The global thermoformed plastics for printing market size was valued at USD 34.2 million in 2019 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% from 2020 to 2027. The rising focus of various end-use industries on expanding and investing significantly in advertising and marketing is expected to propel the demand for thermoformed plastics for printing over the forecast period. The advertising industry majorly comprises a large number of medium-sized and small-sized advertising companies operating in a country and large advertising companies operating in small numbers across different countries. These advertising companies have developed a vast network of offices globally to cater to the companies operating in more than one country.
The growing trend towards hiring a single advertising agency by companies to cover all the business locations across the globe has positively impacted large advertising companies. Advertising companies use televisions, web marketing, and signboards for promotions. Printed plastic signboards are widely used across all tier cities globally. The prices of signboards for a specific period are decided based on their location.
With the increasing environmental concerns regarding plastic waste and improvements in technology, the use of the digital screen, also known as digital signboards, at public places has increased. The major advantage of using a digital screen for advertisements and signboards is that multiple advertisements can be displayed in a short span of time. Its use also helps in reducing pollution caused by plastic signboards.
Moreover, the use of digital signboards leads to a significant reduction in cost as the need to print fresh thermoformed plastic sheets to display advertisements is eliminated. Additionally, cost-saving by using digital signboards adds to the profit margin of advertising companies. Thus, further penetration of digital signboards in tier-3 cities among other cities is likely to negatively affect market growth.
The polycarbonate segment led the market and accounted for more than 34.0% share of the global revenue in 2019. This significant share is attributed to the ease in moldability and flexibility, which makes it an ideal material for thermoforming applications. Polycarbonate is tough and strong, while some grades of polycarbonate plastic are even optically transparent, which makes it easy to be engineered. Polycarbonate materials are produced by the overall reaction of phosgene and bisphenol A (BPA).
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is widely used for display signage owing to its low cost and high resistance. The material is widely used to display bright colors and can be used in high gloss finish display applications, such as billboard signage and panel beaters signage. HIPS is widely used for low structural strength applications where machinability, low cost, and impact resistance are required.
Polyvinyl chloride is one of the most widely used thermoplastic polymers globally. Without the addition of plasticizers, PVC is extremely brittle. It is widely used for promotional and branding products, such as custom USB, custom key-rings, branded t-shirts, custom magnets, promotional clothing, and mugs. The increase in promotional activities by companies operating in various sectors, such as automotive, FMCG, and electrical and electronics, is expected to drive the demand for PVC in the market over the forecast period.
The thick gauge thermoforming process segment led the market and accounted for more than 48.0% share of the global revenue in 2019. Thick gauge thermoforming is used to process acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate (PC), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polypropylene (PP). These plastics are majorly used in the production of display and outdoor signages, such as nameplates used in shops and traffic signboards. They are also used to produce gaming panel products, such as sidewalk boards and game zone machine boards. The growth of display and outdoor signages and gaming panel applications is anticipated to drive the heavy (thick) gauge thermoforming segment over the forecast period.
Thin gauge thermoforming is used to process polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and styrene. These plastics are majorly used to produce promotional and branding products, such as customized USBs, keyrings, printed t-shirts, and mugs. Changing consumer behavior and the growth of display and outdoor signages and gaming panel applications are expected to drive the thin gauge thermoforming segment over the forecast period.
Plug assist thermoforming is used to process high impact polystyrene (HIPS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene (PE), acrylics, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). These plastics are majorly used in the production of display and outdoor signages and promotional and branding products, such as keyrings, trophies, and mugs. The growth of display and outdoor signages and promotional and branding applications is projected to drive the plug assist thermoforming segment over the forecast period.
The display and outdoor signages application segment led the market and accounted for more than 55.0% share of the global revenue in 2019. This significant share is attributed to dynamically evolving consumer behavior, which requires companies, company outlets, and other shops to display their products and services in the most innovative and effective ways.
Companies operating in the construction, automotive, cosmetics, FMCG, and other sectors are coming up with new products and services, which may require regional as well as global advertisement in the case of multinational companies. Changing consumer behavior and new product development in various industries are expected to drive the demand for display and outdoor signages over the forecast period.
The promotional and branding products segment accounted for the second-largest share in terms of revenue in 2019. Companies operating in various sectors, such as automotive, lubricants, and cosmetics, offer promotional products, including pens, notepads, bags, t-shirts, and USB drives, to attract consumers along with their main product. Rising promotional activities by companies to attract consumers as well as increase their market share are expected to drive the demand for promotional and branding products over the coming years.
The growing trend of digital gaming has resulted in a rise in the number of gaming zones, especially in shopping malls and complexes. This has led to an increased demand for printed boards displaying the game zone and game machines. Companies such as Electronic Arts, Inc. (commonly known as EA Sports); Nintendo; Activision; Rockstar; and Zynga organize gaming tournaments at the global level.
These gaming and game tournament sponsoring companies require thermoformed plastic printed boards for advertisement and displaying vital information at the time of the tournament. Thus, the growing trend of digital gaming is expected to drive the demand for gaming panels over the forecast period.
North America led the market and accounted for more than 52.0% share of the global revenue in 2019. This significant share is attributed to the rising demand for display and outdoor signage, promotional and branding products, and gaming panels in North America, owing to the healthy competition to have a major share of the market prevailing among various industry players. The per capita expenditure in North America is above the global average per capita expenditure. The regional market has observed a general trend of purchasing goods and services from established and authorized dealers.
The advertising industry in Europe is growing on account of rising industrial and technological developments. The majority of the companies spend their significant amount of advertising expenditure on display and outdoor signage and promotional products. Many e-commerce websites such as Georgia Gifts and Visual Advert offer customized promotional products, such as printed t-shirts, key rings, mugs, bags, and various other products. A rise in demand for these customized promotional products is expected to drive the market in Europe over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing regional market over the forecast period. The market is driven by the rapidly growing young population and lower penetration of the digital signage market in this region. Moreover, Asia Pacific is one of the leading electronic gaming markets and has a broader young age audience, which is positively impacting the regional market growth.
The increasing adoption of free-to-play gaming stations, along with surging smartphone penetration, has attracted the attention of the printing companies and gaming panel developers toward the region, which, in turn, is expected to boost the market growth in the coming years. Furthermore, the rising use of signage boards and promotional and branding products in the retail, transportation, banking, corporate, and education sectors for advertising and marketing purposes is anticipated to propel the demand for thermoformed plastics for printing in the region.
The market has the potential to grow on account of its dependence on the advertising and gaming industries. Various end-use companies operating in industries, such as consumer goods, automotive, and electronics, are investing a major share of their revenues in advertising. With the rising digitization, the advertising industry is witnessing a shift toward the digital mode of advertising, thus impacting the demand for conventional displays and signboards.
To overcome these challenges, companies are focusing on new product innovations. For instance, in April 2019, Plaskolite, Inc. launched OPTIX EL, a cast acrylic sheet, which when used with LED lights produces a bright-lit surface. The aim of the company behind this launch was to strengthen its footprint in the graphics and sign industry. Some prominent players in the global thermoformed plastics for printing market include:
Sonoco Products Company
Palram Americas Ltd.
Perspex International Ltd.
Market size value in 2020
USD 35.6 million
Revenue forecast in 2027
USD 51.5 million
CAGR of 5.4% from 2020 to 2027
Base year for estimation
2016 - 2018
2020 - 2027
Volume in tons, revenue in USD thousand/million, and CAGR from 2020 to 2027
Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Product, process, application, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central and South America; the Middle East and Africa
U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; U.K.; France; Italy; China; India; Japan
Key companies profiled
Sonoco Products Company; Plaskolite; Inc.; C.M. Packaging; Placon; Palram Americas Ltd.; Perspex International Ltd.
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This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global thermoformed plastics for printing market report on the basis of product, process, application, and region:
Product Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand, 2016 - 2027)
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS)
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG)
Process Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand, 2016 - 2027)
Plug Assist Forming
Thick Gauge Thermoforming
Thin Gauge Thermoforming
Application Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand, 2016 - 2027)
Display & Outdoor Signages
Promotional & Branding Products
Regional Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand, 2016 - 2027)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
b. The thermoformed plastics for printing market size was estimated at USD 34.2 million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 35.6 million in 2020.
b. The thermoformed plastics for printing market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.4% from 2020 to 2027 to reach USD 51.5 million by 2027.
b. North America dominated the thermoformed plastics for printing market with a share of 52.9% in 2019. This is attributable to the rising demand for thermoformed plastics for printing in the advertising industry to gain the majority of the consumer base in the region.
b. Some of the key players operating in the thermoformed plastics for printing market include Sonoco Products Company, Plaskolite, Inc., C.M. Packaging, Placon, Palram Americas Ltd., and Perspex International Ltd.
b. Key factors driving the thermoformed plastics for printing market growth include the growth of the advertising industry, growing gaming industry, coupled with companies penetrating the untouched regional market.
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