Global flexible packaging market was estimated at 19,800 kilo tons in 2014. Increasing population in developing countries namely India and China are expected to result in the rise in demand for food, thus leading to the growth of the market. Advantages of the product including variety in container packaging, less raw material, light weight and ease of disposal are anticipated to propel further growth.
Market players have been increasingly focusing on compact packaging which has led to the development of pouch and flexible segment over the past years. Furthermore, reduction in storage requirements, shifting consumer preference towards various packaging designs and styles, and lower shipping costs is expected to drive the market. However, fluctuation in raw material prices is expected to restrain growth over the next seven years.
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Food & beverage accounted for approximately 80.0% of the overall market share in 2014. Growing demand for packaged food such as snack foods, cake mixes and ready-to-eat meals is expected to provide a platform for manufacturers to expand their production capacity, thereby increasing demand for the product over the forecast period.
The pharmaceutical segment was the second largest application and accounted for over USD 16 billion in 2014. Frequent incidences of lifestyle-related diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes amongst the working population mainly in BRICS is anticipated to intensify demand for pharmaceutical products, thus leading to growth in demand for flexible packaging over the next seven years.
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Plastics and bioplastics are the principal raw materials used by manufacturers of flexible packaging. Use of bio-based PLA films in snack packaging and bakery & confectioneries have resulted in growing demand for numerous applications due to biodegradable nature and easy recyclability. The increasing use of plastics for the production of pouches, tetra packs, and bags owing to less raw material requirement and low costs are projected to have a positive impact on market growth.
In 2014, Asia Pacific contributed to over 35.0% of the overall share by volume. Establishment of numerous manufacturing units and food & beverage units in developing countries such as India and China, as a result of rapid industrialization, is expected to have a positive impact on the flexible packaging market over the forecast period.
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Europe emerged as the second largest player in the flexible packaging market with demand worth USD 54.7 billion in 2014. Growing healthcare sector in Europe is expected to fuel the growth of the pharmaceutical industry.
Major firms include Coveris, Sufpack, Amcor, Toppan Printing, Bemis Sealed Air, Fujimori Kogyo, and Bischof & Klein. Key competitors are anticipated to shift manufacturing base to emerging economies such as China and India on account of lower labor wages and high productivity index.dia on account of lower labor wages and high productivity index.
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