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Plastics packaging leads the way

By Simon Pitman , 16-May-2006

Although the US market for personal care packaging is a largely mature and stagnant sector, plastics containers is one area where there is still expected to be considerable market development in the future.

Currently the market for personal care packaging is estimated to be valued at $3.04bn, however revenues are expected to grow to $3.97bn by 2012, due mainly to considerable activity in the category for plastic containers.

Breaking this figure down reveals the fact that the plastics container category accounts for $2.73bn of the current total market value, a figure that is expected to grow to $3.60bn by 2012, indicating just how important this category is.

Within the personal care sector packaging is considered to be a highly effective tool for brand differentiation and promotion. And it is plastic packaging that personal care manufacturers can tap find the scope and flexibility to achieve this aim with a minimal cost.

The figures and market trends, sourced from the latest Frost and Sullivan Market report, entitled US Personal Care Packaging Market, show that the industry is still in a transitional phase, whereby most mass produced personal care products have now made the switch from other materials such as glass and metal, in favor of plastic.

This trend is expected to continue over the coming years, accounting for the majority of the increase in the plastic containers category.

Other trends that are expected to fuel growth, according to the report, are the increasing trend towards on-the-go products for certain types of products such as cosmetics and sun lotions.

Likewise growth in categories such as male grooming and anti-aging products is also expected to provide further opportunities in the coming years.

The rise of the eco- and environmentally-friendly consumer could also influence the growth of the plastics category as this type of packaging is also highly recyclable.

Looking to the future, the report emphasizes a number of challenges which the industry is expected to face. These include pricing pressures, which should lead to lower profit margins, together with the rise of multinational customers seeking global expansion and packaging industry consolidation, which is expected to hit smaller and medium-sized players.

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