Consumer Goods

The Consumer Goods end-user segment is important for both our Performance Coatings and Specialty Chemicals Business Areas. We supply liquid and powder coatings that play both an aesthetic and protective function in producing furniture, consumer electronics, domestic appliances and packaging for food and beverage. Our specialty chemicals are either vital to the production process or are key functional ingredients in a wide variety of consumer durables and in consumer packaged goods for cleaning, dishwashing, personal care and pharmaceutical products.


As a general rule, expected growth in Consumer Goods roughly follows GDP growth. Currently, this translates into above average growth in North America, balanced by more moderate growth in Europe. In China, growth rates have fallen from the high rates experienced in the recent past, but we still expect growth due to a combination of domestic demand and exports to North America, where growth rates are reasonable.

There have been some shifts in outlook in the Consumer durables sub-segment. For example, the growth outlook has improved in mature market durables related to the Buildings and Infrastructure end-user segment, such as furniture. Currently, external analysts are predicting higher growth rates for furniture than for domestic appliances, which was not the case in the recent past. In the more technology-oriented parts of this sub-segment, trends differ significantly by type of product. For example, double digit growth is expected in tablets, but growth in other areas is more limited.

In terms of production, there is an ongoing shift in many sectors to the emerging markets. Looking at domestic appliances, for example, there is now more production in Brazil, Russia, India and China than there is in North America and Western Europe. Expected growth rates are also higher outside of . However, it is worth noting that in many cases, design and decision-making processes are still based in North America or Western Europe.

In the Consumer packaged goods sub-segment, we expect growth slightly below regional GDP growth rates in both emerging and mature geographies. This sub-segment tends to be more stable and less cyclical over time.

Future sustainability developments

Based on the WBCSD Vision 2050, consumer durables are expected to last longer and recycling of packaging will increasingly be built into business models. By 2050, the WBCSD forecasts that people will only use five tons of non-renewable materials each, down from today’s 85 tons (US).

Implications for strategy and actions

As demand growth and production in many parts of the Consumer Goods end-user segment shifts geographically, we will ensure we have the right production, sales and technical service organizations in the right geographic locations. These organizations will also work effectively across regions in terms of design and key account management, where appropriate. To capture organic growth opportunities, we will continue to utilize differentiated business models with appropriate value and cost trade-offs to serve both premium and mass markets. Finally, we will ensure that our products provide new or better functionality, particularly with regard to sustainability levels.

Consumer Goods – Fields of application (illustration)Consumer Goods – Fields of application (illustration)
Mature markets

Mature markets are comprised of Western Europe, the US, Canada, Japan and Oceania.