The global flexible packaging market size was estimated at USD 270.96 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% from 2024 to 2030. Increasing consumption of flexible packaging products in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors is driving the demand for the products. These products offer various advantages, such as container variety, need for less raw materials, ease of disposal, and lightweight nature, which are expected to fuel the product demand over the forecast period. The U.S. market is projected to grow significantly over the forecast period due to growing demand for packaging from food & beverage and healthcare products.
This market is driven by the steady growth of the healthcare, food & beverage, and personal care industries. Lifestyle and demographic factors are also expected to propel demand for cosmetic products. The application of flexible metal packaging products in numerous applications has encouraged manufacturers of rigid metal packaging to shift towards flexible metal packaging. Consumption of lower energy and a significant decrease in the production of waste has prompted this shift.
In addition, U.S. government agencies are funding projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption, which can present a positive outlook for market. In January 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced USD 13.4 million in funding to produce plastic with low energy consumption and minimum carbon dioxide emissions. This investment is focused on addressing metal waste recycling challenges. As flexible packaging consumes less material compared to rigid packaging, it requires less energy for production and helps in carbon emissions reduction. Such initiatives will help promote development of bioplastic as a sustainable material for flexible packaging as well as highlight flexible packaging as an economical substitute for rigid packaging.
The growing importance of increasing food shelf life & reducing food wastage, along with increasing adoption of sustainable & cost-effective packaging by end-users are preponderance for the market. Food wastage is a major concern today globally. Primary reasons for food wastage are spoiled food due to improper packaging and excessive food production beyond consumption requirements. However, the latter one, i.e., gap between excessive production and consumption requirements depends on the consumer level and lack of an adequate food packaging system often results in food being dumped into landfills. According to The World Bank Group report on solid waste management 2050, food waste accounts for over 44.0% of the overall solid waste dumped into landfills annually.
Traditional rigid packaging consists of glass, metal, and plastic-based packaging containers. Glass and metals are fully recyclable, and some types of plastics are recyclable. However, recyclability of materials is just one of the parameters of a packaging product’s life cycle assessment. Cost-effectiveness is a term being used across the packaging industry, wherein emphasis is being given to considering other aspects that can impact packaged product cost.
Based on product, market for flexible packaging is further segmented into pouches, bags, films & wraps, and others. Among these, the pouches segment held the largest market share of over 38.0%, in terms of revenue, in 2023. This high market share is attributed to growing adoption of refill pouches by food & beverage manufacturers to reduce their packaging costs.
The bags segment is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% over the forecast period. This market growth is attributed to wide utilization of these bags for packing products in bulk quantities such as automobile components, agricultural products, chemicals, and detergents.
The films & wraps segment held a significant market share in 2023 owing to their properties such as superior shrinking, twist retention, and transparency. These films are used to shield packaged content during packaging, distribution, and storage stages. They are mostly used on outer flexible packaging to increase its tearing resistance.
Based on application, the market is categorized into food & beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and others segments. Among these, the food & beverages segment emerged as the most significant application segment for flexible packaging in 2023 with a market share of over 55.0%. Growing demand for packaged foods, including ready-to-eat meals, frozen meals, snack foods, and cake mixes, is expected to prompt manufacturers to increase their production capacity, augmenting product demand over the forecast period.
Pharmaceutical application is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% over the forecast period. This growth is attributed to its wide application for packaging and protecting a variety of drug items for medical use, including powders, tablets, and capsules. The most common types of flexible packaging in pharmaceuticals are pouches, blister packages, and strip packages.
The cosmetics application is driven by various shampoo manufacturing brands introducing samples and trial packs in flexible single-serving sachets or pillow pouches. This makes it economical for customers to try out new cosmetic products before purchasing entire bottle. Samples packed in single-use packets are viewed as a great marketing tool by cosmetic product manufacturers to increase brand awareness and encourage low-risk trials.
Based on material, market for flexible packaging is further categorized into plastic, paper, metal, and bioplastics segments. Among these, the plastic segment held the largest market share of over 69.0%, in terms of revenue, in 2023. The availability of a wide variety of options available and their higher tensile strength compared to metal counterparts are expected to drive demand over the forecast period.
The bioplastics segment is anticipated to grow at the fastest CAGR of 5.9% over the forecast period. They have gained popularity in various industries, including flexible packaging, as a potential solution to address metal waste and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. According to Plastic Europe, flexible packaging emerged as the leading global application segment for bioplastics with 695.6 kilotons of bioplastics consumed in 2022 solely for flexible packaging.
The paper segment held a significant market share in the base year 2023. The growing requirement for sustainable packaging materials has driven demand for paper in flexible packaging applications. It is manufactured from wood pulp and is known for its lightweight, high tear resistance, thickness, and strength. Its coarse texture, due to highly oriented fibers, helps provide better protection than many packaging materials. Its biodegradable nature also allows it to be disposed of or recycled easily.
The metal segment is projected to grow at a significant CAGR over the forecast period. This is owing to its wide application in various application segments including food & beverage and pharmaceutical packaging. Aluminum foil exhibits an excellent barrier to moisture, gases, and light, making it suitable for use in flexible laminates for food, beverage, and technical applications.
The Asia Pacific region held the largest share of over 38.0% in 2023. The flexible packaging industry is predicted to increase at a significant rate over the forecast period. A significant growth in domestic demand for flexible packaging in Asia Pacific is due to growing urbanization in China and India, which are leading in consumption of packaged foods. Most flexible packaging used in Asia Pacific is for packaged food including noodles and snacks. Flexible metal is preferred due to its food-preserving ability, affordability, and convenience.
China held the largest market share in the region in 2023 owing to stringent regulations introduced by the government to reduce packaging waste and promote packaging sustainability can support growth of flexible packaging in China. For instance, in September 2021, China’s State Administration for market introduced Regulation GB 23350-2021 ‘Requirements of Restricting Excessive Package - Foods and Cosmetics’, an amendment to standards released in 2009, which mandates cosmetic and food companies to redesign their product packaging. This standard is expected to come into force in September 2023.
Europe is anticipated to witness a high demand for flexible metal packaging solutions owing to high growth of healthcare and food & beverage, and personal care industries. The European market is characterized by both international and domestic players. The prominent players operating in market have their manufacturing facilities, notably in countries such as UK, Germany, and Italy.
North America is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% over the forecast period owing to lightweight solutions in the region coupled with consumer lifestyle trends necessitating portability and convenience of products has augmented demand for flexible packaging solutions. Another important factor that has driven the industry is the increasing adoption of advanced packaging technology. This is due to various benefits offered by flexible metal packaging solutions such as low packaging cost, warehouse cost, transportation cost, and energy consumption.
The market in Central & South America is witnessing substantial growth due to increased demand for flexible packaging from food & beverage sector. Countries in Central & South America such as Brazil, Argentina, and Chile have a well-established tomato puree processing industry. Brazil has a strong presence in fruit juice market and is one of the leading exporters of fruits.
A shift toward sustainability along with changing consumer behavior toward healthier products in Middle East & Africa region is expected to boost the demand for flexible packaging. Population growth coupled with rising consumer disposable income in region has posed a high demand for quality and organic food. However, manufacturing sector in the region is growing at a slower pace compared to other regions owing to unfavorable geography and lack of raw material availability. This is likely to impact production of flexible packaging solutions in the region.
Key Companies resort to multiple mergers and acquisitions in a bid to gain market share in a particular region. In some cases, companies undergo several acquisitions to produce an advanced product with superior performance characteristics to increase revenue. For instance, in August 2023, Amcor plc entered an agreement to acquire a Gujarat-based flexible packaging manufacturer, Phoenix Flexibles. Amcor plc has four packaging plants in India and this acquisition is expected to enable the company to expand its market presence in India.
Market size value in 2024
USD 281.80 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030
USD 373.34 billion
CAGR of 4.7% from 2024 to 2030
Base year for estimation
2018 - 2022
2024 - 2030
Revenue in USD billion and CAGR from 2024 to 2030
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Material, product, application, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa
U.S.; Canada; Mexico; UK; Germany; France; Italy; Spain; China; Japan; India; South Korea; Australia; Thailand; Indonesia; Singapore; Vietnam; Myanmar; Malaysia; Brazil; Argentina; Saudi Arabia; South Africa
Key companies profiled
Amcor plc; Mondi Group; Huhtamaki Flexible Packaging; Sonoco Products Company; SEE; Constantia Flexibles; Bemis Manufacturing Company; UKrMetal; ProAmpac; Wipak Group; Berry Global Inc; FlexPak Services; Transcontinental Inc.; Coveris; DS Smith; American Packaging Corporation; InterFlex Group; FLEX-PACK ENGINEERING, INC.; Innovia Films; Cosmo Films; Novolex; Sigma Plastics Group; Graphic Packaging International, LLC; Bischof+Klein SE & Co. KG; Südpack
Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.
Pricing and purchase options
Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options
This report forecasts revenue growth at regional & country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global flexible packaging market report based on material, product, application, and region:
Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Films & Wraps
Strech & Shrink Labels
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Food & Beverage
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
b. The global flexible packaging market size was estimated at USD 270.96 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 281.80 billion in 2024.
b. The global flexible packaging market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% from 2024 to 2030 to reach USD 373.34 billion by 2030.
b. The plastic segment accounted for over 69.08% share in 2023 owing to its property of keeping products fresher for a longer duration and offering strong resistance to moisture, dust, oxygen, and UV light; along with being cost effective.
b. The key market players in the flexible packaging market include Amcor plc, Mondi Group, Huhtamaki Flexible Packaging, Sonoco Products Company, SEE, Constantia Flexibles, Bemis Manufacturing Company, UkrMetal, ProAmpac, Wipak Group, Berry Global Inc, FlexPak Services, Transcontinental Inc., Coveris, DS Smith, American Packaging Corporation, InterFlex Group, FLEX-PACK ENGINEERING, INC., Innovia Films, Cosmo Films, Novolex, Sigma Plastics Group, Graphic Packaging International, LLC, Bischof+Klein SE & Co. KG, and Südpack
b. The key factors that are driving the growth for flexible packaging market include rising demand for low-cost, convenient, shelf appealing, and lightweight packaging by application industries, including food & beverages, pharmaceutical, personal care & cosmetics, and home care, among others.
NEED A CUSTOM REPORT?
We can customize every report - free of charge - including purchasing stand-alone sections or country-level reports, as well as offer affordable discounts for start-ups & universities. Contact us now
"The quality of research they have done for us has been excellent."