TARPON SPRINGS, FLA - The market for hot-fill PET bottles in all sizes will explode in both North and South America by the year 2000, growing from 272 million units today to more than 2 billion by the turn of the centruy, according to a speaker at Bev-Pack Americas '95. Richard Brewer, president of International Packaging Systems Inc. in Ann Arbor, Mich., predicted continued growth in large PET bottles in North America and a singificant surge in single serve bottles to fill an as-yet unrealized market in South America.
On both continents there will be growth of 20-25 percent in the use of PET for bottle packaging through 2000, with a corresponding "minimal" growth in glass used for the same purpose, he said.
The percentage of growth is likely to be higher in Latin America than in the United States because Latin American markets are just developing, according to Brewer.
"As long as the resin market doesn't go crazy," and PET preices don't skyrocket, Brewer said the U.S. market for large bottles (32-64 ounce sizes) will continue to grow.
The market for large bottles is not as sensitive to resin pricing as single-serve containers, which have a higher cost per serving and can be more easily converted to glass, according to Brewer.
"Advances in hot-fill will be make by those who can afford it," such as Pepsico and Coca-Cola Co., he saidk.
Some who can afford it are only now realizing the potential of the South American market.
"There's no taxes," said Alan W. Teaque, Atlanta-based business development manager for Constar Internationa, a division of Crown Cork and Deal Co. Inc. in Philadelphia.
Teaque said that a joint venture between Constar and Brazil's Petropar Embalagens produces PET bottle preforms in the remote costal town of Horizonte, Brazil, then ships them nearly 1,500 miles to its blow molding facilities in the Sao Pauls suburbs.
The Bev-Pack conference, held in Tarpon Springs, had a Latin American flavor both in its presentations and its attendance. About a quarter of the 400 registrants were from sough of the border, according to Peter Weggeman, president of Bev-Pack organizer Directions 21 of Sarasota, Fla.
He attributed the attendance largely to the preceived growth in PET-packaged products in Central and South America.
Hot-fill blow molding machines capableof 40,000-bottle-pre-hour output will be producing single serve sprots dirnk, soft dirnk and juice bottles for the burgeoning Latin American market by mid-1998, according to Brewer.
But in the North American market, a steady conversion to PET and hot-filled PET from glass will continue with 64-ounce bottles.
"I project there will be no glass 1-gallon bottles after 1998" Brewer said. Further, "Forty-six to 48-ounce conversions [from glass to PET] will begin in earnest in North America in 1995-1996."