The use of caps and closures will continue to be driven by the rise in closure-intensive plastic packaging at the expense of closureless containers such as metal cans. These include single-serve milk cartons with plastic resealable closures, as well as hot-fill containers for sauces, pickles and soups. Caps and closures are also increasingly used in conjunction with traditionally closureless forms of packaging such as gable-top, aseptic drink cartons and plastic pouches.
Frost & Sullivan (chemicals.frost.com) finds that the Western Europe Caps and Closures Markets earned revenues of €2,292.5 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach €2,822.0 million in 2013.
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“Caps and closures are often the key for consumers to use and access many packaged products,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Kumud Verma. “The primary requirements of caps and closures have stretched beyond reliable closure performance.”
Besides offering leak-proofness, caps and closures provide visual appeal, easy-open convenience and brand differentiation. Moreover, performance features of plastic caps and closures such as anti-counterfeiting in tamper evident closures are highly valued.
In addition, there exists a high level of innovation to increase the reliability offered by caps and closures. Caps and closures are designed to support features such as convenience of use, child resistance and senior friendliness. Caps and closures producers are increasingly using product features to claim a premium price.
Caps and closures are increasingly used in combination with other packaging to offer product differentiation, branding and shelf appeal. They are an integral part of packaging and are continuously evolving to accommodate changing customer preferences. The demand from customers is for creative solutions that will fulfil the design concept, while meeting high standards of freshness and protection.
Over the past years, energy and raw material costs have increased due to the twin pressures of expanding global demand and tight supplies. The escalating market price of plastic resins, which are used to produce plastic caps and closures, is squeezing profit margins. In addition, there has been the unprecedented rise in the cost of energy, which has also contributed to increasing operating costs. Thus, caps and closures companies will have to cope with rising energy costs, and add value to their offering, while keeping prices constant.
“Balancing profitability amid price wars and the increasing costs of energy and raw materials is the key challenge faced by companies,” remarks Verma. “As a consequence, suppliers have embarked on far-reaching cost-cutting programs to maintain profitability in the business.”
Despite the challenge, a positive trend has been the transition of the market to higher value products, such as dispensing closures and tamper evident closures. Rising raw material costs due to increasing demand from China, as well as the use of value-added configurations such as like child-resistant closures and dispensing systems, which also tend to employ an additional secondary overcap, will drive the average prices upward.
Western Europe Caps and Closures Markets is part of the Chemicals and Materials Subscription, which also includes research in the following markets: plastic caps and closures, metal caps and closures. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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