Glass is widely favored as packaging material based on its properties like recycling, reuse, and neutral quality. It protects and prevents the contamination of food and beverages for extended periods. Beer, for example, is kept in the dark glass bottles to prevent it from being spoiled.
Surveys suggest that the glass packaging market in the alcoholic beverage industry is facing intense competition from metal cans. However, glass is expected to maintain its share due to its use in premium products. Over the past few years, beer in glass bottle has witnessed tremendous growth among other alcoholic beverages. The beer sold in glass bottles drives the demand for increased production rates in the glass packaging industry. In addition, the increasing demand for premium variants in alcoholic drinks is driving the growth of glass packaging.
The use of glass in food, beverage, chemicals, and other products is common due to its neutral properties and its ability to form interactive designs to attract the end customers. Properties such as long-term preservation, recycling, and reuse are factors that drive the glass packaging market. Crucial aspects of glass packaging are innovative design and the use of modern technologies. On the other hand, factors limiting the global glass packaging market include high cost and flexible plastics to packaging alcoholic beverages and carbonated soft drinks.
Glass ampoules, glass bottles, glass lids, and stoppers are products in the global glass packaging industry. The market is divided into major segments, including food packaging, packaging for alcoholic beverages, packaging for non-alcoholic beverages, drug products, packages for personal care, and more. According to estimates, the main application in the global glass packaging industry is alcoholic beverage packaging. In addition, the market is also witnessing an increased use of glass packaging in foodstuffs and pharmaceutical packaging.
According to reports, growth is also expected to be witnessed across different beverage products, like juices, coffee, tea, soups, and non-dairy beverages. Sophisticated packaging, media, and techniques have enabled the retention of these beverages' unique taste, color, and aroma during transportation and storage. Moreover, returnable glass bottles have given way to newer and more advanced containers as packing solutions. For companies, returnable glass bottles, primarily used in the non-alcoholic beverage industry, are a cost-effective option to deliver their products. On the other hand, about 70% of the bottles used for natural mineral water are made of plastic. The choice for bottled-water packaging material is increasingly taking into account environmental considerations.
Carbonated and non-carbonated beverages are a significant chunk of the market in the packaging industry. The rising demand for energy drinks is expected to drive the beverage packaging market in the coming years. The investment in production capacity by beverage packaging suppliers or manufacturers is anticipated to have an overall beneficial effect on the glass packaging market. Moreover, the advancement in packaging equipment and machinery is also expected to fuel the development. Estimates suggest that the beverage packaging market share is estimated to develop at a CAGR of approximately 4% by 2022.
The use of glass bottles for packaging fruit-based beverages was widespread. However, the processes such as hot-filling, holding, and cooling had to be applied with utmost care to avoid breakage of the glass containers. Regardless, glass is still the preferred packaging medium for high-quality and premium fruit beverages by the companies. The technological improvements that have occurred with continuous R&D in glass bottle packaging include - material reduction to make them lightweight; surface coating to increase abrasion-proof; and the use of wide-mouth containers fitted with easy-open caps, including many others.
The global glass packaging market is very competitive due to the strong presence of major international players. The competition is also intense as many companies in the glass packaging industry are trying to consistently research and innovate to retain a significant market share.
Rajesh Khosla is president and chief executive officer at AGI glaspac, a part of the Packaging Products Division (PPD) at HSIL Limited, makers of the iconic brand ‘Hindware’. Khosla brings to the table a passion for business development that reflects in his stellar work ethic that focuses on practical implementation, his end-to-end approach towards business growth that entails employee development, financial analysis, and debottlenecking. His ability to create a convergence between innovation and creativity has helped the PPD business at HSIL scale newer heights.