Our markets are being shaped by global trends such as climate change, increasing restrictions on single-use plastics, and anticipated growth in emerging economies. In the food and beverage packaging industry, sustainability, food safety and traceability, automation, digital solutions and quality are all on high up the agenda.
At the same time, consumption and purchasing habits are being transformed by greater ethical and sustainability awareness, health and convenience. Digitalisation also presents opportunities for e-retail and mass-customisation.
These trends influence our business by creating challenges, but also growth opportunities in our various categories.
White milk consumption increased by 2.2 per cent during the year, driven by India and Pakistan despite a decline in Europe. Competition in ambient liquid packaging is intensifying. The market for specialised nutrition products grew by 1.6 per cent in volume, with new launches in functional products for specific segments driven by the USA.
The demand for plant-based beverages has increased by 0.6 per cent on average per year since 2016. The category is mainly driven by soymilk in China, but there are significant opportunities for other plant-based beverages in Europe and America.
The food category shows strong growth potential, both in the solid and viscous segments and across all businesses. Healthy trends are also impacting food and the number of launches grew by 3 per cent during the year driven by low/no/reduced sugar and no additives/preservatives claims.
The market for cheese is annually growing at 2.4 per cent with local variations closely tied to food culture. Consumers are seeking transparent, convenient, healthy and environmentally friendly choices – including vegan or plant-based cheese substitutes. Snacking and on-the-go trends support the use of cheese as a snack product and ingredient in easy-to-prepare meals.
Ice Cream is being driven by innovation to deliver greater consumer convenience and indulging experiences. Health trends and ethics are also increasingly important market trends.
The juice and nectar category continues to decline, but at a slightly slower pace. The main reasons are public debates on sugar consumption and health trends that motivate consumers to choose other alternatives.
The focus on water continues with growth driven by both plain and flavoured/functional water. Product launches increased 4.5 per cent between 2018 and 2019 driven by sustainability claims, mainly related to recyclable packaging. For RTD Tea, RTD Coffee, Sport and Energy drinks, consumers are seeking to manage their energy levels, which has resulted in growth in these categories of 4.1 per cent, mainly driven by Asia and North America. North America is driving the growth in sport drinks while Asia is driving growth in the rest of the categories.