Beer Industry to Propel the Global Glassware Market Forward

Glass October 06, 2015
Author: Olga Minchina
Account Manager

In consumer's mind, glass is often associated with expensiveness and class, as well as ensuring a longer shelf life and possessing excellent taste preserving qualities. No other packaging material matches the shelf impact of glass, which clarity, shape, and feel contribute to the premium image of products ranging from fine perfumes and liquor to gourmet foods and beverages.

The global glassware market is anticipated to grow in the medium term, though increasing popularity of plastics and its widening scope of application for packaging are likely to hamper this growth. Nevertheless, glass is more demanded by the population, including as a measure of prevention of environmental threats.

Naturally, the beverage segment is the main consumer of glass bottles. According to market experts' estimates, the Asia Pacific region is the leader in glass packaging production, holding the largest regional share of glass volumes in alcoholic drinks. With expanding production and raw material costs, returnable glass bottles continue to hold a competitive advantage in terms of cost efficiency in this region.

Growth of financial wealth of the population boosting consumption of alcoholic drinks converted China and India into the main final consumers of glassware. Local spirits are particularly dynamic in China, where baijiu, a local spirit, is widely purchased. In general, glass bottle brands in China tend to be less expensive than cans, due to reduced packaging costs and are therefore more popular. When it comes to spirits, Indian consumers tend to opt for amber spirits; hence the bright future is anticipated for glass in whiskies in the country. In Southeast Asia, demand for alcohol drinks is also experiencing rapid growth. Thailand and Vietnam are, for instance, heavy beer consumers.

Within the industry of alcoholic beverages, it is the beer category that mainly determines glass packaging trends. Besides its low alcohol content and affordable retail price, beer is accessible to a wide range of consumers of various regions of the world.

All in all, rising global beer consumption is expected to be one of the drivers of the glass packaging market in the medium term. In addition to being excellent packaging solutions for food and beverage, sterility of glass bottles makes them perfect for storage of medicines as well. Thus, production of glass bottles in the world will grow, which is directly related to the ease of its use: used packaging can be fully recycled and reused.

The trade of glassware is expected to remain on the level of the previous seven years over the next decade. The share of the global trade will stand at 22-23% of the production.

In 2014, the U.S. (14.8%) and France (13.2%) were the leading destinations of imports of bottles, jars and other containers, followed by Italy (5.5%), Spain (5.1%) and Belgium (4.5%), together making up 43.1% of global imports in value terms. The most notable increase was demonstrated by France, while shares of the other countries either remained stable or showed negative dynamics.

In 2014, China and Germany were the main global suppliers of glassware with a combined share of 26.5% of global exports. The fastest growing supplier from 2007 to 2014 was China (+16.3% per year), followed by Mexico (+7.2%) and Portugal (+5.5%)

China dominated in the trade, holding the 3rd spot in production glassware. In 2014, China exported 28.4% of its total output of bottles, jars and other containers. Of this amount, 25.8% was supplied to the U.S., where Chinese glassware held a 5.3% share of total U.S. consumption.

Source: World: Bottles, Jars And Other Containers Of Glass - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2020