Consumer demand for convenient packaging and industry implementation of light-weight, plastic packaging innovations expected to drive UK packaging shares up, improve difficult industry environment created by 2008 recession, says packaging executive
September 5, 2013
– Steve Herlehy, plastic packaging executive, opines on his industry's progression back to profitability.
The 2008 recession took its toll on many industries, and according to Steve Herlehy, that includes the plastic packaging business. Working in the industry for many years, Steve has seen a variety of trends amongst consumers. The last five years have been very hectic for plastic packaging as consumer demand plummeted because customers wanted lower costs. However, these statistics are about to change very soon.
An article published by Food Production Daily reveals how the United Kingdom's packaging industry is expected to have a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 2.01 percent by 2017. This high rate is attributed to the further implementation of lightweight, flexible, and rigid plastic packaging innovations. The market is looking for a way to attract more consumers toward investing in plastic packaging. This revolves around one main principal: convenience. Customers are more inclined to purchase a product that is in an easy-to-access package.
Steve Herlehy points out how more companies are moving toward the utilization of easy-open plastic containers. People want packaging that does not require much effort to open and can be resealed with ease. This demand for convenient packaging will reportedly drive packaging shares up in the market. The materials used for this packaging is lightweight, easily malleable, and costs a lot less to manufacture.
Plastic packaging manufacturers want to increase their profits while still creating efficient products. Many companies have embraced the practice of lightweighting. This allows for businesses to reduce the amount of raw materials used in production while maintaining high quality containment. Lighter packaging is beneficial for transportation as well and will significantly reduce shipping expenses. Most raw materials' prices are increasing due to their dwindling numbers. Conversely, plastic's ability to be lightweighted allows for manufacturers to uphold lower unit prices.
The food industry can benefit the most from these innovative methods. Reports indicate how certain beer markets are substituting glass bottles for plastic containers. These present a safer containment system that is also lightweight and cheaper to produce. For now, many beer distributors are sticking to their traditional means of containment. But there are some pioneers who are making the transition over to plastic utilization.
"Plastic containers are only becoming more popular," says Steve Herlehy. "We saw a slight decline back during the recession, but then again, who didn't? A lot of manufacturers were taking a large hit to their services but now we are all coming back stronger than ever. In order to attract more customers, these companies will have to design more efficient containers. People want something with easy access. Especially when it comes to food. They don't want to have to struggle with a container to get to the items inside. It's time that we start thinking about the consumer and accommodate our products to suit their needs."
Steve Herlehy predicts a vast improvement in the plastic packaging industry within the next few months.
Steve Herlehy has worked in the plastic packaging industry for several years. He was an integral part of the development of revolutionizing plastic packaging for food, pharmaceutical, and shrink-label industries. Steve contributed to the development of NASA's new dehydrated food packaging to be used on the International Space Station. He also assisted with implementing innovative improvements to "Meals Ready to Eat" for the military. Outside of work, Steve Herlehy enjoys helping out the community. He provides financial assistance to Lifetime Assistance and supports various other charitable organizations.