Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 1

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 31 of 75

32 tobaccoasia / Issue 1, 2016 March / April) Essentra's Superslim Sensation™ filter featuring an embed- ded flavoring capsule [filter is not mentioned in the story] photos courtesy of Essentra with [customers'] needs – whether they are driven through consumer preference, legislation, cost, or other factors." Challenges Aplenty Since all manufacturers interviewed by Tobacco Asia for this story are obviously perfectly capable to produce filters to their customers' exact speci- fications and also to routinely come up with excit- ing ideas for new filter designs, the devil appears to lurk somewhere else entirely. National anti-to- bacco legislation is one such minefield for them. For instance, one of their many major challenges is the use of raw materials that in some markets are strictly regulated or perhaps even banned be- cause they are seen as environmentally unfriendly or hazardous. "Some materials are not acceptable in certain markets," explains Essentra's Thomas, adding that "for example, in Germany, quantities must follow strict restrictions stipulated by the German Tobac- co Ordinance (TVO)." Another hurdle is a shortage or difficulty in procurement of raw materials. "Some of the chal- lenges we always anticipate come from raw mate- rial supplies in terms of material availability and cost," confirms Dharamsey. This point of view is expanded by Thomas, who says that it is "often the sheer volume of products required to sup- port a launch and ensure that the appropriate sup- ply chain is fully in place," a situation which can pose veritable stumbling blocks. But he adds that Essentra is very experienced in introducing new products, which helps to mitigate such potential bottle necks. "We run a very structured process to try and ensure that new products pass all the chal- lenges… and [that they] are addressed at the right stage, guaranteeing a robust solution when the new product is launched." Nemuno Banga, meanwhile, identifies possible complications coming from a completely different corner. "Generally speaking, the cigarette market is very conservative and strictly regulated, so launch- ing any truly innovative product is rather challeng- ing," insists Tučinskas. Furthermore, restrictions in tobacco product advertising (and national anti- smoking campaigns) in an increasingly large num- ber of countries place an indirect strain on filter manufacturers. As cigarette sales plummet, sales volumes of filters are inevitably bound to suffer too. This observation is echoed by Dharamsey, who says that "…restrictive advertising campaigns will adversely affect [our] sales volumes." Future Outlook As long as there are cigarette consumers out there, not religiously staying on top of all things concern- ing filters will not necessarily cause manufacturers to "go the way of the dodo", but vigilantly antici- pating market movements, monitoring consumer trends, adjusting product ranges, and at the same time developing new designs will certainly prove crucial to remaining in business and be competi- tive. Tučinskas correctly points out, a little ambigu- ously, that "giving consumers a choice and meet- ing biodegradability requirements (see side box) will be strong trends." Essentra likewise is rather hesitant to make definite projections, but Thomas nevertheless discloses that while it is difficult to predict for sure what the future will hold, "we fully expect that there will be more of the same trends that we are currently seeing – an even larger variety of visually different and interactive products, and [Essentra] are optimally positioned to respond to a continually changing backdrop." Further tightening of tobacco legislation as well as the advent of plain packaging are likewise going to play major roles in coming years. The United Kingdom and Ireland are both scheduled to in- troduce plain packaging in early 2016, with more countries expected to follow. "Changes [in the industry] will also be driven by further legislation like the EUTPD, government bodies like FDA, as well as the introduction of plain packaging," says Thomas, and adds: "The impact of adjacent prod- ucts such as e-cigarettes or heat-not-burn products will also be very interesting to see and will possibly trigger additional changes." It's certainly testing times for an industry that is inextricably intertwined with the tobacco product manufacturing sector, but as always the stronger players will find a way. Africa, for example, was mentioned by all contributors to this story as still a largely untapped and thus promising region where they eventually would like to become active.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Tobacco Asia - Volume 20, Number 1