Open For New Materials: Ceresana analyzes the European market for closures

Ceresana has analyzed the European market for closures in regard to the most diverse applications, for example the segments lemonades, water, fruit juices, beer, wine & spirits, but also foodstuffs or cosmetics & pharma. In the recently published study the market researchers forecast European demand for these everyday products to rise to about 460 billion units by 2021.

Plastics On The Rise

Thanks to low weight and high versatility, plastics for packaging often offer cost advantages, facilitate handling and processing and open up new design options. Plastic containers are usually combined with a plastic closure. The quality improves continuously, so it is no surprise they are gaining access to more and more packaging segments. The market for plastic closures can profit from the rise of one-way PET bottles in particular; rising demand for bottled water and smaller packaging sizes as well as dispensing systems will provide further important stimuli to growth in the future. Correspondingly, materials traditionally used for closures, e.g. aluminum, tinplate or cork, are losing market shares. In the segment cosmetics and pharma, the strong increase of demand for plastic packaging comes at the expense of glass containers. One advantage for manufacturers is the fact that plastic, as a universal material, can be used for virtually all types of packaging. As a result, the market for plastic closures is not linked as closely to specific packaging means as are, for example, crown corks to the sale of beer bottles. The segment wine, however, is an exception: it is becoming more and more common to use metal closures.

But What About Cork?

Wine closures made from cork (either one-piece or agglomerated cork) were not facing serious competition for a long time. But nowadays plastic and especially metal are used in order to reduce costs and limit negative effects natural cork might have on the taste of the wine. In Spain, Italy, France and Portugal, the key growing area of cork oaks, on the other hand, the substitution for plastic and metal closures proceeds much more slowly. These regions have traditionally been growing wines that require properties specific to cork closures, e.g. exchange of oxygen, for afterripening processes. Yet in other countries, for example Greece and Austria, the market share of cork fell rapidly. The largest growth market currently is the segment aluminum screw caps: They are highly practical as no cork screws are needed to open the bottle and, if necessary, the bottle can be reclosed easily.

General Trends Necessitating Innovations

The market for closures is subject to, e.g., governmental regulations, but also general trends such as convenience, rising women–s employment, sustainability or lightweighting. In many industrialized countries, effects of the economic crisis such as a rising unemployment rate and subsequent decline of available income are playing a role, as is demographic development. Ceresana expects demand for more complex closures such as tamper-evident closures and dispensers to rise. The industry maintains its focus on lightweighting, since lighter closures will reduce consumption of raw materials, transport costs and impact on the environment. Childproof closures are becoming more important in the growth market pharma especially. The aging population in many countries renders easy-opening and also easy-resealing more important. Dispenser system will have to guarantee an even better dosing and handling in this regard.

The Study in Brief:

This study analyzed the European market for caps and closures. Only products manufactured for a relatively short time of use and are combined with disposable articles are examined. These include screw caps and crown corks for jars, bottles and canisters, closures for cosmetic products, aerosol caps, trigger sprayers for perfumes, pharmaceuticals or household cleaning products. Not covered in this study are: durable closures for robust packaging such as Tupperware, O-rings for closures such as heads of heavy plop swing-top closures for beer bottles, or protective covers for technical applications like covers for threads.
Chapter 1 lists demand, production, import and export of closures for Europe as a whole as well as 21 individual countries. The data are divided by the materials plastic, metal and cork – and by applications.
Chapter 2 provides a substantiated analysis of individual applications for closures: Data on demand development in the segments lemonades, water, fruit juices, other non-alcoholic beverages, beer, wine & spirits, food and cosmetics & pharma as well as other applications for 21 European countries is given.
Chapter 3 clearly illustrates demand for individual materials (plastics, metal, and cork), split by 21 European countries.
Chapter 4 provides profiles of the largest manufacturers, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites and profile summary. Extensive profiles of 85 manufacturers are provided, including ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG, Amcor Flexibles Europe & Americas, Aptar Group, Berry Plastics Corporation, Crown Holdings, DS Smith PLC, Inc., Gerresheimer AG, Hoffman Neopac AG, Huhtamaki Oyi, MeadWestvaco, Rexam Plc, Reynolds Group, Riwisa AG, RPC Group Plc, Silgan Holdings.

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