I recently tuned into an interesting webinar from Packaging Digest, on the topic of global packaging opportunities. It included some useful content I wanted to share with you.
I’m already an advocate of companies taking the plunge and selling more overseas, but relatively few do it, especially if they’re US-based. Why? A huge domestic market, fear of the unknown, concerns about protecting intellectual property, language and cultural barriers, finance – there are dozens of reasons.
But the arguments FOR going global are incontrovertible. Although the United States is the world’s largest packaging market today, its growth is far slower than in other regions. The days of making “easy” money at home, year after year, are finite.
At the same time, demographic and social change clearly shows where the opportunities lie. The PMMI has worked with Euromonitor to explore recent and anticipated developments which will steer the packaging market of the future.
Looking back, several countries, including China, Indonesia, India, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Egypt registered growth in retail packaging values of more than 5% last year. Brazil and Argentina, the two largest South American markets, grew nearly that fast. In the US, the rate was less than 1%.
This year for the first time, the GDP of emerging and developing economies will match that of developed ones.
And looking forward, population growth and the expansion of the middle classes are two key factors in packaging demand. According to UN statistics, the population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach almost 1.9 billion by 2050 – an increase of 195% in 50 years. Asia, with its middle classes already multiplying rapidly, will have a population exceeding 5 billion, up 38%.
A final and very pertinent point to note. Even if you haven’t gone global yet, your competitors probably have. European packaging suppliers don’t have the luxury of enormous domestic markets that can sustain their businesses long-term. They’ve been seeking and exploiting international opportunities for years.
So don’t sit back and watch others reap the rewards. In the words of Thomas Schneider, WPO president, have a vision, have courage, and have an open attitude. Internationalising your business really can bring global success.
My thanks to the World Packaging Organisation and the PMMI for their insight into the global packaging market.
Helping industrial companies go global is what we do. If you’d like to talk about how BDB can help you make the most of tomorrow’s opportunities through effective marketing communications, get in touch. Or tell us about your experiences or expectations of an increasingly global packaging market.
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