New Business Models to Succeed in Hot, Fresh Areas

The “New New”– Thoughts on Working out New Business Models to Succeed in Hot, Fresh Areas

It is often the case that consultancies act as a weather vane for the health of the chemical and related industries. If the industry is doing well, consultancies tend to thrive. We all know that since Q4 2008 all has not been well in the chemical sector and the economy in general. But now….now we at least are getting to see some “green shoots” of economic recovery. Companies who had frozen all discretionary spending over the past year or so are now coming out of their bunkers and beginning to talk again about projects previously put on hold. Things are still a little delicate and cautious. Some enquiries are still asking, “How much would it cost to…?”, “What if we wanted to do this…?”, and “How can we get growth after such a period of stagnation…?” Some are actually signing off and going ahead with projects, while others are holding their fire until the next quarter results. Petrochemical companies have been particularly cautious to spend any money at all.

I talk to a lot of CEOs and senior business developers. Hot areas seem to be solar energy/photovoltaics, biotech, bio-based chemicals and polymers, green chemistry, and general sustainability. Many have read or heard a lot about these areas, and the questions often asked are “How can we participate in this sector? Where? What kind of volume/value business can we expect and after how long?”Continue reading

Chemicals Research

Convergence in the Chemical Industry

Chemical Week recently published a ranking of the largest chemical companies in the world by revenues and Rob Westervelt, CW’s editor-in-chief, has commented on the rapid shifts taking placing in the sector. Only BASF, Dow Chemical, DuPont and Shell remain in the top ten from the first time CW published its ranking 15 years ago. Meanwhile, SABIC and Sinopec have grown rapidly and are now top ten players.Continue reading

Chemicals Research

Consumer Products Show Promise for Specialty Chemicals Industry

It’s no secret that the past year has been dismal for most of the chemicals industry, as the global recession has leveled a major blow to some of the largest end-use segments and most mature markets in the world. However, a number of product categories have held up quite well, particularly in specific regions around the world. As the industry aims to rebound from a tough year, a number of end-use markets, particularly the consumer products industry, are emerging as real bright spots, demonstrating significant potential as growth sectors. In this newsletter, we’ll highlight some of the key market drivers for the coming year and examine what chemical producers can do to leverage the opportunities. More…
Specialty Biocides

Changing shape of the biocide industry

Water withdrawal and consumption is experiencing a time of change as a result of population increase, changing food consumption habits and climate change. Along with increased demand for meat products in countries which typically had a vegetable based diet, new industries such as biofuels are developing in response to need for reduction on reliance of fossil fuels. Increased meat consumption, requires greater livestock headcount and biofuels require growth of additional volumes of crops, such as wheat and maize – both trends adding to the squeeze on water supply.Continue reading

Southeast Asia Synthetic Latex Polymers Market

Polyphenols: Innovation booming

The subject of polyphenols when initially tackled by the industry several years ago used the French paradox as the marketing tool and focused by and large on grape seed and skin extracts, or red wine powder. However, science and innovation have created a thriving market segment now dominated by serious contenders for market share such as DSM and Seppic.Continue reading

Chemicals Research

Dynamics of the Post Recession Period for the Chemicals Sector – Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

At least, that’s what Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr thought in 1849.  Last night I saw something that might suggest he was right but when I thought a little harder about it, well, I’m not so sure.

I was watching a TV broadcast about the celebration in Beijing of 60 years of communist government.  It gave me a sense of déja vu as I watched the missiles and tanks parade through Tiananmen Square under the gaze of the key political figures of today’s China.  It took me back to the early 60s, when, as a small boy, I would sit in front of our black & white valve TV as the BBC broadcast the Mayday parades from Red Square, Moscow.  The ICBMs, the tanks, the politburo sternly arrayed on their balcony – how similar it all seemed.  But then, how different China’s relationship is with the rest of the world, compared to the USSR of the 60’s.Continue reading

Nutritional Health and Wellness Products

Innovation Continues Within Health and Nutrition as Strong Growth Drivers Help Protect the Industry

As the economic downturn continues, it appears that one sector of the chemical industry is weathering the storm: food ingredients. In particular the segment targeted towards health and nutrition remains buoyant with a theme of disease prevention rather than cure being promoted. Also, new segments in the industry are emerging with softer trends now being explored such as ‘beauty from within’ – with anti-wrinkle, anti-ageing and protection from sun damage being at the forefront of this boom. Since the late 1990s I’ve observed a move from general wellbeing to products addressing specific health issues such as bone health, and now with a more holistic approach to maintaining health and wellbeing the opportunities for the industry appear endless.Continue reading

Cosmetics and Toiletries Market

Kline Says Personal Care Market Remains Promising for Chemical Suppliers

Despite the economic downturn, the personal care industry remains an attractive market for suppliers of performance ingredients aimed at delivering the results consumers demand from hair and skin products. The market is ripe for savvy suppliers who can find the right niche and the right buyers for their innovative products to capitalize on the demand for anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, and other products that offer pharmaceutical-quality results without the prescription or the high price. More…

Cosmetics and Toiletries Market

“Innovate!” – A clear message to personal care ingredient manufacturers

Innovation continues within the personal care ingredients industry with a significant number of new product launches at both In-Cosmetics and the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) Suppliers’ Day that happened recently. Examples include Eastman who promoted a natural emollient for leave on skin care products and Kobo launched a non-nano zinc oxide.Continue reading