Olivier Fraisse, regional commercial director in Africa, Sidel, told FoodProductionDaily.com growing populations, and more middle-class consumers with greater expendable income, is heightening the demand for better products and packaging.
“Sidel has been dealing with Africa for a long time. If you look at the figures, it’s quite obvious there’s been a big increase in growth in the past four of five years,” he said.
“The major country we’re focusing on is Nigeria, due to the population and urbanization, increasing demand for on-the-go products, and products which are re-closable and affordable.
“North Africa is definitely a very strong market as well, although we’ve already been there for some time.”
Sidel has grown its own presence in its Greater Middle East and Africa Zone, where it now has 90 employees including sales, layout designers, and project managers.
Africa is growing at much faster economic rates than many developed countries, with well-known brands becoming more readily available, and consumers demanding more sophisticated products, according to Sidel.
A good economic outlook, development of infrastructure, population growth and stable political situations also makes the continent a good place to invest, the company says.
Africa follows global lightweighting trend
64bn units of liquid packaging were sold last year in the Greater Middle East and Africa Zone, among which 19bn (around 30%) were in PET material, according to Euromonitor statistics.
Fraisse expects the popularity of PET will grow in the coming years.
“PET will get more popular because of lightweighting, and it’s taking on glass bottles, cans and cartons. That is coming from a lot of innovations. PET has so many benefits, and we’re following consumer demands.”
‘Rightweighting’ – lightweighting while retaining the strength of a standard bottle – is another area that is prompting growth, he added.
Sidel offers production systems for water, soft drinks, milk, sensitive products, edible oils and alcoholic beverages including beer.