Material Trends in North American Remodeling Activity Begin to Favor Niche Products

Homeowners are remodeling again. They are on the lookout for products that compete with traditional high-end materials but come with a mid-range price tag. The underlying strength of the US housing market and the rising valuations of people’s homes are supporting robust activity in residential improvement, repair and remodeling.

This fact is underscored by the recent earnings of several big-box/DIY retail chains like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Home Depot reported in August that comparable (same store) sales rose by 4.7% in Q2 2016 over the same period in 2015 [1], and Lowe’s reported a similar 4.0% rise for its Q2 same store sales over 2015 [2]. Both stores expect full-year same store sales growth for 2016 to range between 4.4% and 4.9% as compared to the latest US Federal Reserve estimate of 2016 growth of approximately 2.0% [3]. Home Depot’s CEO, Craig Menear, specifically called out generally rising home valuations as the basis for his company’s optimism going forward regarding sales growth and overall residential renovation spending.

Topics: Materials & Chemicals House & Home Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Container Management Leads to Opportunities for Reusable Containers

The corrugated box. The wood crate. The five-gallon pail. These products have been used to ship and store food ever since we started sending it further than the local farm stand. But another option is gaining popularity — reusable bulk containers.

Reusable totes and crates are already commonly used in applications like motor vehicle manufacturing and assembly due to the long-term cost savings of container reuse.

However, reusable bulk systems are now seeing wider adoption in food applications, such as for the transport and display of fresh produce or baked goods. Where you used to see a wood crate or a printed corrugated box, plastic containers are gaining speed, especially for large volume users who are looking to minimize waste and promote environmentally friendly practices.

Topics: Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights The Freedonia Group

A Wake-Up Call for the Mattress Industry?

Tempur-Sealy International, a leading manufacturer of sleep products such as mattresses and foundations, received a rather rude wake-up call September 28. Tempur-Sealy’s shares (NYSE:TPX) fell over 20% that morning after the company announced that it expected full year sales to decline between 1% and 3% from 2015 levels. While Tempur-Sealy cited lower-than-expected third quarter sales for the revision, the company did not provide an explanation for that decline.

Competing manufacturer Select Comfort Corporation’s stock price (NASDAQ:SCSS) also fell on the news, suggesting that investors are concerned about the outlook of the broader industry.

Topics: House & Home Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Bearing Manufacturers Seek to Limit Unexpected Maintenance Costs

Bearings are an essential part of our everyday lives, yet we only notice them when they fail. Then we become acutely aware of how maddening they can be.

Bearing failures can come out of nowhere and ruin your day. Replacing a wheel bearing in your car can keep you from getting to work and cost you a hefty repair fee. If a bearing breaks down in your computer’s hard drive, you may lose work files or treasured family photos and videos. 

Topics: Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

What’s Driving the Demand for Impact-Resistant Windows and Doors

A forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting a near- or above-normal 2016 Atlantic hurricane season (after years of below-normal activity) throws the importance of impact-resistant windows and doors — sturdy-framed, multi-pane products designed to withstand violent winds and windborne debris — into sharp relief.   

According to Mariel Behnke, a Construction Analyst with The Freedonia Group, impact-resistant windows and doors account for around 10% of the market for window and doors in value terms. And both products are expected to achieve steady, above-average growth through 2020.
Topics: Materials & Chemicals Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Storm Damage Generates New Business for Roofing Industry

Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Hailstorms. To most Americans, these extreme weather events are a source of dread (and sometimes fascination). For those in the roofing industry, however, they mean something else: work.

Weather-related repairs play a significant role in the US residential roofing industry, often accounting for more than one-third of total reroofing demand in any given year. While many believe that the landfall of a hurricane or tropical storm is the weather event most likely to cause roof damage, a wide range of other weather conditions can necessitate roof replacement:
Topics: Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

The Truth About Wine Packaging: From Bottles to Boxes

Wine incites passion — in winemakers and sommeliers, in world-renowned wine writers, and in people who have the occasional glass with dinner or keep a bottle or two around the house. 

Whether it’s a celebrated vintage from a bygone era purchased at auction or an inexpensive selection grabbed from a display near the cash register for a quick weeknight dinner or Sunday picnic, wine needs to be protected from oxygen. It’s the packaging that does this, and while that packaging doesn’t stir the kind of emotion that the wine inside may, many people are very opinionated about how the wines they drink are packaged. 

Topics: Food & Beverage Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Cool Drink Offerings Bring Heat to US Cup and Lid Sales

Summer is the season of blockbuster movies, weekend barbecues, garden weddings, and, of course, chain restaurants making every attempt to lure in new customers with seasonal cold beverage offerings. This year alone, we saw Starbucks introduce its blended Granitas drinks (only available after 3 pm as a part of its Sunset Menu), Chick-fil-A debut a frozen lemonade, and Checkers and Rally’s whip up six different frozen drinks and smoothies as a part of its new Chill Spot menu.

Topics: Food & Beverage Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

US Building and Construction Markets Continue Steady Gains

Both residential and nonresidential construction markets are on solid footing, and steady gains can be expected over the next 12 to 18 months. In 2016, year-to-date new home sales are up 9 percent and existing home sales are up about 5.5 percent, according the latest US Census and National Realtors Association.

Furthermore, housing prices are trending upwards and have increased 5 to 6 percent compared to the same period the year before.[1] The US Census indicated in May that the residential housing market was on pace for about 1.164 million starts for 2016, while Freedonia anticipates new residential housing starts will ultimately reach above 1.2 million for the year. In addition, home builder confidence has remained positive throughout all of 2016.[2]

Topics: Materials & Chemicals Manufacturing & Construction Custom Market Research Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

The Market for Aseptic Packaging

Have you heard of aseptic packaging? It’s a type of packaging where the contents and the container are commercially sterilized separately and are then combined in a sterile environment.

The $4.6 billion aseptic packaging market accounted for three percent of US packaging in 2015. In unit terms, demand is expected to expand 3.7 percent annually to 68.5 billion in 2020. Read on to learn more about this growing market.

Topics: Food & Beverage Manufacturing & Construction Pharmaceuticals The Freedonia Group