The global beaker market is expected to witness substantial growth owing to its increasing application scope in laboratory and medical research applications. Beaker is usually used as measuring devices or containers for mixing various liquids.
Beaker market is characterized by raw materials into glass and plastic. Glass beakers accounted for a larger market share owing to its widespread use in various laboratory applications. Certain applications demand the use of glass over plastic due to its relative inertness, transparency, heat resistance, and easy customization. Laboratory glassware products are more suitable for harsh chemicals than plastics owing to its physical properties enabling easier sterilization than other materials. As a result, consumer preference towards glass beakers is extremely high as compared to that of plastic, even though the former is relatively expensive than the latter.
The market is highly competitive in nature owing to low innovation a low entry barrier. As a result, general labware market players are expected to face intense competition from other key market participants. Miniaturization and automation have been successfully welcomed in the general labware market. Manufacturing outsourcing to developing economies particularly China owing to its lower labor cost and abundant raw material availability is likely to reduce product cost. Furthermore, Asia Pacific is the second-largest market for lab equipment and is expected to witness above-average growth thus benefiting the beaker market in the long-run.
Plastic beakers are used in low cost and low reactive applications. Market penetration for plastic beakers is relatively low owing to the dominance of glass beakers in pharmaceutical applications. However, the availability of cheaper plasticware and its flexibility to mold to the desired shape is increasing the adoption levels as compared to glass. Laboratory plasticware is used in cases where safety and cost are a principal concern. Technological advancements related to plasticware manufacturing have led to an increase in product quality and lowered product costs over the past few years. It is anticipated to drive consumer shift from glass to plastic beakers over the next eight years. Glass slides and other precision instruments will still be made of glass due to its high transparency and purity.
Beakers are segmented into low form, flat form, tall form, electrolytic, autoclave, and others. The market is segmented by type of glass into heavy wall glass, hard borosilicate glass, amber-colored glass, pure fused quartz glass, and soft soda-lime glass. Borosilicate is primarily utilized in reagent bottles owing to its ability to withstand thermal stress. Furthermore, glassware manufactured from pure fused quartz glass exhibits high enduring fluctuations in temperature which is expected to promote its use in pharmaceutical industries.
A rise in the number of research and testing facilities worldwide has led to the growth of the global laboratory glassware and plasticware market. Besides, the replacement of glassware with plasticware in various applications is expected to continue over the forecast period. In addition, brittleness of glass coupled with complex manufacturing techniques as compared to plastic beakers is likely to restrict market growth over the projected period.
However, limited scope for innovation and change in design owing to its generic nature of the product may hinder beaker market growth. It is likely to promote low product differentiation in the market, thus limiting uniqueness in products.
Based on end-users, the laboratory glassware and plasticware market is segmented into contract research organizations, research and academic institutes, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, hospitals and diagnostic centers, and food and beverage industry. Research and educational institutes accounted for the largest market share for beakers in 2015. The significant market share of the segment is attributed to the increasing demand for beakers in research and academic institutes as a result of a high focus on the development of innovative products.
North America is expected to account for more than 40% of the laboratory glassware and plasticware market. However, Asia Pacific is anticipated to foresee the highest growth owing to increasing outsourcing opportunities in R&D and manufacturing which in turn is likely to reduce costs due to the access to skilled labor in the region.
Borosil Glass Works Ltd., Corning, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Research Products LLC, Bellco Glass, Inc., Duran, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., and Kimble Chase Life Science are key players in the beaker market.
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