End-market consumers drive eco-coatings growth - Rhodia

15 April 2010 19:04  [Source: ICIS news]

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (ICIS news)--Consumer psychology is probably a bigger driver for eco-friendly paints and coatings than regulatory actions, a Rhodia executive said at a US conference that continued on Thursday.

The trend towards greener products was “resonating with end-market customers” said John Foley, vice president of industrial formulations for Rhodia’s Novecare business.

“Consumers are the segment that want it", and as one company responds to market demand, other companies follow, said Ning Chen, Novecare’s North American business director of polymer systems specialties.

Paints and coatings was basically a conservative industry and was initially slow to react to consumer demands for these products, but “paint companies - our customers - are waking up to the power to move market share”, Foley said.

Foley said he sensed this trend was not going away when, while at a retail paint store, he “heard a customer say the magic words: ‘I don’t care what it costs’.”

Rhodia said it supported the low-VOC (volatile organic compound) trend, and saw the industry moving towards incrementally greener products but at a slight premium.

“We see that going forward and gaining momentum,” said Foley.

“Innovation is picking up industry-wide, but the goal is to have low-VOC paints that match the functionality of solvent-based paints,”said Chen. “Players must invent continually in innovation.”

The Rhodia executives spoke with ICIS on the sidelines of the American Coatings Show, sponsored by the American Coatings Association. The show runs through 15 April.

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By: Ivan Lerner
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