Enrico Pinazzi, Managing Director of Sidel Iberica and Director Aftersales for Southern Europe Sidel, commenting on the relocation of the Iberian base, said: “Following years of economic uncertainty, it is really important for our Group to accompany the recovery in Spain and Portugal. This is particularly true in the beverage, food, home and personal care (FHPC) categories, where the main players are actively developing their business to support ever-changing consumers’ expectations”.
In 2016, the Spanish economy returned to levels of activity similar to those in 2008 and companies have increased their investment, mainly driven by rising domestic demand. Soft drinks packaging volume sales increased by 2% to reach 17.0 billion units. According to Euromonitor International, Spain is in third place in the soft drink category in Europe and Central Asia, ranking first for expected growth in this segment. A total volume CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 3% is expected in soft drinks packaging over the forecast period, with sales reaching 19.5 billion units by 2021. This positive trajectory will impact especially the water and the juice, nectars, soft drinks, isotonics and teas (JNSDIT) segments, where innovation and new product development continue to propel the performance.
Sales of alcoholic drinks also recorded a positive trend, as a total current value growth of 3% was seen over the course of 2016, with volume expected to increase at a CAGR of 2% in 2017. In addition to the expanding economy and rising disposable incomes, the category continues to benefit from the return of Spanish consumers to bars and restaurants as well as the increasing numbers of tourists visiting the country. However, several consumer trends aided the performance of spirits over the course of 2016, including the rising popularity of cocktails and mixology, new consumption moments due to the return of the aperitif and the premiumisation of spirits, spurred by the actions of key players. Sales volume in beauty and personal care packaging is expected to rise as well, reaching 2.2 billion units by 2020.
The local packaging market has recently seen the economic recovery bring about changes in consumer habits. In the soft drinks category, after years of austerity, smaller packaging formats are replacing those currently used, boosting the development of new, more sophisticated packaging solutions. Spanish consumers can afford higher quality and added-value products, increasingly opting for drinks such as bottled water, RTD tea, sports drinks and juice. In the alcoholic drinks segment, manufacturers, who are offering novelty in the form of new formats, packaging and designs, new, more sophisticated formulas and healthier reformulations are the most likely to succeed. Responding to changing trends among younger generations of consumers and incorporating new technologies to make consumer experiences richer are both set to be key elements in the attempts of companies to prosper in this market.
After 25 years of local presence in Spain with a sales and aftersales office in Granollers, a city located 25 km north-east of the centre of Barcelona, the Sidel Group moved its offices to Barcelona, one of the world's major global cities and a key business, financial and cultural centre in Western Europe. The Group’s new 200 square metre premises are located in a modern business hub close to the city centre, offering a more central and strategic location with easy transportation access from highway, railway and airport to be closer to customers and prospects. The new offices house the sales, after-sales, customer care and field service functions for Sidel and the sales and after-sales functions for Gebo Cermex under one roof, all dedicated specifically to Spain and Portugal. This will reinforce the synergy of both brands in providing complete packaging solutions, including equipment, line engineering and smart data expertise and services, for liquids, foods and personal care production, mainly in PET, can and glass. The move will strengthen business relationships with existing customers, while establishing close links with new ones. The initiative has already proved popular with many customers who range from major international manufacturers and brand owners to co-packers, converters and niche producers.
Enrico Pinazzi comments further: “The move to Barcelona will enable us to provide tailor-made support to the customers we have in Spain and Portugal. Among them, about 8% are independent brands, with global key accounts dominating the region. We are serving them via approximately 1,000 Sidel and Gebo Cermex pieces of equipment.” All of that in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive market place. “Producers of beverages and FHPC goods need performance across their supply chains - performance that brings product quality, reliability, predictability and flexibility together with little environmental impact, a reduction in the use of resources and low total cost. This level of performance demands a great understanding of our customers’ requirements, their markets, and their consumers’ needs. As we understand all those needs, we can deliver the level of performance they expect, not only with our innovative solutions but also with the support we provide both during and, perhaps even more importantly, after the sales process”. Pinazzi concludes: “This is what our Group’s promise, ‘Performance through Understanding’, is all about. It is key to achieving the customers’ goals, to maintain and – eventually – to improve the performance of their operations.”