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Predictions for the Global Chemicals, Materials and Food Industry

Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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New insights based on Frost & Sullivan's ‘2013 Search for Growth’ survey.

Frost & Sullivan released today its three big predictions for the global chemical, materials and food industry. Based on a ‘2013 Search for Growth’ survey which involved 1835 executives in more than 40 countries globally, Frost & Sullivan's insight highlights new areas of growth. Materials market for energy-efficient buildings, construction chemicals and flexible packaging will be the key growth areas in 2014 and beyond. 

"Frost & Sullivan gathered information from the leading industry players in the chemical, materials and food industry. Using comprehensive analysis, our research team identified key trends, opportunities and challenges for the upcoming year,” explains Frost & Sullivan Research Director Chemicals, Materials & Food Dr Leonidas Dokos.

Materials and chemicals that support and promote clean and sustainable energy technologies and energy efficiency are on the top of the agenda of stakeholders across the value chain. With buildings representing one of the biggest energy consumers, governments around the world have started focusing more on energy efficient buildings in order to reduce their respective carbon emissions and achieve energy efficiency goals.

The growth of “green” and “net-zero energy” buildings will drive the need for sustainable insulation systems and materials. The massive growth in emerging markets, building renovations in Europe and the evolving standards in the U.S will be amongst the major driving forces behind the growth of materials for energy efficient buildings. 

Urbanisation, coupled with the growing middle class, the increasing number of smart cities enabling efficiency solutions, and smart buildings will drive the construction chemicals market. Even amidst the current mixed global economic landscape, construction chemicals remain at the top of the agenda for emerging as well as developed markets. 

Although differentiation is a difficult task for the construction chemicals sector, as the products are mostly commodities and the construction sector traditionally has been quite conservative, key producers are trying to reach a higher level of differentiation by closely working with customers in order to understand needs and develop customer-focused solutions for specific applications.

Another factor which accompanies the urbanisation Mega Trend is changing in the consumer lifestyle. This will attract more interest towards new packaging technologies and products such as flexible packaging especially in food and beverage applications, which is the largest end segment application. The increased focus on sustainability will continue to be a major trend in the packaging industry, which supports the adoption of materials from renewable sources. 

Based on the same survey, Frost & Sullivan has identified emerging markets for the chemicals, materials and food industry in 2013. BRIC was leading the developments even with the slow down observed in China and India and the political and social unrests in Brazil and Russia.  Also Turkey and Southeast Asia countries, such as Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia are strengthening their global position as production and consumption hot spots. The leading industries identified in 2013 were: construction and utilities, transportation, foods and beverage, personal protective equipment, and food, drug, and cosmetics.

Frost & Sullivan has also identified the top Technologies and Markets to Watch in 2020. These are: lightweight materials including composites and plastics, bio-based chemicals and materials, shale gas chemicals and infrastructure, advanced coatings, water and wastewater treatment chemicals and solutions, nutritional and functional food ingredients, hybrid personal care markets, agrochemicals and crop protection chemicals.

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