Consumer Goods

This end-user segment is important for our Performance Coatings and Specialty Chemicals businesses. We supply liquid and powder coatings for furniture, consumer electronics, domestic appliances and food and beverage packaging. Our chemicals are either vital to the production process, or key functional ingredients in consumer durables, including cleaning, dishwashing, personal care and pharmaceutical products.


As a general rule, expected growth in this end-user segment roughly follows GDP growth. This means solid growth in Asia and Eastern Europe, while North America and the rest of Europe will remain flat.

In the Consumer durables sub-segment, we see steady growth across all three key production categories – furniture, food and beverage and household appliances. But there are significant regional variations, with growth rates in the in North America and Europe being more moderate and Asian countries expected to deliver steady and attractive growth rates going forward.

The market for wireless devices is coming off a multi-year growth trajectory, with high saturation levels having been reached in many countries. Only India is expected to deliver real growth in this segment. Commoditization of the technology enables the growth of many new players in China, changing the customer mix. The wireless market is expected to revert to a growth trend once new technologies (such as flexible phones) entice consumers to replace their current devices.

In general, we see an acceleration in design and product changes across all product categories. This does not only include changing colors and looks more frequently, but also a desire for additional functionality. Digital technologies are unlocking affordable mass-customization for some products, driving differentiation further.

Future sustainability developments

Based on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (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 shifts parts of the Consumer Goods end-user segment geographically, we will ensure we have the right production, sales and technical service organizations in the right geographic locations. These organizations will be designed to work effectively across regions in terms of design and key account management, where appropriate. Actively developing and offering new looks and functionality – through liquid as well as other coatings – is our focus to keep an innovative, fresh offering to our customers. Finally, we aim to ensure that our products provide new or better performance, particularly with regard to sustainability levels. Examples are coatings and films replacing chemicals of concern (such as chrome) and polluting processes like electroplating.

Consumer Goods – Fields of application (illustration)
Mature markets

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