Market analysis firm IMS Research, Austin, Tex., forecasts that in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), sales of packaging machinery equipment will increase to €13 billion by 2012. Beverage packaging is expected to grow at the fastest pace.

“Retail packaging, including foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals, accounts for over three-quarters of the EMEA market for packaging machinery. Beverage packaging machinery was estimated to be worth €3.1 billion in EMEA in 2007, or 30% of the total. The beverage equipment sector is predicted to grow at above average growth rates over the next five years,” says senior analyst Don Tait.

The shape of drink containers has been evolving too, notes Tait, from rectangular cartons to rounded containers that easily fit in the hand and packages that can easily be resealed. Supermarkets are also demanding new packaging styles to differentiate themselves from their competitors and catch consumers' attention.

The market for packaging machinery is also growing as a result of increased consumption of certain beverages, such as packaged water, fruit juice drinks, and health drinks. For more information, visit www.imsresearch.com.