The Future for Plastic Tubes: Opportunities Analysis in Beauty and Personal Care

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Sep 2015

Squeezable plastic tubes rose by 4% in personal care globally in 2014; an even better performance than total packaging’s 3% increase. Over 2014-2019, plastic tube volumes are set to grow primarily alongside rising toothpaste sales in developing markets. The pack type should gain further presence in skin and hair care where it is due to meet demand for greater functionality and ease of application, while also conveying a premium image using a plastic dispensing closure and in the right pack size.

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The Future for Plastic Tubes: Opportunities Analysis in Beauty and Personal Care

Wide growth prospects for squeezable plastic tubes in beauty

Squeezable plastic tubes rose by a healthy 4% in retail unit volumes in beauty and personal care globally in 2014. Over 2014-2019, plastic tubes are also due to further expand in almost all key countries across the world; with one exception being the mature and struggling Japanese economy.

Large volume gains to be made in oral care

Plastic tube demand in beauty is large defined by toothpaste consumption, representing 61% of total retail volumes. While future growth will primarily come from Asia and Latin America where the category expands in line with rising modern retail outlets, pack sizing strategies will be key in driving sales across the globe.

Closure innovation and pack sizing key to tube success in skin care

Facial moisturisers and cleansers are also becoming increasingly part of consumers’ day-to-day routines in developing countries such as India and Indonesia. Plastic tube sales will also likely be boosted by consumer demand for packaging convenience and ease of application; which plastic dispensing closures and small easy-to-carry sizes can assist with.

Product application also plays in favour of tubes in hair care

Dispensing also matters considerably for colourants and conditioners, where plastic tubes are expected to fare well to 2019. Latin America is among the most promising regions globally as rising income levels in Brazil enable more consumers to include conditioners as part of their important hair routine.

Look out for opportunities in men’s grooming and sun care

Although from a lower unit volume base, sun care and men’s grooming also boast dynamic growth prospects for plastic tubes. While male-targeted products are rising rapidly in India, Americans on the other hand will be looking for a greater consumer experience with their sun protection products.


Key findings

Global Context for Plastic Tubes

Plastic tubes key to beauty packaging with a 13% volume share
Oral care far ahead of skin and hair care in global tube demand
Asia precedes Western Europe and Latin America for beauty tubes
Plastic tubes rise in line with retail developments in emerging world

Strongest Gains in Oral care

Toothpaste a defining category for plastic tubes in beauty
BRICs lead tube volume demand, but US key to value sales
Toothpaste brand strategies orchestrated by a few leading players
Affordability and sizing go hand in hand for success in toothpaste
Higher-end toothpastes drive dispensing closure usage

Shelf Presence Prevails in Skin Care

Leading plastic tubes to fare well in skin care, but glass jars to soar
Cleansers and moisturisers remain avenues of growth for tubes
Facial cleansers boost plastic tubes in Indonesia
Greater dispensing on skin care tubes also betters brand image

Application Matters in Hair Care

Much to gain for squeezable tubes in hair care
Application and pack ergonomics for colourants and conditioners
Asia pillar of tube growth in hair care but Americas dynamic too
Tubes manage to stay afloat in key US and German markets

Additional Highlights

Growth in men’s skin care consumption promotes tubes globally
Indian men favour male-specific beauty products
Tubes to compete with aerosols on convenience for sun care in US


Plastic tubes’ performance over 2014-2019