The flexible packaging market would grow at around 5.4% CAGR during 2015 to 2022. By 2022, it should exceed USD 295 billion. This will be due to higher demand for durable, compact, and lightweight packaging products. Emerging economies in Asia Pacific are witnessing proliferation of supermarkets and upswing in retails sector. A positive export outlook is also estimated to assist the market.
Flexible packaging products require lower quantities of raw materials. They occupy less storage space and are easy to dispose. These advantages also fuel high demand. In fact, flexible packaging should be the fastest-growing segment in the packaging industry in the future. However, fluctuating prices of raw materials may inhibit the flexible packaging market.
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The market is segregated based on raw materials, applications, and regions. Raw materials consist of aluminum foil, paper, bioplastics, and plastics. Plastics were the leading segment in 2014. They constituted around 16, 000 kilo tons of the total volumes that year. They can be tailored as per requirements.
Bioplastics are predicted to grow at the fastest rate (CAGR of 15%) over the next seven years. Global focus on environmental protection will fuel this growth. Europe, in particular, has introduced stringent regulations encouraging environment-friendly materials. Cellulose could witness strong demand owing to good protection against sunlight & high durability.
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Applications in the flexible packaging market cover food & beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and others. Food & beverages generated maximum demand in 2014. They consumed about 15, 950 kilo tons of these products the same year. Food & beverages, when packed using flexible packaging, are easier to transport and store.
Demand for snacks & other packaged foods (chips, sausages, breads) in India, China, and the Middle East is beneficial for this segment. Pharmaceuticals are another crucial application. Flexible packaging retains the medical properties of packed drugs and maintains hygiene.
Regions-wise, the market is sliced into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa (MEA). Asia Pacific was the largest market in 2014. Factors in its favor are growing population, incomes, & urbanization. North America may grow due to research in bioplastics. The worldwide flexible packaging market is highly fragmented. Leading vendors comprise AEP Industries, American Packaging, Berry Plastics, and Anchor Packaging.
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