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

Thermoform Packaging Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Material (PET, PE, PP), By Product Type (Containers, Clamshell), By End-use Industry (Pharmaceuticals, Food & Beverage), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Report ID: GVR-3-68038-931-9
  • Number of Pages: 95
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global thermoform packaging market size was valued at USD 42.86 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% from 2021 to 2028. Increasing demand for packaged food including prepared food and packaged meat & seafood products, coupled with rising penetration of the organized and e-retail networks worldwide, is expected to drive the market growth during the forecast period. In the thermoforming process, the thermoplastic sheet is heated up to its softening temperature, and then, it is converted into the desired shape with the help of molds. Most commonly, heat, vacuum, and pressure are employed on these sheets to produce the final products.

The U.S. thermoform packaging market size, by product type, 2017 - 2028 (USD Billion)

The process is mainly bifurcated into two types, namely, thin-gauge and thick-gauge thermoforming. Thin-gauge thermoformed products including trays, blister, and clamshells are widely used for the packaging of various food, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and home care products. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry has been witnessing a shift towards blister packaging from traditional bottles for the packaging of oral solid doses. This shift is primarily attributed to the heightened protection offered by blisters against moisture and oxygen for individual solid doses. Moreover, low cost and easy transportation of blisters are also attracting pharmaceutical manufacturers to use the product.

Thermoformed products, such as trays, containers, cups, plates, and others, are extensively utilized by the foodservice industry for table offering as well as for parcel packaging. The rising penetration of e-food delivery platforms coupled with changing lifestyles across the world has been significantly contributing to the expansion of the foodservice industry, which, in turn, is anticipated to fuel the product demand.

Thermoform packaging products are cost-effective, lightweight, and offer high aesthetic appeal; thus, they are widely utilized by packaged food manufacturers. In addition, the increasing popularity of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) for food products, wherein controlled gaseous mixture is employed within thermoform containers to extend the shelf life of the food products, is expected to boost the market growth in the coming years.

Rising demand for single-serve packaging due to growing on-the-go food consumption is expected to be a pivotal factor in market growth. However, increasing traction around sustainable packaging is prompting end-use manufacturers to opt for flexible packaging that demands lesser raw material and can be efficiently transported and handled. This factor is expected to hinder the growth of the market over the forecast period.

Material Insights

The Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) segment led the market and accounted for more than 44% of the global revenue share in 2020. Properties of PET material including high strength, low weight, and recyclability boost its demand, thereby supporting the segment growth. Moreover, PET showcases low water absorption and does not react with food or beverages. These factors also make it an ideal choice for the packaging of consumable products.

A variety of PET graders including A-PET, C-PET, and R-PET are used to make thermoform packaging. Amorphous Polyethylene Terephthalate or A-PET is a crystal clear material and is ideal for producing containers for displaying various products, such as bakery products. Crystalline Polyethylene Terephthalate or C-PET can withstand extreme temperatures, making it ideal for packaging oven-ready as well as frozen foods.

Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate or R-PET is being increasingly preferred by end-use companies due to the growing demand for sustainable solutions. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is anticipated to experience significant CAGR from 2021 to 2028, as the material possesses robust barrier properties and is shatter-resistant, lightweight, and cheaper than High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Polypropylene (PP).

Polypropylene (PP) is another popular material within the market mainly due to its toughness. Moreover, high tolerance at elevated temperatures makes it ideal for microwavable food product applications. Moreover, PP aids in retaining the freshness of food items, due to which, it is commonly used in food & beverage applications.

Product Type Insights

The containers product type segment dominated the global market with a revenue share of over 26% in 2020. Extensive application of thermoformed containers in the foodservice industry contributed largely to the segment’s high share. The segment will expand further at a steady rate over the coming years due to the increasing penetration of food delivery services, especially in the developing regions.

The blister is another popular product, which is widely utilized by the pharmaceutical, personal care, and electronics industries. A blister pack consists of a pocket or a cavity in which the product to be packed is placed and then sealed using paperboard or other materials, such as aluminum foil or even plastic.

The clamshell product segment is anticipated to witness the fastest CAGR of 5.9% from 2021 to 2028. High aesthetics appeal offered by clamshells boosts their demand in the retail segment. A clamshell is a container that consists of two halves joined by a hinge that assists in the closing of the container. Clamshells are primarily employed in the food & beverage and electronics industries.

Thermoformed trays are typically used in the food industry, especially in supermarkets, for displaying various products including meat, fruits, and vegetables among others. The increasing availability of frozen meat products in emerging countries due to rising penetration of cold chain and organized retail networks are anticipated to favor the growth of the trays product type segment over the forecast period.

End-user Industry Insights

The food & beverage end-user industry segment accounted for the highest revenue share of over 51% in 2020. Extensive utilization of various products, such as containers, trays, and clamshells, by packaged food manufacturers and foodservice outlets contributed to the higher share of this segment.

Increasing demand for convenience or packaged food products due to changing lifestyle is likely to increase the penetration of thermoform products in the food & beverage end-use industry segment over the forecast period. However, the shifting preference for sustainable packaging solutions, such as molded pulp products, is expected to hinder the segment growth.

Global thermoform packaging market share, by end-user industry, 2020 (%)

The pharmaceutical end-user industry segment is estimated to register the highest CAGR of 5.9% from 2021 to 2028. The rapidly expanding global pharmaceutical industry, rising prevalence of chronic diseases, and growing geriatric population are the primary factors contributing to the growth of the segment. Pharmaceutical companies mainly prefer thermoformed blisters owing to their effective unit dose packaging.

Electronics is another key end-user industry segment wherein thermoform containers, clamshells, and blisters are used for packaging various electronics products including headphones, batteries, mobile accessories, and others. Increasing penetration of e-commerce has been significantly contributing to the expansion of the electronics industry, which, in turn, is anticipated to have a positive impact on the segment growth in the coming years.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the market with a revenue share of 27.7% in 2020. The widespread presence of large-sized packaged food companies and strong penetration of organized retail contributed to the high share of the regional market in 2020. Moreover, the presence of large-sized thermoform packaging manufacturers that strive for a higher share within the market by introducing innovative products also supported the region’s growth. Other factors that contributed to the regional market include high consumption of frozen meat and packaged bakery products.

On the other hand, Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the largest as well as the fastest-growing regional market from 2021 to 2028. A rising number of nuclear families, which increases the demand for single-serve packaging, increasing geriatric population, and growing penetration of organized retail in countries such as China and India, are the key factors driving the regional market. Europe is expected to witness sluggish growth over the forecast period due to stringent regulations on the use of plastic products and rising awareness about sustainability, which is paving the way for paper- and pulp-based packaging, thereby hindering market growth.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is highly competitive with the presence of both public as well as private players. The market participants compete primarily on the basis of product differentiation and cost and services offered. Pactiv LLC emerged as the market leader in 2020 owing to its robust product offering, particularly for the food & beverage industry, and strong presence in North America.

Companies operating in the market offer a wide range of products made from different materials that are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Moreover, they also offer custom packaging products to suit specific customer requirements. Acquisition emerged as a key strategy preferred by industry players to expand their product portfolio, clientele, and geographic reach. For instance, in January 2020, Sonoco Products Company completed the acquisition of Thermoform Engineered Quality, LLC, and Plastique Holdings, LTD., which was aimed at expanding its product portfolio and clientele across the globe. Some of the key companies in the global thermoform packaging market include:

  • Amcor

  • Sonoco Products Company

  • Placon Corp.

  • Display Pack, Inc.

  • Pactiv LLC

  • Dart Container Corp.

  • Constantia

  • Tray-Pak Corp.

  • D&W Fine Pack

  • Lacerta Group, Inc.

  • RPC Group Plc

  • Silgan Holdings, Inc.

  • Sinclair & Rush, Inc.

  • Rompa Group

Thermoform Packaging Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 45.00 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 64.21 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 5.2% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2017 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Material, product type, end-user industry, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; France; Italy; U.K.; China; India; Japan; Brazil; Saudi Arabia

Key companies profiled

Amcor; Sonoco Products Company; Placon Corp.; Display Pack, Inc.; Pactiv LLC; Dart Container Corp.; Constantia; Tray-Pak Corp.; D&W Fine Pack; Lacerta Group, Inc.; RPC Group Plc; Silgan Holdings, Inc.; Sinclair & Rush, Inc.; Rompa Group

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope

Pricing and purchase options

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global thermoform packaging market report on the basis of material, product type, end-user industry, and region:

  • Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • PET

    • PVC

    • PS

    • PP

    • PE

    • Others

  • Product Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Blister

    • Clamshell

    • Skin Packaging

    • Trays & Lids

    • Containers

    • Others

  • End-user Industry Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Food & Beverage

    • Personal Care & Cosmetics

    • Pharmaceuticals

    • Electronics

    • Homecare

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • Italy

      • France

      • U.K.

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

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