China’s growing consumer economy has increased the demand for all basic materials. In the beverage container segment of that market, paperboard has been and will remain the fastest-growing material used.
According to a study entitled “Beverage Containers in China” from The Freedonia Group, Cleveland, demand for beverage container units is projected to increase 8.9 percent per year between 2005 and 2010.
While as of 2005, plastic containers enjoy the number one spot by a healthy margin, demand in the paperboard segment has been growing by 54 percent per year in the first half of this decade and is expected to grow by 12.7 percent in the second half.
Also in the mix are glass containers, benefiting from the large amount of beer and rice wine produced in China, nearly all of which is packaged in glass bottles. Unit demand for glass bottles, however, is held back by the use of returnable glass bottles in the beer market.
Paperboard has surpassed metal to become the third largest beverage container material in China (following plastic and glass).
Metal containers are expected to grow in use by some 6.8 percent annually between 2005 and 2010, thanks in part to the beer and in some smaller fast-growing non-alcoholic beverage markets.
Paperboard’s ally is the sale of milk, which “will continue to be the largest single market for beverage containers, as well as one of the fastest growing, as milk consumption in China continues to advance at a rapid pace,” according to The Freedonia Group.