A new study on the Turkish flexible packaging industry from market intelligence firm PCI Films Consulting suggests the country's progress in this field should be closely watched.
PCI consultant Paul Gaster explained: "The perception amongst the European packers and retail groups is that the best Turkish converters can now match the high level of product quality and service offered by their European competitors, while at the same time often beating them on price. This is on medium specification products such as OPP laminates, but nonetheless, a specification that accounts for valuable business in confectionery, dried foods, biscuits and baked goods packaging."
In just 30 years, Turkey's flexible packaging industry has grown to become one of the top ten in Europe. The industry generated sales of €380 million in 2001 and is growing at around 10 per cent per annum, four times higher than elsewhere in western Europe.
Turkish converters are becoming increasingly formidable competitors in both eastern and western Europe and beyond. In spite of Turkey's severe economic problems, they have a strong and growing home market (8 per cent per annum), modern plants and equipment, low imports, and exports growing at 10-12 per cent per annum - mostly to western, central and southern Europe, Russia and North Africa.
PCI's report The Turkish Flexible Packaging Market 2002 provides statistics on substrate usage, flexible packaging production, consumption, import and export, end-use volume and values from 2002 through to forecasted figures for 2007. It profiles 20 converters and six local substrate manufacturers together accounting for over 90 per cent of the Turkish flexible packaging market in value terms.
The study also offers strategic insights into the opportunities and threats this burgeoning industry presents to businesses in the flexible packaging supply chain. It costs €1500, and is based on personal in-depth interviews carried out in Turkey, supplemented by in-depth telephone interviews with all stakeholders in the supply chain.