In 2013, the MEA market for flexible packaging is valued at US$4-billion. With per capita consumption currently around US$3 compared to Europe’s US$30, there’s clearly huge potential for growth.
As countries in the region grow their economies and look to improve transport and distribution infrastructure and encourage inward investment, more and more multinational brand owners are recognising the potential for local packaged food production to supply the region’s expanding needs.
Five countries – South Africa, Nigeria, Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – currently account for over half the total consumption of converted flexible packaging in the region. The most dynamic market is Nigeria, where flexible packaging demand has grown by around 12% per annum over the past five years. Other smaller markets such as Tanzania and UAE have also seen above-average growth. In contrast to the generally positive picture, flexible packaging sales in Iran and Syria have experienced steep declines owing to political, social and economic instability.
So what is driving flexible packaging growth in the region? Some factors identified by the report include:
• A rapidly growing young population and increased urbanisation.
• Increased investment in food production and processing.
• Significant investments in new flexible packaging converting capacity.
• Increased availability of locally-produced and competitively-priced base substrates.
• Growth in modern retailing and increased penetration of pre-packed foods.
The region continues to be a net importer of flexible packaging especially into Africa, much being sourced from Europe and increasingly from India and China with the leading European and American owned multinational converters having virtually no local production capability in the region. There is also substantial intra-regional trade, with converters in Saudi Arabia and UAE making use of the films produced as part of downstream petrochemical diversification within those countries. Indian entrepreneurs have also established thriving converting operations in Nigeria and the UAE.
The region’s flexible packaging industry remains very fragmented. Of over 350 converters identified by PCI, the top 20 players account for only around 40% of production.
Further details can be found at www.pcifilms.com
AfriStar Awards launched
The APO (Africa Packaging Organisation) has launched the AfriStar Awards, the first continent-wide packaging award.
‘The purpose,’ explains Joseph Nyongesa, APO president, ‘is to show the best in African packaging. Africa is a rising continent, certainly one that’s attracting much interest nowadays, and we need to show that the African packaging industry is well prepared to receive new products and retail chains.’
Judging criteria will include the effectiveness of the product-package relationship (containment and protection for African conditions); an effective product-consumer relationship (convenience and communication); and an effective package-system relationship (long-term sustainability – economically, culturally and environmentally).
Entries must be converted in African countries and will be judged in the usual product and substrate categories. Winners will be eligible to enter the WPO’s WorldStar Awards.
This year, entries open in March and close on June 30. Judging is scheduled for mid-July and winners announced in September. The Awards are biennial.
Further information is available from Joseph Nyongesan (email@example.com) or visit www.africapack.org
The future is flexible
Africa’s trend toward flexible packaging takes in the growing popularity of single-portion packs and refill pouches, both affordable and convenient, offering easy storage, resealability and easy opening.
According to Clinton Farndell, MD of Nampak Flexible, it is speed to market that gives the company a competitive edge in this field. ‘Our investment in the latest seven-layer coextrusion technology not only opens up huge possibilities for the supply of flexible packaging within South Africa but ensures opportunities for growth across Africa,’ he comments.
With global markets demanding speciality films and increased product shelf-life, there has been a steady trend away from three-layer extrusion towards stronger and more functional films. Last year, Nampak Flexible invested in a Windmöller & Hölscher coextrusion line – the first seven-layer line in sub-Saharan Africa and the most advanced machine of its kind in Africa (PPM May 2013, p54).
It produces world-class high-barrier films, with optimised film gauge. The combination of various substrates prevents ingress of moisture and oxygen, increasing product shelf-life from a couple of days up to six weeks, depending on variables. ‘This is hugely beneficial in African countries where refrigeration is an issue and where single-portion packs and refill pouches are very attractive to consumers,’ Clinton points out.
Barrier films can be specially structured to suit fresh and processed meat, cheese and pastes, while metallised coex film can be used for products such as potato crisps and chocolates.
But, whatever the structure, Nampak Flexibles’ coextruded films provide food products with protection against moisture and oxygen to keep them fresh for longer – and that’s vital throughout Africa.
Markem-Imaje acquisition boosts Pyrotec’s African footprint
With Markem-Imaje’s recent acquisition of Heidelberg’s CSAT inkjet subsidiary, Pyrotec’s African footprint is set to expand.
CSAT specialises in integrating digital printing and labelling systems into industrial production lines, with a particular focus on the pharmaceutical and label converting sectors. As sole South African distributor of the Markem-Imaje line, Pyrotec can now offer CSAT printing systems.
Comments Rowan Beattie, Pyrotec MD: ‘Globally, industry is going the digital printing route and Pyrotec PackMark’s core business forms part of the digital printing world. We use the same technology, but with different applications.’
According to Rowan, the CSAT acquisition expands PackMark into a wider sphere of operation and will act as a springboard to establish its footprint into Africa – an entirely new market for the company.
The CSAT Linoprint L rotary inkjet printing press uses the drop-on-demand inkjet method and offers a native resolution of 600dpi and a printing speed up to 48m/min in four-colour mode. The integration of CSAT’s high-resolution digital printing systems will strengthen Markem-Imaje’s array of technologies and help expand its market.
Italians set to join Africa’s Big Seven
Over the past few events, Italian companies have successfully exhibited at Africa’s Big Seven (AB7). The business they generated with African buyers at the continent’s largest food and beverage industry trade event has now translated into much expanded interest from suppliers from that country.
‘Africa has captured the attention of many Italian exporters,’ says Giacomo Rotunno, MD of Italian events consultancy NG Com. ‘Because of the need for SMEs to export they’re keen to explore growing markets in countries that are “trade friendly”. For this reason, we we introduced Exhibition Management Services (AB7 organiser) to Fiera di Parma, organises of Italy’s two most prestigious food and beverage events.’
This introduction led to an agreement that sees Fiere di Parma in conjunction with one of Italy’s largest publishing house, Gruppo Tecnichenuove, co-ordinating an expanded group of Italian exhibitors made up of existing exhibitors and advertisers.
‘European markets are stagnant while Africa’s food and beverage market has an attractive annual turnover of US$ 313-billion, projected to grow to US$-1 trillion by 2030 according to the World Bank. No wonder the Italians are keen to have a presence at AB7!’ states John Thomson of Exhibition Management Services.
‘Last year, almost 1 000 exhibitors and over 16 000 visitors from 50 countries took part in Africa’s Big Seven and its co-located sister show, SAITEX (the Southern African International Trade Exhibition),’ he adds. ‘Over the last decade, AB7 and SAITEX have become an effective networking platform for international companies to explore African business opportunities. An Italian Pavilion provides the perfect springboard for the Italian food and beverage industry to do business in Africa.’
AB7 2014 takes place from June 22 to 24 at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Johannesburg.
Kenya Plast 2014
From June 2 to 4, East African plastics industry role players can hone their networking skills at the second annual Kenya Plast exhibition, taking place at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi.
By bringing experts together from the international plastics arena, expo organisers, Enterprising Fairs (India), promise to enlighten visitors on industry developments including demand changes, technology improvements and raw material advances.
Interactive seminars and discussions are also scheduled on key topics such as global market trends and investment opportunities available to maximise business and production gains.
By leveraging the support of leading organisations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, Kenya Plast is set to attract visitors from all East African countries.
For more information, visit: www.kenyaplast.in.
Propak East Africa conference
Propak East Africa, taking place from April 1 to 3, 2014, at the Kenyatta Conference Centre, Nairobi, is set to create a powerful platform, bringing together buyers and sellers in the East African packaging, printing, plastics and converting industries.
Rounding out the experience is a co-located Propak East Africa conference on April 2, hosted by South Africa’s VDS Media.
With a core focus on developments in the East African value chain, encompassing packaging materials, suppliers, labelling, converting equipment, flexographic and offset printing, presentations include:
• Review of global and regional market trends, opportunities, challenges
• Innovative ‘next-generation’ technology – drivers sustaining growth in the packaging value chain
• Challenges and expectations facing packaging suppliers
• Keys to enhancing profitability in a printing business – sustaining and growing a business in a competitive environment
• Adding value to packaging – who’s in the driving seat?
• The power of a productive printing process – a technical perspective
• Developments in UV vs water-based inks
• Innovative solutions for food packaging, labelling
• Demands related to changing population dynamics and the rise of convenience packaging
Conference registration fees are US$160 for CPAK (Converters & Printers Association of Kenya) members and US$200 for non-members.
To register, visit www.vdsmedia.co.za/Event-Registration.aspx, or contact Jolanda van de Spreng for further information, firstname.lastname@example.org