GVR Report cover Flexible Packaging Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Flexible Packaging Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Raw Material (Paper, Aluminum Foil, Plastics, Bioplastics), By Application (Food & Beverages, Pharmaceutical), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2017 - 2022

  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-504-5
  • Number of Pages: 142
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Industry Insights

The global flexible packaging market size was estimated at USD 221.81 billion in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 4.7 from 2017 to 2022. Growing food requirements on account of rising population in Asia Pacific particularly in India and China is expected to have a positive impact on the industry growth over the next seven years.

Bioplastics was one of the key raw material 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.

U.S. flexible packaging market

In the U.S., consumers are preferring packaging that is light and aesthetically appealing. This will increase the use of plastic-based flexible packaging over the forecast period. Technological developments such as plastic-based flexible pouches and sachets will open new avenues for the production in several application industries over the next six years.

Strict regulatory scenario particularly in North America and Europe regarding food contact application is expected to challenge market growth over the forecast period. efforts towards the development of bio-based packaging products coupled with stringent regulations to promote their use in the flexible packaging industry is expected to fuel demand.

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 lifestyle of consumers coupled with increasing demand for environment-friendly packaging material is likely to stir up demand for flexible packaging.

Raw Material Insights

Plastic is the most widely used raw material for flexible packaging accounting for 78.3% of the total revenue share in 2016. These materials have high potential in the market on account of rising consumer preference, low shipping costs, and less storage requirements. It is widely used in the food & beverage sector as they can take several forms and shapes, which hold high importance for the industry.

The demand for bioplastics is expected to gain traction in the upcoming 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 expected to fillip the industry demand. Bioplastic flexible packaging is largely employed in the food & beverage and pharmaceutical sectors on account of strict policy, 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.

Application Insights

Food & beverage was the largest application segment, accounting for 80.6% of global revenue share in 2016. 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.

Rising popularity of nutritional enrichment along with the European Commission’s support to regulate the application of flexible packaging in food applications at the domestic level is expected to augment industry demand. Presence of key manufacturers along with increasing R&D expenditure to develop innovative flexible packaging products in Europe is expected to promote demand in the near future.

Global flexible packaging market

The pharmaceutical industry was the second largest application segment, accounting for 7.8% of the market share in 2016. On account of increasing advancements in science and technology, the segment is expected to gain traction in the forecast period especially in emerging counties such as China, India, and Brazil.

The cosmetics segment is expected to witness the fastest growth over the next six years. This growth is attributed on account of changing lifestyle along with growing awareness regarding health & hygiene among consumers, particularly in emerging markets of China and India. Flexible packaging is employed in the cosmetic industry for the manufacturing of standup pouches and pre-made pouches to obstruct moisture entry into the product.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific was the largest regional market, accounting for 38.8% of the revenue share in 2016. The growth of the regional market is attributed to the 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.

Europe was the second-largest region and accounted for 26.8% of the total revenue share in 2016. Increasing R&D expenditure on the pharmaceutical industry in Europe is expected to indirectly fuel flexible packaging demand over the next six years. Growing personal care products demand in Germany, Italy, France, and UK is expected to have a positive impact 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 the development of new manufacturing facilities including Takeda, Daiichi Ranbaxy, and Astellas. This government strategy has played an important role in driving the domestic pharmaceutical industry, which in turn is anticipated to fuel product demand over the forecast period.

Middle East & Africa is expected to grow at a substantial rate over the forecast period. Pharmaceutical industry growth in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia, on account of rising health expenditure coupled with government support is expected to have a positive impact on flexible packaging industry growth over the projected period.

Flexible Packaging Market Share Insights

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.

Key manufacturers are engaged in R&D to gain a 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.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2012 - 2015

Forecast period

2017 - 2022

Market representation

Volume in Kilotons, Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2019 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., Germany, UK, China, India, Brazil

Report coverage

Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

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