The third edition of AMI's international Single-Serve Capsules conference in North America took place on March 3-4, 2020 at the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel, Georgetown (Austin), Texas, USA. The conference brought together industry-elite speakers from the entire supply chain to evaluate and discuss the trends, challenges and opportunities facing the single-serve capsules industry.
From a niche market, single-serve beverage capsules have grown to be one of the most important sub-applications of the ambient thin wall packaging segment in the past 5 years. This dynamic market segment has a complex value chain.
The American market has been pioneered by the Keurig system, which still commands a dominant market share. Nevertheless, the expiry of their design patents in 2012 brought about disruptive changes in the supply chain and the emergence of the compatible capsules segment. The market is also becoming more accommodating towards the espresso style systems, originating in Europe. While the changes created new opportunities for both end-users and converters to tap into this growing market segment, a more fragmented supply chain affects the overall profit pool and the way consumers make their choices.
Future opportunities include expanding product ranges into specialty coffee and tea, cold drinks systems as well as certain foods. While the untapped potential for cold drinks is yet to be proven, it is telling how significant it might be with global giants bidding for their space in this market.
With the growing number of capsules in landfills, the industry is under pressure from environmentalists as well as more conscientious consumers. There is an urgent need to review the materials used for capsules conversion in search of more sustainable options, as well as to explore end-of-life solutions.
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