Escalating interest globally in reducing water use and a growing preference by consumers is increasing demand for polypropylene foam pumps in cosmetics and toiletries. That's good news for companies like London-based consumer packaging giant Rexam plc.
We are experiencing higher demand, new orders and new customers, said Julie Vergnion, category manager for toiletries for the Rexam Personal Care Division. The market growth is potentially explosive.
At Pack Expo, held Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 in Chicago, Rexam announced it has added new molds that have increased capacity at its plant in Thomaston, Conn. That plant makes the firm's F2 PP foam pump.
We had to increase capacity to cover our additional needs because of some large orders from a U.S. personal-care products maker and for the increasing demand we see coming down the stream.
The Thomaston plant also makes mechanical foamers, as well as fragrance pumps and lotion pumps.
The increase in production capacity at the Thomaston plant continues the expansion and reshuffling of Rexam's U.S. manufacturing operations. In the last two years, Rexam has closed or announced the closings of six plants in the U.S.
Rexam also is expanding its workforce of 250 to 400 at its Hot Springs, Ark., plant that makes injection and compression molded plastic jars and closures, with some workers coming from closed facilities. It also opened a personal-care innovation center in Buffalo Grove, Ill., this year.
Vergnion said the market is looking for new applications for foam pumps.
Consumers are looking for new things, and a lot of them like foam pumps because you just need a little dose and you use less water, she said. It is very eco-friendly. One of the key trends at the moment is reducing water usage, and foam is a good answer.
That drive for new products extends into all its foam pump products. For example, the EZi mechanical foamer, engineered for one-handed use, moved onto the market one year ago with its first application a children's body wash product sold at retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart.
EZi activates with one squeeze, creates a foam without pumping and works without chemicals and propellants, said Casper Kleiman, foam product manager for the personal-care unit.