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An overriding theme for glass packaging is that of reduced growth opportunities in mature regions and mature product categories. Fast-developing economies in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa regions, meanwhile, are pivotal in supporting current and forecast global volume sales growth for glass.
As disposable incomes increases amongst these dynamic economies and the retail infrastructure continues to develop, a subsequent rise in consumption of packaged food and beverages drives growth of glass.
Alcoholic drinks are an especially important determining factor of glass bottle performance, alone accounting for 63% of global, retail, glass packaging consumption in 2009. Quality, tradition and consumer acceptance dictates the strength of glass, however glass is coming under pressure in beer and spirits as consumption reaches saturation in the larger developed markets, whilst holding its own in wine.
The influence of competing pack formats impacts glass share as dynamic packaging performer, lightweight PET, offers consumers a conveniently lightweight pack, suited to the on-the-go lifestyle.
Harshest impact on glass is seen in carbonates and bottled water sales. The global glass stronghold of spirits is additionally seeing pack substitution in favour of PET amongst more economy lines, most apparent in North America. Beverage can advances in beer and more niche packaging developments exist to challenge the dominance of glass in wine.
The growing consumer trend towards eating and entertaining at home, itself being furthered by tightened consumer spending in the weaker economic climate is promoting greater packaging growth in the off-trade channel as against weaker on-trade performance.
This cocooning trend is producing retail growth for glass in its key alcoholic drinks categories of beer, wine and spirits. In developed regions, positive growth for glass is further observed in sauces, dressings and condiments.
In particular, table sauces, pickled products and pasta/wet/cooking sauces respond to a widening consumer interest in other world cuisines whilst Asia Pacific’s rise in purchases of packaged, branded products is a further driver for forecast glass growth.