• April 24, 2024

An Essential Component

 An Essential Component
Nina Ritter-Reischl |Photo: Glats Feinpapiere

Manufacturers of tipping papers adapt to a changing cigarette market.

TR Staff Report

Valued at $1.6 billion in 2021, the global cigarette paper market is projected to reach $2.2 billion by 2031, according to Allied Market Research. Tipping base paper represents only a small part of this market but is an essential component in cigarette construction, where it has to meet many requirements.

“As tipping base paper is a printing paper, the printability is most important,” says Nina Ritter-Reischl, CEO of German cigarette paper manufacturer Glatz Feinpapiere. “Printability is mainly depending on sheet formation and smoothness as well as the sizing. The latter is important to prevent color bleeding in the printing process. Our papers show a very good printability due to their formation and constant quality parameters, especially in sizing. Our know-how in tipping base paper goes back for decades and is one of our main assets.”

Other considerations are water absorption, which determines ink absorption; smoothness, which plays a role in printability; and a “dynamic contact angle” for the gluing process; along with flammability, according to Liem Khe Fung, Innovation Center director at Indonesian cigarette paper manufacturer BMJ.

Liem Khe Fu

“The print quality of BMJ’s tipping base paper is excellent,” says Liem. It allows for 12-color print and the inclusion of tactile and embossed features along with security features. Flavored and sweetened papers are also possible, according to Liem. The company started to significantly supply the market only a few years ago, so the potential growth for BMJ in this field is still high, according to Liem.

Ritter-Reischl views her company as a specialist for tipping base paper within the cigarette industry. “Therefore, we started focusing even more on our tipping base paper customers and were able to raise our sales within this market segment,” she says. “Tipping base paper customers are demanding and have high quality standards; they expect close customer relationships and interlinks in addition to excellent services. Those are challenges we can meet and are specialized in. As an example, we even deliver our tipping base paper with our own transportation company to one of our most valued customers, door to door every day.”

The tipping base paper market has become highly competitive. Liem, whose company mainly caters to the Asian market, says that price competition is the main challenge, followed by small order quantity per stock-keeping unit.

Julius Glatz is strong in Europe. “However, we also deliver to Asia and Latin America as there are printers too,” says Ritter-Reischl.

As tipping base paper is an essential part of the cigarette, the tipping base paper market is facing the same challenges as the cigarette market in general. “Rising inflation and therefore declining purchasing power of consumers, political instability, rising costs and stumbling logistics worldwide are afflicting the market,” says Ritter-Reischl.

Following a modest uptick during the Covid-19 pandemic, when many people where stuck at home, global cigarette consumption has resumed its long-term decline. In 2024, Statista projects volumes to shrink by 0.4 percent. That still leaves a market of around 5 trillion cigarettes, however—and the vast majority of them will require a tipping paper.