The European flexible packaging market is likely to grow on account of fast economic growth and high disposable incomes during the forecast period. The competitive edge lies with vendors that have technologically advanced equipment and can deliver on aseptic, retort, anti-counterfeit, and child-resistant packaging. The healthy growth of end-users, such as coffee, pet food, and fresh foods, has driven production higher. The demand from Western Europe, which is considered as the mature market with high disposable personal incomes, has been high for flexible packing.
Similarly, the demand from Eastern Europe is expected to increase during the forecast period on account of an increase in the purchasing power of customers. In the aftermath of the COVID-19, the global flexible packaging market growth is expected to witness a supply chain disruption on account of the voluntary shutdown of factories or authorities enforced lockdown. And Europe seems no exception. Almost 70% of the demand in Europe comes from the food and beverage segment. The luxury personal goods sector, home care applications, oils & lubricants, and other non-food sectors are expected to witness a decline in the Q2 and Q3, 2020.
Key Highlights Offered in the Report:
- Pouches and particularly stand-up pouches are expected to have a fastest-growing product category within flexible packaging in Europe with the help of vertical form-fill systems (VFFS), which are capable of delivering faster production speeds, greater versatility and improved sealing techniques.
- The penetration levels of bio-based plastics in various end-use categories are expected to increase further and have a favorable impact on the early movers in the competitive market, however, the key competitive factors in the industry include price, quality, adherence to newly evolving regulations, distribution network, and R&D investments.
- From a demand perspective, the luxury personal goods sector, home care applications, oils & lubricants, and other non-food sectors are expected to see a decline in Q2 and Q3 as the COVID-19 related precautionary measures are currently at its highest.
- The post-COVID-19 situation prompted the packaging vendors to reassess and revisit their inventories. The packaging vendors are expected re-strategize their supply chain by reducing dependence on cross-border suppliers as there exists a fear of trade route blockade.
- The pouch fill rate has improved in recent years and is better than the can filling rates, which will translate into higher adoption of flexible packaging products during the forecast period.
- There is mounting public pressure on brand owners and retailers to reduce the environmental impact of packaging and move towards more sustainable packaging. Single-use packaging has increasingly become the target for specific sustainability measures, both with brands’ corporate citizenship goals and government regulations.
- Market Size & Forecast by Revenue | 2019−2025
- Market Dynamics – Leading trends, growth drivers, restraints, and investment opportunities
- Market Segmentation – A detailed analysis by material, application, product, printing, end-user, and geography
- Competitive Landscape – Profile of 7 key vendors and 31 other vendors
The following factors are likely to contribute to the growth of the Europe flexible packaging market during the forecast period:
- Increased Focus on Sustainable Flexible Packaging
- Increase in Adoption of Flexible Packaging over Rigid Packaging
- Growth in the E-commerce Industry
- Demand for Lightweight Products
The study considers the present scenario of the European flexible packaging market and its market dynamics for the period 2019−2025. It covers a detailed overview of several market growth enablers, restraints, and trends. The study offers both the demand and supply aspects of the market. It profiles and examines leading companies and other prominent companies operating in the market.
Europe Flexible Packaging Market: Segmentation
This research report includes a detailed segmentation by material, application, product, printing, end-user, and geography.
Insights by Material
The food industry is the major driver for flexible plastic packaging in Europe. An increasing number of food and beverage manufacturers are turning to flexible packing to add convenience and improve the consumer experience. These pouches also provide 99% product evacuation compared to rigid. Flexible plastic has been increased in application due to its durability, low weight, cost-effectiveness, and easy handling. Also, it uses less energy during the production process. Hence, the growing need for convenience and product safety among consumers is driving demand growth for the segment.
Flexible paper packaging has a wide application in the healthcare sector and the tobacco and CPG packaging industry. Paper laminates offer reduced weight and have over 50% of the recycled rate, hence, it is a more sustainable option than plastics. Paper sacks provide several purposes that are in line with the customer’s packing needs and environmental sustainability. Europe accounted for over 30% of consumption in 2017 (around 4 million tons annually). The other category of papers such as wrapping paper witnessed a demand of 3.5−4 million tons in 2019 worldwide. The consumption of wrapping paper increased to around 890 wrapping paper in 2017 in Europe
The flexible pouch market is highly growing in various applications, particularly in the food sector. The food industry has evolved globally in terms of packaging, especially in food norms, which are related to labeling and packaging. Maintaining a clean room and hygienic facility is paramount. In this aspect, existing companies have invested in newer machinery, while the new entrants in the pouch market are starting with high-end machine installments. A significant replacement has taken place to accommodate the high-volume packing of fruits and vegetables, meat, snacks, and RTE. These are the sectors that utilize multi-barrier technology and provide higher revenue to the industry. Europe flexible packaging market is growing. The major reason for the growth is the conversion from rigid to flexible packing.
The consumer flexible packaging segment comprises a major share in the Europe flexible packaging market. The segment is increasing at a moderate pace with the increase in consumption rate and per capita income in Europe. Also, the beauty and personal care sector has an important role to play in building momentum toward a more circular economy for plastic packaging. Food and beverages, pet food, healthcare, and personal care are the major end-user of the segment.
Stretch and shrink films and FIBCs are the major industrial packaging products. Since the threat of new entrants is low, the market has witnessed the entry of several new vendors with a new technology, which focuses on protection and performance. The European market is likely to offer USP for those vendors, which offer recycled content. Industrial packaging is largely driven by bulk packaging demand from several end-users. FIBCs, shrink and stretch films, bubble wraps, air pillows, and other flexible protective products are the major products. Chemical and pharmaceutical industries accounted for more than 40% of the applications in 2019. The growth of FIBC usage during the forecast period is expected to increase on account of multiple industries adopting lightweight, sustainable, and convenient products.
Europe is mainly dependent on flexographic printing. Flexographic printing is associated with low-labor costs, low-press footprint, and less energy requirements. Flexographic is one of Europe’s main printing methods and is also a growing industry. Flexographic printing growth is also driven by the growth in e-commerce, which has increased the volume of goods. Due to its wide range of applications, water-based inks hold a substantial share in the flexographic printing inks market.
The F&B industry dominates the Europe flexible packaging market. The packaging cost in the food industry accounts for 7−11% of the total product cost in Europe. The increasing number of quick-service restaurants and retail outlets has fueled food consumption, thereby driving packaging. However, the market growth rate was offset by high taxes and labor costs as a result of the economic slowdown in some European countries. The demand for packing is high as well as complex in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry in Europe. Several flexible packaging formats for solid dosages (pills) and powders are present in paper and plastic flexible formats. The foil material for lidding in blister packaging is used extensively in Europe.
Market Segmentation by Material
- Flexible Plastic
- Flexible Papers
Market Segmentation by Product
- Bags & sacks
Market Segmentation by Application
Market Segmentation by Printing
Market Segmentation by End-users
- Food & Beverage
- Pet Food
- Personal Care
Insights by Geography
All market segments are experiencing notable growth in the European flexible packaging market. The general trend from rigid to flexible, which provides greater convenience and fits in better with current lifestyle needs is likely to affect the market across Europe. Innovative, flexible packing styles are increasing convenience and offer a higher variety of formats. The products in Europe that are less than 100 gm are packaged mainly with flexible pouches. The growth forecast for packages weighing 50−100 gm is expected to be higher (over 10%) than packages weighing less than 50 gm, which is expected to boost the growth in Europe. The price of the pouches is lower and provides high convenience; hence the demand for pouches is expected to increase across the region. The diversity in flexible packing enables the industry to withstand the pressure of sourcing raw materials, the price pressure, operating costs, and availability of resources. Regulations with respect to disposal and recycling are becoming stringent in several European countries. The high-volume trade countries such as Germany and France are expected to face challenges with Brexit. The Brexit deal is expected to be disruptive during the forecast period. The competition in Europe is high on account of the highly fragmented market.
Key Profiled Countries
Insights by Vendors
Small and medium enterprises dominate a vast segment of the Europe flexible packaging market. Large players have been aggressively adopting an inorganic growth strategy to expand their operations in many regions. They have technological strength and high-volume product lines that have helped offset the cost variations. The smaller companies focus on customization, as the competition in the market is mainly based on two aspects – features and price. The market has witnessed many M&A transactions in the last few years; the consolidation is expected to grow, especially in Europe further.
- Berry Global
- Sealed Air
- Constantia Flexibles
- RPC Group
- Smurfit Kappa
- Alu Flex Pack
- Wipak Group
- Innovia Films
- WZ Packaging
- WIPF – Innovative Packaging Solutions
- Krajcar Pack
- Gascogne Flexible
- Schur Flexibles
- Schmid and Folien
- Pouch Partners
- Perlen Packaging
- Aran Group
- Goglio Packaging
- Kleiner Flexible Packaging,
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