Setting the pace | Supplier Analysis – cartons

Carton manufacturers are adapting quickly to the changing market. Waqas Qureshi finds out how trade is shaping up

Setting the pace | Supplier Analysis – cartons

The packaging industry has seen remarkable growth in 2022, particularly in sustainable solutions. SIG, aiming to lead in sustainable packaging, expanded its offerings with acquisitions like Scholle IPN and Evergreen Asia. The global aseptic carton business achieved 8% organic growth. Elopak reported strong earnings, anticipating revenue growth above the mid-term target of 2-3%. FC Cartons experienced record sales in 2023 but faced a slowdown due to high stock levels from the previous year and external challenges.

In terms of strategy, SIG is investing in aseptic carton plants in Mexico and India, focusing on sustainability and cross-selling opportunities. Elopak is prioritizing sustainability-driven growth, with plans for new sites in India and MENA and a production plant in the US. FC Cartons is consolidating after heavy investments in capital equipment and personnel, preparing for the future and plastic replacement.

Regarding technology, SIG invested in digital printing technology to enhance flexibility and agility in responding to market demands. Elopak highlighted innovations like the Pure-Pak eSense aluminum-free carton, reducing carbon footprint. FC Cartons emphasized advancements in materials, providing alternatives to single-use plastics.

Sustainability remains a key focus for the carton sector. SIG introduced aseptic packs without aluminum layers, and its SIG Neo Vita filling machine offers a 25% reduction in greenhouse emissions. Elopak aims for sustainability through innovations like tethered caps and polymer barriers. FC Cartons emphasizes carbon neutrality, recyclability, and materials suitable for plastic replacement.

Challenges include the urgent demand for nutritious food and beverages amid significant food loss. Economic climate and inflation impact consumption, creating headwinds. However, industry players encourage innovation, sustainability, and resilience. SIG suggests better packaging solutions to reduce food waste, emphasizing the role of aseptic packs. Elopak advises continued innovation and sustainable choices, while FC Cartons encourages collaboration for environmental progress.

Industry experts Paolo Volpari (SIG), Mirza Koristovic (Elopak), David Woodyatt (FC Cartons), and Giles Foden (Quantum Print and Packaging) provide insights into their companies' performance, strategies, technological advancements, sustainability efforts, challenges, and messages to the sector.


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