Demand for caps and closures in the US is expected to grow 4.2% per year to $11.8 billion in 2020, with gains bolstered primarily by the growing use of high value dispensing and child-resistant closures (CRCs). A mitigating factor for value growth will be continued lightweighting, which drives down the costs of raw material and keeps prices low. These and other trends are presented in Caps & Closures, a new study from The Freedonia Group (freedoniagroup.com), a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
Continued efforts to make foods and beverages more convenient to consume on the go, as well as to control portion sizes, will drive unit demand for caps and closures. Single serving beverage bottles are seeing greater use in fruit juices and drinks, flavored and enhanced waters, and other ready-to-drink beverages as consumers look for substitutes for carbonated soft drinks that can be easily transported and consumed while away from home.
According to analyst Katie Wieser, “Food producers are turning to rigid packaging for single serving snacks to make them less prone to crushing and easier to consume on the go. Both of these trends have bolstered gains for a variety of caps and closures, though plastic threaded caps, dispensing closures, and lids have seen the greatest impact.” These trends will continue to reach new markets and lead to the development of products with even greater levels of convenience, such as spouted pouches for a variety of drinkable foods.
Another factor that affects cap and closure demand is the continued shift from glass bottles and jars to plastic packaging formats. Innovations in hot-fill processing and barrier technologies have allowed plastic bottles and jars to gain significant share from glass alternatives. This has created good opportunities for plastic caps and closures, which will continue to hold the largest share of cap and closure demand and post healthy gains. Of all plastic closure types, dispensing and child-resistant closures will increase the fastest. Metal crowns and screw caps, on the other hand, will see only modest growth due to slow gains for beer production and the rising use of aluminum cans in the craft beer segment. However, metal roll-on caps will help to bolster gains somewhat as they see greater use for still wines and beverages packaged in aluminum bottles.