Food and beverage
Ahlstrom-Munksjö produces packaging materials for hot and cold foods, materials to make tea bags and parts of coffee capsules, single-sided coated label materials and flexible packaging.
In the standard tea bag market competition heated up in 2017, while the coffee market and premium tea bag segment both provided great opportunities for new innovative products.
During the year, demand for food packaging materials that handle both hot and cold foods was strong, partially helped by a desire among customers to substitute aluminum and plastics with fiber-based materials. To meet demand, investment in new capacity was made as well as efforts to redirect some capacity previously used for single-sided coated papers.
Diagnostics and water purification
Ahlstrom-Munksjö produces advanced laboratory filters and life science diagnostics materials used by makers of laboratory consumables and equipment and life science instruments and materials. In addition, the company develops and manufactures high performance water filters for water purification used in, for example, refrigerators. The business enjoys robust growth, backed by a growing market for easy-to-use self-diagnostics and water purification that also eliminates bacteria.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö makes medical fabrics used in sterile barrier systems, drapes, gowns and facemasks and sterilization wraps, all used primarily in surgery but also in cleanrooms and laboratories. The market for more standard materials is competitive, and Ahlstrom-Munksjö has a focus on advanced products using safe yet breathable laminate technology, capable of stopping not only bacteria but also virus.
The sterilization wrapping business is growing steadily, and Ahlstrom-Munksjö is looking to expand capacity and widen its geographical footprint in the segment.
The business area also offers tape backings used by masking tape manufacturers. Masking tape comes in a variety of qualities and is used in the construction and automotive industries and for specialty purposes. Ahlstrom-Munksjö is the world’s largest supplier of tape backing for masking tape, and the production facility in France supplies colored varieties while the Chinese plant has received substantial investments in recent years and now supplies the local Chinese market as well as demand from international customers. Backed by strong customer relationships and growing demand, Ahlstrom-Munksjö is seeking to expand the business area’s capacity.