Global Flexible Packaging Industry to reach $231 billion by 2018

The global flexible packaging market will grow at a rate of 3.5% PA until the year 2018, according to a major new study by Smithers Pira.

This impressive rate of expansion is higher than the gross domestic product (GDP), suggesting the flexible packaging market is growing more quickly than well-developed and traditional rigid packaging markets.

The brand new flexible packaging market report from Smithers Pira, The Future of Global Flexible Packaging to 2018, contains exclusive data categorised by both type and region. The report also explores the key drivers behind these exciting changes occurring in the marketplace.

The world consumer flexible packaging market has picked up significantly since the global economic downturn of 2008-9. The market tonnage in this segment is estimated at 24.3 million tonnes in 2013 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% during the period 2013-18, to reach a total of 29.8 million tonnes.

According to Smithers Pira, the Asia-Pacific region in particular has registered both volume and value growth for flexible packaging during the 2012-13 period. Asia-Pacific has the largest regional flexible packaging market size with 38% of global market volume, and is also predicted to be the fastest growing market for consumer flexible packaging over the forecast period. Meanwhile, the US is the largest national market for this type of packaging, with a volume share of nearly 14% in 2013.

Figure E.2 World forecast flexible packaging consumption by region 2008-2018 ($ million)

Global Flexible Packaging Market

Source: Smithers Pira

The study explores several reasons for this high forecasted growth rate. These include technical developments, cost per package, sustainability initiatives and the continued increase of the consumer class in Asia-pacific, America, and Eastern Europe. The replacement of traditional pack types with flexible packaging has also acted as a major driver for this expansion.

In addition, the industry has benefited from a range of new products being developed by brand owners in an increasingly competitive consumer marketplace. According to Smithers Pira, barrier flexible packaging will continue to grow in importance as consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) and major retail chains demand greater product protection and longer shelf life.

The flexible packaging sector has traditionally had an extremely diverse and fragmented structure, consisting of a few large global operations and many small to medium-sized national and regional companies. Technical advances have allowed flexible packaging to become the format choice for a wide variety of consumer products. Flexible packaging has, as a result, become substantially more sophisticated with high-end graphics, high oxygen and moisture barriers, and new functionality.

The Future of Global Flexible Packaging to 2018 is available to purchase online and receive immediately for £3950.

To find out more about the report and how your company can benefit from a global usage licence, please contact: Heather Adams (US) T: +1 207 781 9632 or Bill Allen (UK) T: +44 (0)1372 802086.