Let’s say you want to learn more about trends in another country where you might want to do business. As a member of the Flexible Packaging Association, details are a few mouse clicks away with the Market Tracker tool.
“What is great is that you can compare one market against another, which can really help you to hone in on your own particular priorities if you are working internationally and see what those best opportunities are—and what the potential threats are—as conditions are changing in each of these markets,” says Devorah Kaufman, senior account manager for business intelligence services at Euromonitor International. On Feb. 9, Kaufman gave an online tutorial of Euromonitor’s Market Tracker so participants could get a better feel for how the tool works and what they can get out of it.
FPA members who have log-on credentials can access the tool by going to the FPA website at www.flexpack.org and then clicking on “industry info” at the top. The drop-down menu offers the “Market Tracker” option. Once there, scroll to the bottom where you will see a color-coded world map where you can then access data.
“It is an intuitive, very easy-to-use tool,” Kaufman says, adding that the overviews, trends, forecasts, and market drivers can help users quickly see potential opportunities.
Euromonitor has been offering the tool to FPA members for about three years and has been updating it in the past year to include data about COVID-19, Kaufman says. In clicking on the map for China, as an example, you will see the various information that the tool offers, from an overview of China to a deeper look at several different product categories: beverages; dog and cat food; beauty and personal care; home care; packaged food; and then COVID-19, which is the button in bright red to the far right.
Because of the dynamic changes involving COVID-19, that information is being updated quarterly, Kaufman says.
With its annual reports, Euromonitor does a deep analysis of the various product categories. “The reason that our research cycle takes a whole year is that we have a very multi-layered, in-depth research process,” Kaufman says. Researchers in various countries study company reports, websites, government statistical reports, data from trade associations, and other sources of information. “From there, we do a tremendous number of interviews in a given industry.”
That further research includes interviews with manufacturers, checks at retail stores and online activity, and other measures to get a feel for new products, market sizes, and trends. Research also involves checking with stakeholders up and down the supply chain, as well as verifying that all the data is valid, she adds. The data then allows Euromonitor to make various assessments and forecasts.
While that process takes a year to complete, the company decided that the COVID-19 tab would be updated quarterly because of the constant changes being brought about by the pandemic and the way various countries have responded. For example, as part of her demonstration, Kaufman walks participants through the information for China, where the virus first was discovered in December 2019. China’s lockdowns and overall response have meant that the country has rebounded from the economic impact more quickly than other countries. China is expected to have GDP growth of 1.7% in 2020. While down historically, that still is positive growth.
She then compares the research in other countries where the economic impact from the pandemic has been more severe. For example, she pointed to France where second waves of the virus in the fall led to more shutdowns and negative GDP growth.
“In France, we are looking at a 12% decrease of GDP and perhaps as much as a 16% decrease,” she says. “France could take longer than 2021 to recover.”
Those examples illustrate how the tool can be used by a company that is considering business moves in various countries, she adds.
Kaufman points out that Euromonitor’s research team is led by Rosemary Downey, packaging global head based in London. Downey has over 20 years of experience in the packaging industry and is recognized as a top expert in the field, Kaufman notes.
In her 50-minute session, Kaufman also reviews what Euromonitor International does, especially as it pertains to its partnership with FPA. Euromonitor International, which has headquarters in London and Chicago, was founded in 1972. It is privately held and specializes in research on consumer products by doing strategic global market research in numerous areas. It has more than 1,300 staff members worldwide in 15 regional offices. And it has 1,200 on-the-ground researchers based in 100 countries, according to Kaufman’s presentation.
Its broad coverage hits on numerous consumer sectors, from apparel to appliances to luxury goods and more. It also researches trends in various services, including sports, travel, retailing, and consumer finance.
“One of the great advantages of working across many different consumer-facing industries is that we are able to identify and explore patterns that are happening across many sectors and geographies,” Kaufman says. The company released a white paper in January—“Top 10 Global Consumer Trends” for 2021—that is available for free online.
Of particular interest to FPA members is the packaging research that covers packaged food, alcoholic drinks, nonalcoholic drinks, beauty and personal care, home care, and dog and cat food. The research then is broken down into six material types: flexible packaging, rigid plastic, metal, glass, paper-based containers, and liquid cartons. It also looks at subcategories, such as standup pouches, flexible paper, and flexible packaging.
Euromonitor has been working with FPA for about 10 years, she adds, and the development of the Market Tracker tool was intended as a way to offer additional benefits to FPA members.