of growth.
“There were some recent signs of a pickup in Europe and North American in the third quarter this year but the overall situation remains fragile and pretty mixed,” he said.
Cakebread also noted that the long-term drivers of market change, for example population growth and urbanization, do not really change.
Asia is still the largest market for caps and closures, followed by North American and then Europe. Latin America is just behind Europe in terms of sales and is rapidly catching up with the region, while eastern Europe fell back slightly in 2011.
In terms of type of material, plastics are still dominant, accounting for 46 percent of the market in 2011, up from 37 percent in 2003.
Moving forward, there needs to be more innovations in terms of technology, which are “the enablers of packaging”, said Cakebread.
“There are market drivers – governments and consumers – but we also need new technologies to drive change,” he said.
Technological innovations are particularly important during this time of economic slowdown, as manufacturers are looking to spend less but achieve a higher technical performance. Improvements in existing materials, processing and filling technologies can also help firms address environmental concerns, he added.
The Plastics Caps and Closures Conference — Europe 2012 was hosted by European Plastics News and took place Nov. 20-21 in Brussels.