“A need to develop cost-effective and sustainable bio-based solutions for architectural coatings”
Where do you see current trends in architectural coatings?
Rajeev Farwaha: At Celanese, we see that in the Americas markets on the contractor side, paint companies are focusing on third-party certification for their paints, while in the DIY sector, paint companies are increasingly going for premium quality and performance in the big box stores. We see that the latter are driving the trend for low VOC, low formaldehyde and APEO-free paints and coatings, so we see that the push currently comes more from the market than from the regulatory.
How important are sustainable or bio-based options in the sector?
Farwaha: While there are a lot of formulation and R&D efforts that are going on, we at Celanese in the Americas region specifically have not seen a significant push from our customers towards bio-based or sustainable options. The situation is certainly different in other regions such as Northern Europe, where demand for these types of products is growing and paint producers are, for instance, offering more biocide-free products. There is certainly a need to develop cost-effective and sustainable bio-based solutions for architectural coatings, as in the near future consumers and markets are more and more requesting products based on renewable resources and with a sustainable footprint.
How would you describe the architectural coatings market at the moment?
Farwaha: Because of the significant consolidation of the paint industry in the Americas, consumer choice is increasingly limited to fewer players and brands. Brand equity and distribution footprint are dominant drivers of sales. The consolidation has increased the price pressure for all players in the market. Celanese offers a broad chemistry portfolios of water-borne emulsions to paints and coatings producers in the Americas.
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