Created in 2005 by Emballage, the Packaging Observatory offers insight each year into the French economic sector, covering the entire industry (from purchasers, manufacturers and distributors) to anticipate developments in packaging.
The F&B sector is showing greater confidence
It surveyed 565 people in October last year broken down into; packaging user and purchaser industries (63%); packaging manufacturers (18.5%) and manufacturers and distributors of packaging, handling and logistics machinery and equipment (18.5%).
According to Annette Freidinger-Legay, consultant, ALL4PACK Paris and international packaging expert, the F&B sector is showing greater confidence, with 68% of respondents forecasting output rises compared to 62% in 2014 with 56% of machinery and equipment manufacturers optimistic for the future.
Convenience is still the leading factor, followed by design and recyclability and use of recycled materials at third place with 40%.
“Design is starting to become important again at 49%, notably in the food and drink sector and beauty,” said Freidinger-Legay.
“This could stem from the “image cult”, the need to “put the magic back into buying” or the assertion of the brand personality as essential to help it stand out from the competition.
“44% of all purchasers wish to have outer packaging with their brand on it – this rises to 49% for buyers in food and beverages.”
The outlook for 2016-2018: found 63% of purchasers and manufacturers of packaging foresee an increase in their output in the three coming years (compared with 60% and 58% in 2014).
26% of purchasers say they have introduced measures to mitigate the risk of plastic raw material shortfall (increasing the number of supply sources, ordering more long-term, taking out hedging contracts or using alternatives to these materials). However, 46% say are not affected by the threat.
Materials prices and operating margins
The survey found there is greater confidence regarding materials prices and operating margins.
Two thirds of buyers expect to see packaging prices either remain stable or drop, further supporting this optimism.
This confidence is shared by packaging manufacturers, 65% of whom expect their operating margin to be sustained whereas only 49% held this view in 2013.
This positive impact leads to perspectives of increased job creation and investment, with in 2015 respectively 25% (versus 20% in 2014) and 44% (versus 32%).
More machinery and equipment manufacturers expect their profit levels to rise: 24% in 2015 (compared with 20% in 2014 and 2013). This should also stimulate employment: 35% expect more jobs to be created (as against 28% in 2014); and more investment: 28% of 2015 respondents foresee an increase (14% in 2014).
The acute packaging cost increase spell which started in 2011 has led to some customer-supplier relations being deeply transformed.
49% of manufacturers do not feel affected. 29% have taken mitigation action, including initiatives such as: material substitution, including bio-sourced materials, increasing supply sources, preventive stockpiling, and greater incorporation of recycled matter which becomes an adjustment variable in value and tonnage.
Only 29% of packaging manufacturers rely on export to obtain growth, and target the UK and Belgium above the rest.
35% of machinery and equipment manufacturers aim to export, primarily towards North Africa, which confirms the zone’s position as the leading target region for export development.
The main competitors for manufacturers and equipment suppliers continue to be found in Germany and Italy, with the USA and Canada emerging in the machinery segment just behind China.
63% of all buyers are today working on projects for 2015-2016; 89% are working on projects in luxury goods, 88% of all buyers will innovate between now and 2018.
In alignment with the transformation of the trade shows EMBALLAGE and ANUTENTION and their change of denomination to ALL4PACK Paris, the Observatoire de l’Emballagehas become the Observatoire ALL4PACK.
The survey was conducted for the trade show ALL4PACK Paris – Comexposium Group by Goudlink/MRCC.