Other national markets that significantly outperformed the European average were Turkey, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and Romania.
Rapid growth in Russia, Poland, Ukraine
Paul Gaster, director, Flexible Packaging, PCI Films Consulting, told FoodProductionDaily, Poland stands out as a major market player because it has continued to grow strongly, due to domestic demand and a focus on packaged food exports.
“The European flexible packaging market overall is the most mature and slow growing region globally, although demand in the emerging Eastern European market had until 2014 been growing at around 5% per annum,” he said.
“Growth was underpinned by rapid growth in the three largest markets in the region, Russia, Poland and Ukraine.
“The Russian and Ukrainian economies are now in recession and this has hit flexible packaging demand. Flexible packaging demand growth in Russia slowed sharply last year and is expected to see real decline in 2015, while demand in Ukraine has been hit even harder as a result of its civil war, political and economic turmoil and confrontation with Russia.
Turkey has a higher rate than European average
“Of the major markets in Eastern Europe, this leaves only Poland continuing to enjoy robust growth.
“In Western Europe, Turkish flexible packaging demand continues to grow at a higher rate than the European average but on a declining growth trend.”
Gaster added, Poland’s flexible packaging industry has achieved enormous success by supporting direct investments made by multinational food brand owners who want to take advantage of growing packaged food markets in Eastern Europe and lower production costs available in Poland.
“Their converted flexible packaging needs are supplied by a domestic flexible packaging industry where multinational converters Amcor, Constantia and Mondi, along with Polish converter Alupol are the major players,” he said.