Since it was founded in 1997, Essel (Guangzhou) Packaging has grown to become the world’s leading supplier of composite tubing. The company’s 20-year growth story has been fueled by a tireless commitment to innovation – innovation that has pushed its tubing and composite packaging products into a broad range of categories including oral care, cosmetics, food, household products, and industrial goods around the world.
Bullish on China’s Cosmetics Market, Essel Pushes Localization
2017 marks Essel’s 20th anniversary in China. During the past two decades, Essel has brought a stream of new developments to China’s packaging sector. In 2006, Essel launched a new product development team dedicated to the Asia-Pacific region. Together with its headquarter’s R&D Center, the company has worked to develop a range of new products and technologies for local markets, resulting in numerous product and application patents. Its innovations have help support the growth of major industry players such as Unilever, Jahwa, Inoherb, Pechoin, Kans, Proya, Watsons, and Longrich.
To drive its localization strategy, Essel has opened five factories in China with facilities in Guangzhou, Yonghe District, Hefei, Tianjin, and Changshu. Essel’s distributed facilities enable its teams to remain close to customers and respond quickly and appropriately with products that fit the needs of specific regions and industries. These multiple local operating centers also allow the company and its management to provide localized, responsive, and flexible service.
In addition to China, Essel covers Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Australia from its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Guangzhou. Compared to Japan and Korea, China’s per capita cosmetics expenditures still have considerable room for growth, so Essel sees strong prospects in China’s cosmetics packaging market.
As the world’s leading supplier of composite tubing, Essel’s core technology is built around composite tubing and it has extended these applications for specific industries such as oral care, cosmetics, and household products. For example, in the cosmetics industry, Essel’s patented tubing is made of high grade composite sheets with bright metallic luster. This approach provides high tubing quality and aesthetic appeal required for premium cosmetic brand packaging. In addition, Essel’s Egnite highlight material complements its printing technology to achieve high resolution, gradient, 3D, and jeweled print effects to meet the needs of customized brand packaging.
Essel has also created a broad range of packaging design options to match the distinct brand positioning of skin care and cosmetics customers. Recognizing the growing need for highly customized solutions, Essel’s marketing and new product development teams work closely with cosmetics customers during the design and development phases of new packaging.
In the skin care segment, Essel offers luxury clients unique materials such as metal elements or custom acrylic covers. And, for mid-range fashion lines, the company can create an even more diverse set of packaging designs by using innovative printing technology to achieve different types of visual or tactile effects. Frequently, the art and design in packaging enables the cosmetics packaging to far exceed its functional value and contribute to the overall brand experience.
Essel is already working on its next generation of leading packaging innovations, according to Wang Zhendong, Vice President of Asia-Pacific. Future products will include a new generation of composite tubing products and high end tubing series that include skin textured soft tubes, the environmentally-friendly Maple Leaf tubing line, and semi-permeable laser tubes. At the same time, the company is using digital printing technology to create new, flexible customized solutions for the personal care market.
Rising Consumer Demands Give Packaging More Room to Grow
Rising consumer expectations of cosmetics brands has created both opportunities and challenges for the packaging industry. In China, the packaging materials industry still lags behind Japan, Korea, the US, and Europe. At the same time, the level of local packaging materials design isn’t high and still relies on imitation of international brands. Local innovation in packaging materials also struggles to keep up with demands of China’s first-tier cosmetic brand needs.
These underserved needs create major room for growth in China’s packaging sector. Essel’s Wang Zhendong sees three major trends. First, he sees the ongoing improvement in local packaging design and aesthetics – improvements that incorporate more Chinese traditional culture and aesthetics. Second, he sees more innovation in packaging materials and technology. And third, Wang sees the emergence of “smart packaging” – packaging that includes intelligent features to monitor production, support distribution, and aid marketing.
The recent rise in raw materials cost has put pressure on packaging industry margins. Essel is addressing rising costs by building scale and improving production efficiency. These measures able it to deliver quality products while helping its customers limit the impact of rising materials prices.
Essel has participated in the China Beauty Expo for six consecutive years. During last year’s expo, Essel’s theme focused on promoting its new scented tubing. This year from May 23-25, Essel will join the China Beauty Expo again with a theme that marries its “Aixuan” and new product lines to delight customers with a range of new innovations.