Global flexible packaging market size was estimated at 19,893.8 kilo tons in 2014. Growing food requirement on account of increasing population in Asia Pacific, particularly in India and China is expected to have a positive impact on the industry over the next seven years.
Increasing use of the product on account of various advantages including container variety, less raw material needed, easy disposal and light weight are expected to fuel demand over the forecast period. However, price volatility of raw materials including plastic is expected to pose a threat to industry growth.
Rising demand for compact packaging has given impetus to flexible bag and pouch segment encouraging the entry of new market participants in the near future. These materials have high potential in the market on account of rising consumer preference, low shipping costs, and fewer storage requirements.
Stringent regulatory norms related to food contact application and pharmaceutical products is expected to be a key challenge for product manufacturers over the forecast period. The product is expected to substitute rigid packaging materials over the forecast period owing to aroma retention, heat insulation & sealing, and moisture barrier properties.
Active lifestyle, demographic changes, and rising sustainability trend have been spurring innovation & development of these materials thus, providing marketing opportunities in key sectors including cosmetics, food, and beverages. The robust manufacturing base of the cosmetic industry coupled with growing demand in Germany, Italy, France and UK is expected to augment demand in Europe over the forecast period.
Numerous manufacturers in this industry aim to replace the synthetic material with bio-based products as they offer various functional and environmental benefits over petrol plastics. However, the high cost of these products will act as a key challenge for producers over the next seven years.
U.S. flexible packaging market volume by application, 2012 - 2022 (Kilo Tons)
Food & beverage was the largest application segment, accounting for 80.0% of global volume share in 2014. Growing demand for packaged foods including ready-to-eat meals, frozen meals, snack foods and cake mixes is expected to force manufacturers to increase production capacity thus augmenting product demand over the forecast period.
Pharmaceutical was the second largest application segment and was valued over USD 16,000.0 million in 2014. Rising occurrences of lifestyle-related diseases including obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure among working population particularly in emerging economies of BRICS is expected to augment pharmaceutical products demand which in turn will positively impact flexible packaging industry over the next seven years.
Cosmetics application was estimated over 980.0 kilo tons in 2014. Rising disposable income coupled with increasing penetration of market players such as P&G and Reckitt Benckiser through new product launches in China and India is expected to promote cosmetics industry growth.
Raw Material Insights
Plastics accounted for a significant share with revenue exceeding USD 1,60,000.0 million in 2014. These are primarily employed in food & beverage packaging. Expansion of the food & beverage sector particularly in Asia Pacific is expected to have a positive impact on the industry over the next seven years.
Bioplastics were one of the key raw materials used by flexible packaging manufacturers. Growing demand for bio-based PLA films in the food, bakery, confectionery and snack packaging applications owing to easy recyclability and biodegradable nature is expected to be a key market driver over the next seven years.
The paper was also used as a key raw material and is expected to witness significant gains at a CAGR of 3.3% from 2015 to 2022, in terms of volume. Rising use of the product in the production of bags, pouches and tetra packs owing to low cost and less raw material requirement, is expected to subsequently drive growth.
Asia Pacific flexible packaging market accounted for over 35.0% of global volume share in 2014. Rapid industrialization leading to the establishment of numerous cosmetics and food & beverage manufacturing units particularly in India and China is expected to have a positive impact on industry growth over the next seven years.
Europe was the second largest segment, valued at over USD 54,700.0 million in 2014. Growing healthcare sector in Europe in expected to propel pharmaceutical demand thus influencing flexible packaging market growth over the forecast period.
Companies present in the industry include Amcor, Bemis, Sealed Air, Constantia Flexibles, Coveris, Mondi, Rengo, Bischof & Klein, Bryce, Fujimori Kogyo, Toppan Printing and Sudpack
The global flexible packaging market share is characterized by forward integration through raw material manufacturing, flexible packaging production and distribution to various application industries. Farnell Packaging Limited and LPS Industries are integrated participants offering plastic and paper packaging materials in their product portfolio.
The global industry is highly fragmented on account of the presence of numerous players. Key market leaders are expected to shift manufacturing base to developing countries including China and India on account of low production and labor costs. Key manufacturers are engaged in R&D to gain competitive advantage.
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