Sappi ramps up packaging strategy

By Sarah Cosgrove, Friday 17 July 2015

Be the first to comment

Sappi Europe has pledged to develop at least one new speciality packaging substrate a year as it works to reposition itself as a packaging innovator.


The Sappi mill at Alfeld now produces 100% speciality papers

Sales and marketing director at Sappi Speciality Papers Thomas Kratochwill said the company had a number of products in development ready for 2016 and 2017 launches but would not reveal how many.

As part of the strategy Sappi released a white hybrid folding box board, Atelier, in March and is taking that and other products such as the Algro Sol line of silicone base papers to Labelexpo Europe in Brussels and Pack Expo Las Vegas, in September, as a first-time exhibitor. The latter will extend Sappi’s business to the US.

Kratochwill said: “We want to get away from being a pure substrate supplier to a company that’s offering packaging solutions."

The company is creating a division for speciality papers at its Alfeld Mill in Germany, now a 100% specialty paper mill following a £60m rebuild of its PM2 paper machine that was completed last year. Sappi currently produces 300,000 tons of speciality paper, most of which is used in the packaging industry, a small portion of its total 5.7m ton output.

In May it announced an 8% price rise on its coated fine and coated mechanical paper reels, citing "unsustainable" margins in graphic papers. 

It hopes to benefit from growing consumer preference for paper-based packaging driven by environmental concerns and a changing demographic profile.

Cost reduction and a desire to decrease packaging weight were other drivers, Kratochwill added.

He referenced an Easyfairs study that found that cost reduction was the most important factor driving packaging decisions, followed by enhanced brand image and environmental impact, in a survey of 2,589 packaging professionals in 2012.

“We don’t want to say that plastics is our competition or we are totally against plastics. The plastics market is very big, we can’t replace that with paper solutions, it’s impossible. But when it makes sense to replace it, we try to give brand managers and companies another solution.”

He said two such alternatives are Algro Guard and Leine Guard, recyclable papers with integrated mineral oil barriers developed in collaboration with BASF and Eurofins, launched at Interpack 2014.

Sappi, which has 13,000 employees worldwide and a turnover of just over $6bn in 2014, said it planned to achieve success in the packaging market by a four-pronged approach: being seen as an innovative solutions provider, having an excellent end user network, being a strategic alliance partner with a global footprint and size and being a “sustainable partner”.

Share this

Related headlines

Sappi Europe to raise paper prices, citing "unsustainable" margins
11 May 2015

One of the biggest paper producers in Europe has announced an 8% price rise on its coated fine and coated...

Sappi Europe appoints new Speciality Papers sales and marketing director
19 December 2014

Sappi Europe has appointed Thomas Kratochwill as the new sales and marketing director for its Speciality...

Sappi plans move into nano materials
10 December 2014

Sappi is planning to build a pilot plant to make a new nano material that has potential applications...

Sappi Europe to increase prices
11 July 2014

Sappi Europe has announced that prices for its coated woodfree (CWF) sheets and reels will rise by between...

This Issue

Latest comments