Honda Plus, a company specializing in packaging through direct blow molding is looking to expand into Europe after seeing success supplying to major brands like Shiseido, Kanebo and Kao on the Japanese market.
Although the company has been established since 1946, it has only been catering to the cosmetics industry for the last fifteen years or so, but has in that time been rapidly increasing its' share in the sector with a ‘unique’ technology of small-sized precision blow molding.
“Honda Plus is the first company that established blow molding technology for PEN (Polyethylene Naphthalate).”
What's so unique?
CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com caught up with Honda Plus’s third predecessor, CEO Takamitsu Honda at PCD in Paris where the company was exhibiting for the first time as part of its efforts to expand the business into the West.
“We’ve seen success designing, planning and developing mascara, eyeliner and skin care packaging lines using our blow molding technology in our domestic market for brands such as Shiseido, Kanebo and Kao, and now we feel we are in the position to bring our unique process to Europe,” he explains.
On querying as to what Honda Plus is offering that other European packaging suppliers aren’t already, the CEO told this publication; “We are concentrating on extrusion blow molding, which is unique, as nowadays suppliers tend to focus on injection blow molding.”
The company's process he says, is more beneficial in that extrusion is more cost effective than injection blow molding and customers will also have more options in terms of unusual design shapes etc.
“We operate under the philosophy ‘we do what others cannot,’ we are aiming to be a pioneer of blow molding by proactively advancing cutting-edge technology research, trials with new materials, development of strategic products, and sample production."
Challenges of European market
On noting the company’s success on the Japanese market and the length of time it has been catering to the cosmetics sector, this publication wondered why Honda is only now attempting to break onto the European markets.
"We only recently secured a manufacturing facility in Vietnam where we plan to export worldwide from. Up until this point, it has been hard to export from Japan to Europe or the States, but from Vietnam I think we could make it," the CEO explains.
On the challenges of breaking onto a new market, Honda says the culture in the West and Asia is very different but is getting closer and closer; "I've already come across many difficulties breaking onto the European market, but it is about adjusting and learning. Perhaps even changing design and making a special cost strategy."
The most recent product the company is offering to Europe is ‘Meta pearl’, a shiny and glossy container based on PET that Honda says has been designed for companies who are seeking high value and sophisticated packaging.
On describing the process he says; “This product can be used to make packaging much more economical in that products are ‘metapearlized’ during the blow molding extrusion process. You can achieve it without process coating or vacuum printing after blow molding so its cost effective and unique in terms of shininess to what other packaging suppliers are doing now."