ATLANTA — The Brazilian packaging market has grown 51 percent in the past seven years, and the region remains an attractive market, according to two prominent Brazilian packaging officials.
Brazil will pull out of its recession in 12-18 months, predicts Sergio Haberfeld, president of the Latin American Packaging Association (ULADE) and chairman of Dixie Toga SA in SÃo Paulo. He spoke at Packaging Strategies '99, held March 22-24 in Atlanta.
Brazil is about a $10 billion packaging market, with about one-third of that packaging going into plastic, he said.
PET has strong potential to replace glass in custom and soft drink packaging, and flexible packaging remains strong, but both trailed aluminum as the fastest-growing packaging material between 1990 and 1997, said JoÃo Ces r Ribeiro, managing director of the Institute for Consultancy in Marketing & Market Measurement Ltd.
``There remains considerable potential for PET,'' Ribeiro said. ``Major segments of the custom markets, including edible oils, mineral water, and nonfood categories, are virtually untouched. With anticipated purchases of equipment, we think PET will have an opportunity to double its production ... in four to five years.''
Cosmetic packaging is also a growth market, he said.
Haberfeld also said Brazil and Latin America have sizable populations with incomes equal to parts of the developed world, opening up strong markets even as the rest of the population remains mired in poverty.
About 20 percent of the population of Latin America has 50-60 percent of the wealth, making a market of about 85 million people with per-capita incomes of about US$15,000, Haberfeld said.
``I know it is not so good, but it is a market,'' Haberfeld said. ``If you are a socialist, you will not like these numbers. If you are a capitalist like I am, you will love them.''
Both analysts predict Brazil's economy soon will turn around and resume the steady growth it had seen for the previous five years.
Haberfeld said the government will stick to its course of austerity. Ribeiro agreed, noting that Brazil's decision to float its currency will produce short-term pain, but is the best way to produce long-term growth and stability and end the economic crisis.
``We really believe soon this situation will be over in Brazil, particularly in packaging,'' Ribeiro said.