In his state of the industry address at the annual event, he noted that nonwovens production has grown more than 5% annually over the last five years versus 0.7% annual GDP growth in the U.S. over the same period.
Presented by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, the Jan. 27-30 event at The Westin Galleria drew attendees from across the value chain, including roll goods manufacturers, converters, raw material suppliers and end product manufacturers. Attendees gained strategic information, key contacts and relevant insights.
“INDA member companies are continuing to invest in new expansions and upgrades, and even in other players in the industry, resulting in consolidation,” Rousse says. “The nonwovens industry is poised to benefit from the GDP gains to come in 2014 in all of the major global economies. It is a strong and vibrant industry and will remain so for a long time.”
Some of the potential “game changers” that could create market opportunities in 2014 include the impact of China’s growth, healthcare associated infections (HAIs), shale fracking, millennial consumers, wiper rules and sustainability.
C-level executives, senior leadership, plant management and executives working in consumer product sales, marketing, quality control, engineering and purchasing were among the 330 attendees of the conference, which featured networking, workshops, presentations and the Visionary Award ceremony.
“Marketing to Millennials,” the Generation Y now starting to have babies and using nonwoven diapers and wipes, was a timely topic addressed in presentations by Jeff Fromm, executive vice president, Barkley; and Kit Yarrow, Ph.D., Golden Gate University. Other keynote presentations focused on the flushability of wipes, new materials, hygiene products and sustainability.
“The speaker line-up was absolutely first-class and the networking opportunities were outstanding,” says Todd Bassett, chairman of the INDA board. “A well-attended reception positioned the VISION Consumer Products Conference off to a strong start that continued throughout the three-day event.”
Beantown Bedding LLC, a Visionary Award finalist, said presenting their new Laundry-Free Linens, compostable bedding to attendees at the conference was a positive networking experience. “We made so many great connections at INDA’s VISION Consumer Products Conference,” says Joan Ripple and Kristen Lambert, owners of the Boston-based company.
This was the 13th year the conference has been held. INDA announced the 2015 Vision Consumer Products Conference will be Feb 9-12, 2015, at the Hilton Miami Downtown in Miami, FL.