Developing countries to drive growth for flexible food packaging

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Converted flexible packaging, Packaging, Western europe, United states

Global demand for converted flexible packaging is forecast to grow by 3.5 per cent/year to more than 19m tonnes in 2013, according to a new study from Freedonia.

Plastic films, which account for nearly three-quarters of global converted flexible

packaging demand, will continue to grow at the expense of paper and aluminum foil, predicts the report World Converted Flexible Packaging.

Factors contributing to that growth will be:

  • converted flexible packaging’s superior price/performance profile and versatility.
  • Renewed efforts to improve sanitation and extend product shelf lives in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and personal care markets.
  • New developments such as breathable properties, biodegradable films and high-barrier resins.
  • Increasing interest in novel value-added features, such as microwaveable pouches, resealable stand-up pouches and pouring spouts for use in convenience-oriented processed food, particularly in developed countries.

Greater urbanisation

But it is developing nations which will show the biggest growth in demand, according to the report. “Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Africa/Mid East region will outpace the global average,” it notes. “Population growth and greater urbanization (except in Eastern Europe), industrialization trends and expanding international trade will support advances in these region’s generally under-developed packaging sectors.”

China is expected to show some of the biggest gains. The nation has over taken Japan to become the globe’s second largest converted flexible packaging market after the United States.

Significant growth is predicted for India, which will benefit from strong growth in domestic output and consumer product.

Improved product quality

Russian and Indonesia are also likely to show big growth thanks to greater investment in state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment leading to improved product quality.

In developed countries, such as the US, Western Europe and Japan, the rise in demand for plastic films will be limited by the mature state of the packaging market.

The report World Converted Flexible Packaging is available from the Cleveland-based research group, Freedonia (ce@serrqbavntebhc.pbz​ or​) priced at $5600.

Freedonia’s latest study follows a report from Pira International which predicts a 22 per cent growth in global demand for rigid plastic packaging from $129.2bn this year to $158.3bn in 2014.

The report, The Future of Global Rigid Plastic Packaging​ - market forecasts to 2014, highlights growing demand for single-serving packaging, such as plastic bottles, cups and containers in a wider range of food applications.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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