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Global flexible packaging market set for rapid growth

Food is projected to account for almost three-quarters of global consumer flexible packaging consumption in 2015, with meat, fish, and poultry accounting for the largest usage food sector.

World forecast flexible packaging consumption by region, 2010–2020 (’000 tonnes)
World forecast flexible packaging consumption by region, 2010–2020 (’000 tonnes)

Global demand for flexible packaging is projected to reach $210 billion in 2015, and forecast to grow at an annual average rate of 3% reaching $248 billion in 2020, according to a new market report, “The Future of Global Flexible Packaging to 2020,” from Smithers Pira.  According to the report, flexible packaging has been one of the fastest growing packaging sectors over the past 10 years, due to increased consumer focus on convenience and sustainability, and this rapid development will continue to accelerate.

The report found that the global consumer flexible packaging market value is estimated at $91.7 billion for 2015 and is forecast to grow at an annual average rate of 4.4% during the period 2015–2020 to reach $114 billion. The market tonnage of this segment is estimated at 26.2 million tonnes (29 million tons) in 2015 and is forecast to grow on average by 3.8% during the period 2015–2020 to reach 31.7 million tonnes (35 million tons).

Indications are that world demand for consumer flexible packaging will continue its upward growth trend in 2015 and well beyond, especially as developing economies continue to expand. China is the largest national market for consumer flexible packaging, with a market tonnage of 6.07 million tonnes (6.69 million tons). Asia is the largest regional market with 40% of global market volume, followed by Western Europe and North America. Asia is also projected to be the fastest growing market for consumer flexible packaging over the forecast period, with an annual average rate of 6.6% in volume terms. India and China are the fastest growing national markets for consumer flexible packaging at 9.4% and 6.9% annual rates, respectively, over the 2015–2020 forecast period. The growth rates for South and Central America have been revised downwards due to the deteriorating economic situation and political tensions.

Food is projected to account for almost three-quarters of global consumer flexible and forecasts packaging consumption in 2015. Meat, fish, and poultry account for the largest usage food sector for flexible packaging, followed by confectionery and baked goods. Flexible food packaging has been growing at an average annual rate of 4.0% in volume terms over the period 2010–2015. It was the fastest growing end-use sector, with beverages and pharmaceuticals following close behind.

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