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Manufacturer of Advanced Plastic Bottles For Reagents Relies on PMG Study To Define Value Proposition

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For generations, the field of medical science has relied on glass containers for a multitude of reasons. Such is the case for diagnostic reagents* used in laboratory testing. A viable option to glass— due to risk of breakage and its associated high cost—is advanced plastic bottles that are coated with a thin, transparent silicon-oxide barrier using plasma glass coating technology. These containers are produced using advanced material science to produce a medical-grade plastic product that combines the durability and dimensional precision of plastic with an interior contact surface of high-purity glass.

One such manufacturer of these advanced plastic bottles relied on PMG to conduct a comprehensive market study to define the value proposition for the company’s 5 to 50 ml reagent bottles.


PMG’s proposed a B2B market research study included a phased approach to evaluate numerous segments based on internal and external criteria, as well as the following:

  • Understand the cost/benefit trade-off for barrier coating in reagent bottles and identify companies supplying the reagents;
  • Develop a contact list including key decision makers at targeted accounts and quantify current volumes of packaging;
  • Identify companies currently supplying reagent bottles and the companies using them;
  • Clarify any current unmet needs and understand the preference for plastic over glass bottles;
  • Define the package requirements/specifications and prepare an economic analysis of reagent packaging.


PMG’s market study resulted in a number of key observations that concluded plastic bottles were viewed to have several advantages over glass, and that participants have been pleased with the performance of plastic bottles. However, they wanted to see several attributes improved, including seal integrity and heat resistance.

Other key PMG study observations found that plastic was seen as offering a better total cost than glass by a 3:1 margin (driven primarily by less breakage and lower purchase price), yet overall, performance was of greater importance than price.

The PMG study concluded that the preference appeared to be shifting from glass to plastic (although glass is still preferred in certain instances) and that volume of reagent bottle use is increasing at an annual growth rate of 5-10 percent. Lastly, the study identified a producer of hybrid bottle products for reagents as an additional competitive substitute for glass, which was of interest to the client.

As a result of the study, the client moved more aggressively in their plans to introduce their bottle to the market, convinced of the high value, product differentiation, and profit potential.

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