Old age ups Iggesund sales

“In terms of value, paper and paperboard make up just over 35 percent of the packaging materials used for pharmaceutical products, and so this is an incredibly important market for us. If we only retain our market share, that gives us growth, and if we can show customers that we’re better than our competitors, the return will be even greater,” says Guy Mallinson, business director packaging at Iggesund Paperboard.

In the space of only a few years, the value of packaging material used in Europe is predicted to have exceeded US$5billion, and growth over the next decade is estimated at 60 per cent. Deliveries of packaging materials to the pharmaceutical sector are already growing twice as fast as deliveries to other industries.

“One important reason is that people are medicating themselves more today – a trend which is partly the forced result of galloping health-care costs,” Mallinson explains. “An increasing proportion of sales are OTC (over-the-counter) medicines – that is, non-prescription drugs – where the consumer makes the final purchasing decision at the point of sale – and then the selling points of the packaging become increasingly important.”

There are two clear trends in the market. In the one case it’s important to catch the consumer’s eye, and so design features are often very important to the consumer’s choice. But when it comes to prescription medicines – particularly generic ones – little emphasis is put on the design aspects of the packaging.
Despite the expected sales increases, there is great pressure on materials suppliers to cut costs. In order to be competitive, suppliers must be able to offer an attractive combination of technical performance, price, logistical service and, not least, development.

“Our development has been that we regularly bring to the market new grades which reduce the consumption of material, while the protective properties remain unchanged,” Mallinson explains.

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