Affordability offers emerging market potential for PET

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Polyethylene terephthalate Bottled water Coca-cola

PET's popularity in emerging markets is being boosted by the discounters
PET's popularity in emerging markets is being boosted by the discounters
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has big growth prospects if manufacturers build on its potential to deliver affordability for consumers, especially in emerging markets.

That’s the verdict of Regina Maiseviciute, packaging research analyst at Euromonitor. “One of the aspects of how PET is growing sales is through its affordability,”​ said Maiseviciute in a recent video blog.

“Affordability can be expressed through the launches of smaller pack sizes for convenient, on-the-go consumption, but also through offering lower unit price, being more affordable for consumers.”

Budgets tight

She claimed that affordability was viewed as a particular virtue in emerging markets, where demand for convenient food and drink formats is growing, but household budgets are still tight.

Major players such as The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever had cottoned on to this in the Asia-Pacific region with the launch of 300ml PET bottles for various soft drinks categories, she said.

PET’s progress in this and other emerging market regions was also undergirded by the success of discount retail formats, she added.

They had achieved a compound annual growth rate of 15% in 2006-2011 in Eastern Europe, according to Maiseviciute. “By their nature they aim to provide lower unit price by using economical pack types.”

Shrink-wrapped multipacks

Another example of the development of affordable pack sizes was the discounters’ development of shrink-wrapped multipacks of six 1.5l PET bottles, said Maiseviciute.

“The shrink-wrapped type of multipack is the most popular, certainly in Eastern Europe and gives the opportunity to grow sales of PET via these sizes in bottled water or carbonates.”

According to Maiseviciute, PET bottle sales grew globally at a compound annual growth rate of six percent between 2006 and 2011. A total of 386bn units were sold around the world in retail chains in 2011, she said.

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