Mastio and Company forecasts 6% average annual growth for injection molded lids, caps, closures, and overcaps through 2006. Injection molded lids (non-threaded snap-ons), caps (threaded, non-dispensing closures), closures (threaded dispensing caps), and overcaps (rigid caps that snap over sprayers and pumps) consume about 1.7 billion lb of plastics

 

End Uses for Lids, Caps, Closures and Overcaps
Product Market
Soft-Drink Bottles
Household & Industrial Chemicals
Dairy Containers
Pails (Injection Molded)
Liquid Food Containers (Blow Molded)
Juices & Non-Carbonated Beverages
Consumer Food Containers (Injection Molded)
Personal Care & Cosmetics
Drums & Pails (Blow Molded)
Water Bottles
Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare
Motor Oil
Auto & Marine Fluids
Dry Foods
Agricultural Chemicals
Paint & Related Products
Total
% of Market
21.2
11.8
10.4
9.2
8.3
6.9
5.8
5.0
4.1
4.1
4.0
3.5
2.6
1.4
1.2
0.4
100

 Mastio and Company forecasts 6% average annual growth for injection molded lids, caps, closures, and overcaps through 2006. Injection molded lids (non-threaded snap-ons), caps (threaded, non-dispensing closures), closures (threaded dispensing caps), and overcaps (rigid caps that snap over sprayers and pumps) consume about 1.7 billion lb of plastics. That amount is predicted to grow to well over 2 billion lb by 2006.

Some of the larger end-use markets for lids, caps, and closures are itemized in the accompanying table. The sectors that are growing fastest are containers for juices, soft drinks, consumer foods, and water. Other sectors are growing at about the same rate as the economy overall. Growth of lids, caps, and closures depends not only on the growth of container end-use markets, but also on trends in glass replacement, new food and beverage product introductions, and general packaging trends.

 

Packaging trends

Earlier this year, the restaurant industry was affected by the slow economy and post 9/11 fears. People were staying home and not eating out as much. The result may have been slower growth of institutional containers and lids used in restaurants, but also increased consumption of bottled water and of eat-at-home prepared foods in containers with lids and caps.

Today’s busy consumers demand convenience, which favors dispensing closures and flexible lids that are easy to open and close. Mobile consumers also need containers they can take with them. For example, single-serve plastic beverage bottles have become very popular. Overcaps for personal-care and cosmetic products are also very important to consumers on the go. Overcaps protect sprayers and pumps and keep them from dispensing product while packed in a suitcase.

Containers and lids once made of glass or metal are now mostly made of plastic. Over the next few years, the few remaining holdouts—such as metal caps on pickles, olives, and sauces—will convert largely to plastics.

Dispensing closures are another popular packaging trend for foods. We will see more dispensing closures on condiments over the next few years. Heinz and Hunts ketchup brands and Hidden Valley salad dressings now come in an inverted squeeze bottle with the lid and dispenser on the bottom for easy emptying of the container.

Among the fastest growing injection molded caps are those for beverage bottles. Many manufacturers are experiencing double-digit growth (10% to 15%/yr) in caps for water bottles. Beverage manufacturers are seeking to spur the market with with “super waters” embellished with health-oriented additives such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, ginseng, guarana, and even an additive to fight meno pause symptoms.

Another area of growth is tamper-evident caps and lids for foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. Manufacturers are also coming up with child-proof or child-resistant caps for baby oils, cleaning products, and other household chemicals.

 

PP tops lid/cap market

Polypropylene is still the most-used resin for lids, caps, closures, and overcaps. PP usage in this market is predicted to grow over 9% per year and will represent about 45% of total resin consumed for lids, caps, etc. by 2006. Polyethylene, primarily LDPE, is also widely used in this market.

Mastio & Company, based in St. Joseph, Mo., is a well-known consulting firm specializing in industrial-consumer opinion research and market trends in the plastics industry. For more information, call (816) 364-6200 or visit www.mastio.com/pt/outlook.html.