The on-going rise of the discounters and resulting demand for outstanding quality SRP (shelf ready packaging), coupled with a growing focus on sustainability, are the primary factors expected to shape the corrugated sector in 2016 – according to SUN Automation Group, one of the leaders in the global corrugated sector.
Whilst discount stores have undoubtedly dealt a blow to the big supermarkets during 2015, convenience stores have also made a mark with consumers turning to quicker, more frequent shops for more of their needs. Aldi became the UK’s sixth largest supermarket last year, overtaking Waitrose, and between 2010 and 2015 the discount retailers grew at more than twice the rate of the ‘big four’.
This has led to a growing demand for top quality SRP – thus helping to underpin the popularity of corrugated as a sustainable, protective and practical packaging solution.
Sustainability is also now a consideration in its own right, as European corrugated printers face higher than ever levels of environmental regulation, echoed by a genuine desire from many companies to improve their sustainability credentials – but without impacting negatively on profits.
Rob Dal Lago, SUN Automation’s general manager EMEA, explained: “To improve sustainability, box plants need to identify trends in the market and position their products and services accordingly: waste, water usage and inks are all key areas for consideration.
“Thanks to on-going competition within the corrugated sector, plant margins have historically been very tight, so if all suppliers are competing more or less equally on the basis of cost and quality, a small edge such as proven focus on sustainability may be the deciding factor in winning a contract.”
Read more on this story in the upcoming February issue of Converter magazine!