The global flexible packaging market size was valued at USD 221.82 billion in 2016. It is expected to expand at a CAGR of nearly 4.7% during the forecast period. Growing food requirement on account of increasing population in Asia Pacific, particularly in India and China, is one of the key trends bolstering market growth.
The packaged food market in the U.S. and Europe has grown tremendously in recent years. Development of production technologies, use of case ready packaging, and improved packaging practices are anticipated to work in favor of the market. In addition, advancements on processing technologies in the food sector in the U.S. and countries of European Union is estimated to further augment packaged foods market, which in turn will escalate the demand for flexible packaging.
The packaged food sector is driven by innovation in processing techniques, which are used for boosting food products’ shelf life. Demand for flexible packaging is especially high for snack foods and beverages. Surge in demand can be attributed to technological improvements, changing lifestyles, modern retail trades, and increasing popularity of quick service restaurants.
Over the past few years, evolution of science and nanotechnology has revolutionized the food and processing industry. Nanotechnology is on the verge of emerging mainstream in the field of development of functional foods, preservation, packaging, processing, and food production. Food packaging is the earliest commercial application of nanotechnology in the food sector.
Improving standards of living in emerging economies of Brazil, South Africa, and Russia are translating into greater purchasing power of consumers, thus fueling demand for high-quality products. Changing lifestyles of consumers coupled with increasing demand for environment-friendly packaging material is likely to stir up demand for flexible packaging over the coming years.
Consumers, particularly in North America and Europe, prefer packaging that is light and aesthetically appealing. This will increase the use of plastic-based flexible packaging over the forecast period.
On the basis of raw material, the market can be segmented into paper, aluminum, bioplastics, and plastic. Plastic was the most significant raw material segment, accounting for 80.0% of the global volume in 2014.
Plastic flexible packaging is widely used in the food & beverage sector as they can take several forms and shapes, which hold high importance for the industry. Most of the packaging used in various industries over the past few years are derived from fossil fuels. Demand for plastics will continue to remain strong until 2022.
However, the demand for bioplastics is expected to gain traction over the coming years, owing to growing stringency in regulations pertaining to the use of plastics. Increasing use of the raw material in various end-use industries, including food & beverage and cosmetics, can be attributed to their biocompatible nature. Growing need to reduce landfill wastes is projected to augment the growth of the segment.
Growing demand for bio-based PLA films in the food, bakery, confectionery, and snack packaging applications owing to easy recyclability and biodegradable nature is poised to provide a fillip to the market. Bioplastic flexible packaging is largely employed in the food & beverage and pharmaceutical sectors on account of stringent regulations, particularly in North America and Europe.
Aluminum materials will also witness significant demand during the forecast period. Growing use of aluminum foil in the household and food & beverage applications is expected to contribute to the growth of the segment. In addition, rapid acceptance of international standards for testing and certification of the product is working in favor of the market.
From an application standpoint, the flexible packaging market has been segmented into food and beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and others. Food & beverage was the largest application segment, accounting for more than three fourth of the global volume in 2014.
Growing demand for packaged foods including ready-to-eat meals, frozen meals, snack foods, and cake mixes is anticipated to prompt manufacturers to increase production capacity, thus augmenting the demand for flexible packaging over the forecast period.
Rising prominence of nutritional food along with the European Commission’s support to regulate the use of the product in food applications is estimated to supplement the growth of the segment. Presence of foods manufacturers along with increasing R&D expenditure to develop innovative products is likely to promote the demand in the near future.
One of the key trends fueling the demand for flexible packaging is the rapid expansion of the pharmaceutical industry across the globe. Owing to advancements in science and technology, the pharmaceutical industry has been able to register sharp growth over the past few years and this trend is expected to continue over the forecast period, especially in developing countries such as China, India and Brazil. Cosmetics accounted for third largest share in the market in the same year.
Asia Pacific was the largest regional market, accounting for 39.7% of the global volume in 2014. The region is projected to dominate the market throughout the forecast period due to flourishing food & beverage sector, particularly in China and India. Increasing demand for packaged food coupled with rising disposable income of consumers is expected to spur demand for the flexible packaging over the forecast period.
In North America, elimination of regulations that restricted establishment of new manufacturing units by the government of Mexico has resulted in development of new manufacturing facilities of large scale companies including Takeda, Daiichi Ranbaxy, and Astellas. This government strategy has played an important role in driving domestic pharmaceutical industry, which in turn is anticipated to fuel product demand over the forecast period.
Europe accounted for the second largest share, accounting for 33.6% of the global share in 2014, owing to large scale use of the product in various end-use industries. Robust growth of the healthcare sector in Europe in estimated to trigger demand for pharmaceuticals, thus influencing the demand for flexible packaging positively.
Some of the primary players engaged in the production are Bemis Company, Inc.; Mondi; Huhtamaki Group; Amcor Limited; and BASF SE. A majority of key companies are expected to shift manufacturing base to developing countries including China and India on account of low cost of production and low labor costs.
The global industry is highly fragmented on account of presence of numerous players. Key manufacturers are engaged in R&D to gain competitive advantage. The market 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.
This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2012 to 2022. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global flexible packaging market report on the basis of raw material, application, and region:
Raw Material Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
Food & Beverages
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
Middle East & Africa
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