The global thin wall packaging market is expected to gain significant demand during the forecast period owing to the dire need of minimizing packaging weight in compliance with stringent food & consumer safety regulations. Long term growth and sustainability targets for entities in the packaging industry, which usually include recycling and adoption of bio-based raw materials, will further boost demand in the market over the coming years.
The product finds its wide range of applications in producing high clarity thin-walled containers for frozen, chilled and ambient foods; dairy products; household chemicals; and paints; among others. Non-food packaging applications such as personal care, pails, and household products, which includes containers for detergent, pods, cotton buds, and wipes, will have a major impact on demand growth during the forecast period. This can be attributed to consumer inclination towards well-packaged products. The aesthetic quality of products enables the brand owners to differentiate their products in the fast-moving consumer-goods industry, thereby enhancing product visibility & appeal to consumers.
The packaging industry is heavily dependent on the optimization of manufacturing processes, which impacts the marginal profits generated during the trade. Thin-walled packaging achieves optimal performance as it offers high flowability, reduced cycle times, balanced mechanical properties, and excellent organoleptic properties creating a cost-effective manufacturing process.
Other major factors that will be guiding demand for the thin wall packaging market is increased stackability during storage rendered due to reduced weight. This also directly imparts low floor space consumption during storage and transportation, thus creating avenues for storage cost reduction. Lower risk of breakage/loss during transportation, improved environmental emission performance, and recyclability will also impact demand for the product during the forecast period.
Commercially available thin wall packaging is usually derived from key material categories such as polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and glass. The PP-based thin wall packaging category is expected to witness high demand and growth during the projected timeframe. This can be explained as PP-based packaging offers high stiffness, enhanced transparency, steam barrier properties, prevention of corrosion in machinery, shorter cycle times, excellent top-load performance for high stackability, and reusability.
PS-based thin wall packaging is also widely used in the food packaging industry as it offers superior insulation & resistance to pests and moisture. Furthermore, ease of processability, lightweight, and reduced environmental impacts also make it a popular choice for consumers and brand owners.
Based on production technology, a thin wall packaging market can be segmented into thermoforming and injection molding. The injection molding technique acquires a higher share and demand in the market as it offers numerous benefits which range from lower production time, cost & wastage. Uniformity is a major factor driving demand for injection molded thin wall packaging as it is considerably high compared to the thermoforming process.
Crude oil prices and other trends in the petrochemical industry directly impact the demand and supply in the market, with volatile pricing and related geopolitical conflicts between nations presently acting as major challenges for the industry growth. Raw material availability and transportation barriers also stimulate the production of thin wall packaging. Stringent regulatory regimes dictated by agencies pertaining to food safety, packaging and environmental protection relays higher demand for lightweight, stable and thin-walled packaging materials.
Asia Pacific thin wall packaging industry is expected to register a higher market share compared to other regions. This can be accredited to rising demand for FMCG products and consumer inclination towards the convenient & packaged foods industry. Rapid population growth, high living standards, and improved spending capacity of the consumers have resulted in a demand for aesthetically & environment-friendly products.
Food Safety & Standards (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011 by FSSAI clearly directs the terms and policies to be adopted by fast-moving consumer good companies in India. It states these companies to adopt a cleaner, leaner and efficient packaging methodologies.
Low-production cost for brand owners, packaged food renderers, household product manufacturers due to cooperative governing bodies in countries like India, South Korea, Thailand, China coupled with intervention created by multinational companies by setting up production plants near demand centers will improve product demand.
Aggressive online marketing through digital platforms & social media, creating awareness & interest among consumers towards brand values & sustainability strategies towards adopted production techniques support sales value for FMCG products. Consumers are now more willing to buy products that entail low environmental footprints. Creating such awareness among consumers will indirectly augment demand for the thin wall packaging market.
Most of the major manufacturers of thin wall packaging are located in Europe and North America. However, many startup companies such as Arekapak, Agilyx, Bioplastech & Bioplas have come up with innovative packaging solutions by adopting thin wall packaging materials around the world. Most of these companies plan to expand its reach in regions having high consumer adoption rate for packaged food and consumer good products, they set up plants partnering with local companies, which benefits them in gaining major subsidies and governmental support in doing so.
Whilst startups are trying to expand their reach in demand centers, major players strategize to invest in R&D capabilities and creating mergers & acquisitions to do so. In August 2018, Amcor acquired Bemis Company, Inc. which valued at over USD 6.8 billion to enhance its R&D capabilities to cater to demand for innovative & sustainable packaging solutions. Similarly, in June, 2017, RPC Group acquired a South African company Astrapak, a key thin wall packaging producer to expand its reach in the region. Some of the prominent players in the market are Borealis, SABIC, Berry Global, Taghleef Industries, EVCO Plastics, LykaPack, PACCOR, Mold-Tek Packaging, and Double H Plastics.
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