Business conditions improving in packaging

The business climate in packaging appears to be improving. So says new research from Trend Watch Graphic Arts, which conducted two surveys this year, one of consumer products companies (CPCs) and one of packaging printers and converters.

Nearly a third of manufacturers report "excellent" business conditions, and 24% of converters characterize their business the same way. In fact, of the largest manufacturing companies, 42% saw business as excellent, while 30% of the smallest companies said the same.

Of the packaging converters who didn’t report "excellent" business, 49% reported their business conditions were about the same as last year. In total, 83% of consumer product companies and 73% of converters say business conditions are as good as or better than last year.

In other results, 32% of operations personnel report that "just-in-time packaging" was the top sales opportunity, compared to 24% of overall responses from CPCs. Nearly a third of graphics executives say that "personalized packaging" is the top sales opportunity, while 44% of pharmaceutical companies cited "speed up turnaround" as their top selling opportunity.

Converting opportunity

Just-in-time packaging was also seen as the top sales opportunity by 40% of packaging converters, but it was the answer for 56% of converters with 250 or more employees. The top challenge for converters was "keeping up with technological change." It was cited by 46% of all converters and by 57% of converters who service pharmaceuticals, cosmetics & toiletries, and household products makers.

"TWGA’s 2003 packaging industry surveys are a unique first look into the complex and multifaceted packaging industry," says C. Ted Namur, IV, a packaging technology and workflow consultant and former Kraft Foods executive who was one of the analysts of the data. The data came from questionnaires sent to 3귔 respondents in consumer product companies and 2귔 sent to packaging printers and converters. Each report is priced at $1긳, or both are available for $2꺒.

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