Demand for tube and stick packaging in the US is projected to advance 4.0 per cent per year to $2.1 billion in 2018. Growth will be fueled by further recoveries in the manufacturing and construction sectors from post-recession troughs. Improved output of cosmetics and toiletries, and pharmaceuticals, relative to the 2008-2013 period will support gains as these two markets comprise more than 75 per cent of tube and stick packaging demand. Furthermore, according to analyst Esther Palevsky, “A turnaround in construction activity will bode well for cartridges used to package caulks and sealants.” These and other trends are presented in Tube & Stick Packaging, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
Among major tube and stick packaging types, the fastest gains are expected for stick packs, with opportunities boosted by the further development of new applications and continued favorable prospects in several existing uses, such as condiments and pharmaceuticals. Growth will also be aided by product differentiation, portability, and material savings compared to conventional single-portion packaging configurations.
Squeeze tubes, which represented three-fifths of demand in 2013, are by far the largest tube and stick packaging product type. Demand for squeeze tubes is expected to increase 3.8 per cent annually to $1.3 billion in 2018, similar to the overall tube and stick packaging average. Beyond improved output in key markets, gains will be supported by greater use of value added decorative processes and advanced delivery systems that can protect and/or extend the shelf life of oxygen-sensitive contents. Unit-of-use tubes, which offer accurate dosing of pharmaceuticals and serve as sample or promotional packaging for cosmetics and toiletries, will also experience above average growth. Laminate tubes will maintain their dominance in toothpaste packaging and will also gain ground in other cosmetic and toiletry applications and in pharmaceuticals at the expense of plastic and collapsible metal tubes. Moderating factors for squeeze tubes include the maturity and commodity nature of toothpaste tubes, and marginal growth for collapsible metal tubes. Import competition in smaller-sized extruded plastic tubes from China, India, and other nations that offer low-cost production will restrain value growth.