According to a new published report by Allied Market Research titled, “Flexible packaging Market by Material, Packaging Type, and End-use Industry: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2022–2031,”
The global flexible packaging market was valued at $68.5 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $102.8 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.2% from 2022 to 2031.
Flexible packaging combines different benefits of plastics, paper, laminating aluminum foil, and PET films, such as improved protection, increased food safety, and help in prolonging product shelf life. Such versatile packaging supplies functional solution that requires minimal production costs. Products are shielded from moisture, UV rays, mold, dust, and other environmental contaminants with flexible packaging, which preserves the product's quality and extends the shelf life. In addition, flexible packaging is less bulky and lighter than traditional options, so it is easier for customers to buy, transport, and store products.
The market for flexible packaging is experiencing growth due to the rise in demand for snack and convenience foods in single-serving or small-serving sizes. The packaging industry is shifting toward flexible packaging due to its numerous energy and environmental benefits. Flexible packaging combines the qualities of plastic, paper, and aluminum foil without sacrificing the freshness, barrier protection, durability, printability, or simplicity of use of the product. Thus, these factors are expected to boost the market growth. However, recycling of plastic packaging waste is a complex process that requires state-of-the-art infrastructural facilities. It takes a lot of time and requires skilled workers for recycling of plastic packaging. This is anticipated to hamper the growth of the flexible packaging market.
Plastic is widely used material for packaging in various industries including food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, tobacco products, and personal care industry. According to the Plastics Europe- one of the leading European trade associations, in 2016, the global plastic production was recorded at 335 million tons, out of which, 39.9% was used in packaging. The growth in the plastic packaging market is anticipated to be driven by the growing adoption of plastics due to its distinctive attributes such as flexibility, sustainability, and lightweight.. In addition, the adoption of plastic in the packaging of food products is fueled by the rise in use of biodegradable plastics as a result of consumers' growing awareness toward environment-friendly products, changes in lifestyles, and changes in eating habits. In addition, biodegradability, durability, and the ability to withstand extreme heat and cold without losing the integrity of the food inside are few features associated with plastic packaging, which allow manufacturers to print an eye-catching, premium custom design, which increases product visibility in a retail setting.
The flexible packaging market is segmented on the basis of material, packaging type, end-use industry, and region.
By material, the global flexible packaging market is segmented into paperboard, plastic, aluminum foil and PET films. The plastic segment accounted for the largest share in 2021 owing to increase in usage of bio-degradable plastics for flexible packaging.
Packaging type of flexible packaging include stand-up pouch, films, and bag-in-box. The films segment accounted for the largest flexible packaging market share in 2021 owing to high demand films packaging from beverages industry, which is projected to help drive the growth of the market.
On the basis of end use industry, the global flexible packaging market is segmented into food & beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, household care, industrial, and others. The food & beverage segment dominated the global flexible packaging market in terms of revenue, in 2021, owing to growth in demand for snack and convenience food in small or single serving portions.
Region wise, the market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA. Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share of the market in 2021, while North America was the fastest growing region during the forecast period. Asia-Pacific exhibits a well-established and growing demand potential for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
The global flexible packaging market is consolidated in nature with a few players, such as Berry Global Inc., Amcor Plc, FlexPak Services LLC, Mondi Group, Sealed Air Corporation, Constantia Flexibles, Transcontinental Inc., Coveris Holding SA, Huhtamaki, and Sonoco, which hold significant share of the market. These players have been adopting various strategies to gain higher share or to retain leading positions in the market.
Key Findings Of The Study
- On the basis of material, the plastic segment emerged as the global leader by acquiring more than 37.1 of the market share in 2021, while paperboards segment is anticipated to continue this trend during the forecast period.
- On the basis of packaging type, the films segment accounted for 78.9% of the global market share in FY2021.
- On the basis of end-use industry, the food & beverage segment emerged as the global leader by acquiring more than 56.2% of the market share in 2021, and is anticipated to continue this trend during the forecast period.
- On the basis of region, Asia-Pacific is the major consumer of flexible packaging among other regions. It accounted for around 38.2 of the global market share in 2021.
Impact Of Covid-19 On The Global Flexible Packaging Market
- COVID-19 has spread to almost 213 countries around the globe with the World Health Organization declaring it a public health emergency on March 11, 2020.
- Some of the major economies were suffering from the COVID-19 crises include Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Norway.
- Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the industry has witnessed disruptions in its supply chain and manufacturing capabilities due to overreliance on China. The manufacturers will be more inclined towards accessing their supply-chain vulnerabilities and reduce dependence on China and focus more on domestic suppliers alongside considering other dependable options.
- During and after the lockdown, a large number of people switched to online food shopping, a trend that will surely continue. E-commerce currently being one of the most widely preferred channel arounf the globe is witness significant growth in demand of packaging solution. With more physical retailers shifting to online sales channels is further fuelling the demand for e-commerce packaging solutions such as corrugated boxes, flexible packaging wraps and others.
- In many countries, the economy has dropped due to the halt of several industries, especially transport and supply chain. Demand for the product has been hindered as there is no development due to the lockdown.
- The COVID-19 epidemic has impacted negatively on the manufacturing and industrial industries due to a scarcity of resources in various parts of the world. The industry's top players are concerned about the market's prospects and are rethinking their strategies to meet the challenge.
- The companies are incorporating various techniques to increase production volume and are attempting to develop innovative solutions at an affordable price that can meet customer requirements at a lower cost and support the overall breakthrough required for increased flexible packaging penetration sustainability.
- COVID-19 pandemic has had a mixed impact on the packaging industry with increase in demand experienced by selected end-markets such as food and healthcare. While sustainable packaging is likely to remain the primary focus of packaging companies in long term, the current focus has shifted to plastics.
- During and after Covid-19 pandemic, packaging manufacturers are witnessing higher demand from sectors such as food & beverages, pharmaceuticals and other essential commodities such as hand sanitizers, soaps, and disinfectants since these categories are currently considered essentials and consumers stocking up these items.