Slowing economy impacts packaging-equipment sales

March 22, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Capital spending for packaging machinery will take a hit this year, according to the fourth annual purchasing plan study by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, though food companies are cited as one of the stronger buyer categories.



Food manufacturers are projected to increase spending 1 to 3 percent this year, or $20 million to $60 million over last year's $2 billion outlay, the PMMI-commissioned forecast concludes. That would offset most of the downturn in other categories, including beverage, where a 2 to 4 percent dip from last year's $875.5 million in spending is forecast. Double-digit increases occurred among beverage manufacturers the last few years, while food was expected to drop 1 to 3 percent in 2000.

The forecast is based on interviews with more than 400 companies operating 1,895 U.S. plants. Interviews were conducted in January and February. Because of subsequent economic deterioration, "it is highly probable that expenditure plans reported by at least a portion of the study's respondents have been revised downward," the PMMI report points out. The pharmaceutical industry remains bullish with about 6 percent higher spending expected, but that's less than half the category's 2000 growth.

Frozen vegetables, pet foods, baked goods, confections and snack foods are expected to be among the most active food groups in changing packaging, particularly conversions to flexible packaging. Non-carbonated soft drinks, beer, wine and bottled water will buoy the beverage market, though not to the levels of recent years. "Many industries, especially beverage, spent heavily on new packaging machinery the past few years," points out PMMI president Charles Yuska.

Together, food and beverage companies account for approximately 58 percent of domestic spending on packaging machinery.

Sidebar:
The last straw in drinking water

The venerable Tetra Brik will begin turning up this summer in a new application in supermarket aisles. AMS Beverage, a Chicago start-up firm, introduced WaterBox brand spring water in an aseptic box with a straw for children 3 to 6 years old at last month's FMI Show.

The company hopes to capitalize on growing concern over excessive juice consumption and the "uniquely child-friendly package," according to Anne Sherman, a principal in the firm. "Kids would drink juice all day if you let them, and there's concern that the sugar in juice can kill their appetites and result in under-consumption of proteins and other foods."

The 4.23-oz. boxes are shrink-wrapped in four-container bundles, with a suggested retail price of about $1. The container is identical to the 125-ml single-serve juice boxes typically sold in three-packs. AMS hopes the familiar packaging will make WaterBox the spring water of choice for the preschool set.

The product is copacked by Pleasant Springs Farm Inc., Tiger, Ga. Water is micron-filtered and ozone treated, then heat pasteurized before packaging, according to AMS. Aseptic packaging equipment had to be installed at Pleasant Springs' plant to handle the new product.

The aseptic package costs three times as much as a comparably sized PET bottle, AMS officials say, but fill rates are higher. An 8-oz. package with modified graphics to appeal to older children also is planned.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

What was your favorite part of FA&M 2014?

View Results Poll Archive

Food Engineering Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

 

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.png