Your Business Outlook - February 2006

Mastiogale’s most recent blow molding market study reveals modest but improved growth for blow molded consumer packaging.

Mastiogale’s most recent blow molding market study reveals modest but improved growth for blow molded consumer packaging. Processors predict that this market will prosper during 2006 and growth will remain healthy over the following two years.

At approximately 7.1 billion lb, blow molded consumer packaging represented 64% of total blow molding resin consumed in 2005. With a predicted average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 6.1%, this market is expected to reach 8.6 billion lb in 2008.

PET resin accounts for 60% of the resin in consumer blow molded packaging and HDPE is almost 34%. PET is growing especially fast at 7.3%/yr.

The top five producers of blow molded consumer packaging are Plastipak Packaging, Owens-Illinois, Amcor PET Packaging North America, Consolidated Containers Co., and Dean Foods.


Soft drinks beat milk

Soft-drink bottles are the largest sector of this market, reaching 1.8 billion lb in 2005 and headed for 2 billion lb by 2008 with a 4.2% AAGR. The second largest sector is dairy containers at 1.1 billion lb. With an AAGR of 3.2%, they are predicted to climb to 1.2 billion lb in 2008.

Liquid food containers are expected to have average growth of 6.7% and add 232 million lb to its current consumption level of 1.08 billion lb by 2008. Since the economy is predicted to remain healthy, consumers tend to dine out more, thereby increasing demand for bulk liquid food containers utilized by commercial establishments.

Juice and non-carbonated beverage bottles reached 1.07 billion lb in 2005 and are predicted to go up 7.0%/yr over the next three years. Increased health consciousness in our society is one factor, as is the introduction of new beverage flavor combinations and single-serve bottles. In fact, single-serve juices and juice-flavored drinks are the largest and fastest-growing sector in barrier PET containers.


Water grows fastest

Although not the largest beverage bottle market, water bottles are the fastest growing sector of consumer blow molded containers. Water bottles were estimated at 1.02 billion lb in 2005 with an AAGR of 11.7% that would take them to 1.4 billion lb by 2008. The hurricanes of last fall stimulated a surge in demand for water bottles. Growing popularity of flavored water is also spurring growth. According to the International Bottled Water Association, single-serve bottles account for over 25% of the water market.

Dry foods are a small market representing only 176.2 million lb but are one of the healthiest growth areas with an AAGR of 6.8%. This growth comes from ongoing conversions of glass to plastic, aided by development of new container shapes and bottle decorating techniques.


Golden oldies

Cosmetic and personal-care containers consumed 566.5 million lb in 2005. An AAGR of 5.4% should add another 97.3 million lb by 2008. One factor is the increasing elderly population and aging baby boomers. Those consumers purchase hair dyes, anti-aging skin-care products, and cosmetics to disguise the aging process. Furthermore, producers of travel-sized personal-care containers feel the effects of an improving economy, when more consumers feel they can afford travel and vacations.

Pharmaceutical and health-care markets represented 361 million lb of resin in 2005 and are expected to continue to grow 5.1% annually. The aging population contributes to this growth, as does the rising popularity of vitamins and herbal supplements. A healthy economy is necessary to sustain such sales because consumers don’t typically purchase herbal supplements (not typically covered by insurance) when income is tight.


Mastiogale, based in St. Joseph, Mo., is a consulting firm specializing in industrial-consumer opinion research and market trends in the plastics industry. For more information, call (816) 364-6200 or visit