The global flexible packaging market is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 3 per cent during the period 2018-2024, according to a latest report by ResearchAndMarkets.
Increased focus on sustainable flexible packaging, usage of high barrier plastic packing materials, increase in pouch packing across various end-users are likely to contribute to the growth of flexible packaging market during the period, the report cited.
Developing countries with low per capita offer increased opportunities for the flexible packaging market. The growth can be attributed to the availability of low-cost material and machinery for flexible packaging. Further, mergers and acquisitions are expected to bring more opportunities for the market. The use of flexible packaging has increased due to lower environmental impact than other types of packing materials, the report said.
Factors such as the cost of raw materials, low production expenditure, lightweight nature, which, in turn, reduces the transportation cost, are major factors that are driving the global flexible packaging market, it added.
The food industry, which constitutes a share of more than 60 per cent, is the major demand contributor for flexible plastic pouch packaging. Pharmaceuticals and beverage industries are the other major application areas of flexible plastic pouches. Pouches have gained prominence in the flexible packaging market due to their ability to extend the shelf life of food products.
The increasing application of four-sided sealed pouches in the packing of meat, poultry, and seafood is expected to witness the highest growth rate. Pouches and wraps constitute the highest share in the consumer flexible paper packaging market. The application of paper wraps in the foodservice industry is growing at an annual rate of 7 per cent, which is driven by the demand from the dry and pet foods.
The consumer packaging segment is growing moderately on account of the increased consumption of ready to eat food and per capita incomes. The market in emerging economies is expected to fetch three-times more revenue than developed economies. Further, the market is witnessing the entry of new vendors with new technology, which will enhance performance and regulatory compliance. Also, the use of recycling content will be a new unique selling point in the mature market such as Europe and North America. The flexible packaging market by industrial packaging is driven by bulk demand from several end-users.
The growing need for increasing the barrier protection to increase the shelf life is one of the major factors for the adoption of flexible packaging in the food and beverage industry. In the food industry, modified atmosphere and vacuum packaging are currently used for the packing of meat, poultry, and seafood, which ensure that the products have a long shelf life. Hence, the introduction of new packing techniques is likely to increase the scope of the flexible packaging market.