- Year In Review
- Growth Stories
serving diverse consumer demands
€ 297 m
+ 4.8 %
Differing demands: from premiumisation to affordability
Growth in the Americas is being driven by favourable demographic trends, including youthful populations in South America and Mexico, and by changing consumption patterns across the region. Heightened awareness of the importance of a balanced diet, especially among younger consumers, is creating demand for healthier, high-quality and nutritional products. Particularly in the USA, smaller innovative brands are responding rapidly to this shift in consumer preferences, creating momentum around new product categories. To support their growth these brands are looking for convenient, differentiated packaging solutions, which also increasingly rely on the package’s environmental credentials. This gives rise to additional market opportunities for aseptic carton packaging given its strong environmental positioning.
While the growing middle class in South America and Mexico expands demand for premium products, a large portion of the population remains price conscious, looking for “value-for-money” products. A case in point is Brazil, where consumers adapted their consumption habits during the recent economic crisis. Product categories such as liquid cream or sweetened condensed milk, conveniently packed in small sizes, became increasingly popular as more households opted for home cooking instead of eating out in restaurants. Today, these categories are showing strong growth due to the change in consumption habits as well as a lasting trend towards home cooking.
Innovating and building on our unique filling technology
In 2018, we posted another strong year of growth in the USA, penetrating key growth categories such as dairy milk substitutes and, in the food category, broth. By leveraging differentiated packaging formats like combidome, we are enabling our customers to communicate the value and uniqueness of their products. In Brazil, the tough economic environment and political uncertainties in advance of the election in October had an impact on our performance. Nevertheless, we were able to grow our sales in liquid cream and sweetened condensed milk thanks to our filling machine technology, which gives customers the flexibility to participate in a broad range of different product categories. Following the election in October, consumer sentiment in Brazil improved backed by positive macroeconomic indicators, and we believe that the underlying demand for our products will remain strong going forward.
2018 proved a successful year for combidome, our convenient carton bottle, particularly in the USA. Innovative brands like Milkadamia, Drink Simple™ and Picnik introduced new products into growth categories such as dairy milk substitutes plant-based waters and butter coffee creamers. Offering convenience through its centrally positioned closure, which makes it easy to pour and lets you drink straight from the carton, combidome also stands out on the shelf through its striking design.
We continued to build our presence in the US market with two new introductions. SIGNATURE PACK, the world’s first aseptic pack fully linked to plant-based renewable material, answers the call from today’s consumers and brand owners for sustainable food packaging solutions. Targeting another key industry trend, we introduced combismile as a new generation of on-the-go packaging for ready-to-drink beverages, with the ambition of capturing additional growth within the on-the-go nutritional beverages category.
Leveraging our superior filling capabilities and flexibility, we also participated in the growth of new value opportunities such as liquid cream and sweetened condensed milk in Brazil. For customers with limited space or investment capacity, we offer a filling machine solution which allows them to fill these new categories while continuing to fill standard products like flavoured milk on the same machine, thus increasing their capacity utilisation.
We also successfully executed our geographical expansion strategy within the region. Leveraging our manufacturing infrastructure in Brazil, we won new customers and placed new filling machines in Argentina.
With Languiru, one of the largest dairy producers in southern Brazil, we successfully piloted our integrated system that collects product quality data at every stage of the product journey – from collection of the raw milk through production right up to the supermarket shelf – and stores all the information in one database. Consumers can easily access information about an individual product with their smartphone, while the company gains smart factory benefits with valuable insights into optimising production and logistics. In addition to improving product quality and strengthening traceability, SIG’s unique QR codes have opened up new marketing opportunities for Languiru. During a two-month test digital promotion in early 2018, consumers could scan on-pack QR codes to win prizes. This not only increased sales and brand engagement, helping the customer to grow its market share, but also allowed Languiru to gain quality consumer insights and establish an emotional connection with its customers.
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