The success of Chinet® products continued in the United States. The Chinet disposables assortment in Retail has expanded from dinner plates to include Chinet Comfort-Cup™, an insulated hot beverage cup, and premium Chinet Cut Crystal™ plastic cups for more festive occasions. Largely due to the success of these products, retail demand improved during the last quarter of the year. Chinet ComfortCup, as well as cup carriers made of recycled ﬁber and cruiser cups, were successful Foodservice products.
This success was supported by investments in Chinet Cut Crystal plastic cup production and in new capacity for Chinet molded ﬁber products. Investments were also made in molded ﬁber cup carrier production.
Consumer Goods in the Americas is largely concentrated in frozen dessert packaging, predominantly ice cream packaging. The year started well for Frozen desserts, but increases in dairy costs affected ice cream sales.
The biggest achievements for the Americas in 2007 were signiﬁcant improvements in work safety, raw material usage and production efﬁciency. Despite increases in raw material prices, proﬁtability remained good due to successful price management.
In Flexibles, growth is targeted in retortable ﬂexibles and other technically high performance ﬂexible packaging. Pet food pouches represent another future growth area. Production capacity for retort laminates was expanded in the ﬂexibles packaging facility in Malvern during the year and is scheduled to be operational during the beginning of 2008.
South American packaging markets are growing. Brazil continues to step up as a food supplier to the rest of the world, thus beneﬁting the sales of rough molded ﬁber fruit trays. In addition, the plastics Consumer Goods business has close alignment with its international customers in South America. Huhtamaki also has production in Mexico and Argentina.
The importance of sustainability is growing in the North American market and consumers are becoming increasingly motivated to buy environmentally green products. Huhtamaki continues to develop both its products and operations towards more sustainable solutions. Package forming, for instance, is increasingly performed at customer locations, thus considerably reducing freight costs and lessening the product’s ecological footprint.
Chinet disposables, some of which are made of recycled material, are some of the most successful and fastest growing products in their category. Buyers of environmentally friendly Chinet molded ﬁber plates consist largely of well educated and environmentally aware middle-aged Americans. The Chinet product family will be enhanced by expanding the offering of plates and cups.
In addition to Chinet branded products, molded ﬁber cup carriers used by quick service restaurants have also been successful.
Huhtamaki’s position in the Americas is based on strong capabilities and specialization in key operations. In Retail, growth prospects continue to be good and demand for Chinet products is forecast to continue favorably. Investments in the Chinet brand and in strengthening supply channels will continue. Work safety and manufacturing efﬁciency will also remain key priorities. Successful key account management will be pursued to help achieve a positive proﬁt development.
As a supplier of molded ﬁber packaging and paperboard packaging for frozen desserts, Huhtamaki has a strong franchise position in the Americas. The current development in dairy costs and the effect of this on ice cream producers may, however, create some uncertainty.
* excluding goodwill and tangible asset impairment charges
Success was supported by investments in Chinet Cut Crystal plastic cup production and in new capacity for Chinet molded fiber products
Buyers of environmentally friendly Chinet plates consist largely of well educated and environmentally aware middle-aged Americans