The GlueTalk Blog

Tom Meek from H.B. Fuller

Investing in Growth on the African Continent

Posted 11/18/2016 by Tom Meek, Business Director, Africa

In our October 2016 press release, we announced our plans to expand our packaging adhesives business in Africa. Since already we have become heavily invested in Africa in recent years, we’re excited to continue our success and strengthen our presence there.

As an emerging market, Africa has an enormous amount of potential and possibilities. There are a lot of upcoming changes, which means endless opportunities to innovate new ideas. And we are excited about what the future holds.

Fast-paced growth.

To give you an idea of just how quickly the market in Africa is changing, it’s been predicted that the number of people under the age of 20 will rise from 622 million today to over one billion by the year 2055. With that growth in population will come increasing demand for quality products from the rising number of consumers.

This is especially relevant to the fast-moving consumer goods sector, of which the food and beverage service plays an important role. The demand for packaged food, alcoholic drinks, bottled water, and soft drinks has been building. And with the increase in population, experts are forecasting continued growth of packaged products at an unprecedented rate.

For us, that means an increase in the amount of packaging adhesives produced. From bottle labels to carrying boxes, there’s a big need for industrial adhesives—and a big opportunity for us to play an active part.

A locally-aware, global business.

As H.B. Fuller strengthens its investment on the African continent, we want to be very aware of the local needs. Because part of being a global brand means remaining in-tune with the needs of local environments. That’s why we’re partnering with local specialists and distribution partners who truly understand the challenges faced by such a diverse region, and each region brings the opportunity for us to innovate ideas and overcome them.

An example of this can be found in the extreme climate conditions in Africa, which require different kinds of adhesives than more temperate climates. H.B. Fuller’s adhesive technology allows customers to keep their branded packages and contents intact despite the diverse weather patterns.

Adapting with market changes.

To keep up with the changing market and new challenges, we’ve recognized our need to adapt and expand. That’s why we’re planning to double the capacity of our site in Kenya. We’re installing new equipment, strengthening our supply chain, and connecting with local experts.

These efforts will enable us to continue finding new solutions to problems, enhancing our products, and providing the very best industrial adhesives for all regions around the world. Because our commitment to growth, innovation, and quality products is what has kept us an industry leader for nearly 130 years.

For more information about our growing investment in Africa, read the press release here.


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