Advanced Materials and Chemicals

Flexible Packaging Market Report Cover

Flexible Packaging Market

Flexible Packaging Market Report Cover

Flexible Packaging Market Size, Share, Growth & Industry Analysis, By Material (Plastic, Paper, Metal, Bioplastic), By Product (Pouches, Bags, Films & Wraps, Others), By Application (Food & Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Others) Regional Analysis, 2024-2031

Author : Antriksh P.


Pages : 120

Base Year : 2023

Release : May 2024

Report ID: KR753


Global Flexible Packaging Market Size

Global Flexible Packaging Market size was recorded at USD 259.92 billion in 2023, which is estimated to be at USD 270.11 billion in 2024 and projected to reach USD 380.69 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.02% from 2024 to 2031. The rise of e-commerce and home delivery services has significantly impacted the flexible packaging market. In the scope of work, the report includes solutions offered by companies such as Amcor plc, Berry Global Inc., Sealed Air, Mondi, Constantia Flexibles, Huhtamaki Oyj, Coveris, Sonoco Products Company, Transcontinental Inc., DS Smith, and others.

With the proliferation of online shopping platforms and the increasing reliance on home delivery, particularly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for efficient and effective packaging solutions has soared. Flexible packaging offers several advantages that align well with the needs of e-commerce. These advantages include the utilization of lightweight materials that reduce shipping costs and the ability to conform to various product shapes and sizes, thereby optimizing storage and transportation.

Additionally, the durability and protective qualities of flexible packaging ensure that products reach consumers in perfect condition, thereby mitigating the risk of damage during transit. As consumers continue to prioritize convenience and the availability of a wide range of products, the reliance on robust packaging solutions that ensure the integrity and safety of goods during delivery is expected to grow. Furthermore, the customizable nature of flexible packaging allows brands to create unique and attractive packages that enhance the unboxing experience, which contributes to brand differentiation and consumer engagement. This trend underscores the importance of flexible packaging as an integral component of the modern retail and logistics ecosystem.

  • For instance, in May 2024, Koehler Group announced the appointment of IPP Packaging Materials as the exclusive agent for Koehler Paper's flexible packaging products in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

Flexible packaging refers to packaging products made from materials that are flexible and easily molded or bent to accommodate various shapes and sizes. The primary materials used in flexible packaging include plastics such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), along with paper and metal foils such as aluminum. These materials offer a wide range of properties, including barrier protection, durability, and printability, making them suitable for various applications. Flexible packaging products encompass a variety of formats, such as pouches, bags, wraps, films, and sleeves, each designed to meet specific packaging needs. For instance, stand-up pouches and reseal able bags are commonly used for food products, providing convenience and preserving freshness. In the pharmaceutical industry, blister packs and sachets are popular for ensuring product integrity and compliance.

Additionally, flexible packaging is extensively used in personal care items, household goods, and industrial products, offering benefits such as extended shelf life, reduced material usage, and enhanced product visibility. Its versatility, combined with the ability to customize design and functionality, makes flexible packaging a preferred choice across numerous industries.

Analyst’s Review 

Several factors, such as increasing consumer demand for convenience, sustainability trends, and the rapid expansion of e-commerce, are contributing to the growth of the flexible packaging market. Key market players are adopting several strategic imperatives to leverage these growth opportunities effectively. These participants are increasingly focusing on innovation in materials and technologies. Moreover, companies are investing heavily in the development of advanced high-barrier films and biodegradable materials to meet regulatory requirements and consumer preferences for eco-friendly products. Additionally, adopting smart packaging solutions, such as QR codes and NFC tags, helps enhance product traceability and consumer engagement.

Moreover, sustainability initiatives, such as the rising adoption of recyclable materials and the reduction of carbon footprints, are becoming integral to corporate strategies. This trend is fueled by regulatory pressures and growing environmental awareness among consumers. By focusing on these strategies, key players aim to maintain competitive advantages and foster sustained growth in the flexible packaging market.

Flexible Packaging Market Growth Factors

Flexible packaging offers numerous advantages, particularly concerning consumer convenience and transportation efficiency. Its lightweight nature makes it easier for consumers to handle, store, and dispose of, thereby enhancing the overall user experience. Products packaged in flexible materials are often resealable, which provides added convenience and maintains product freshness. For manufacturers and retailers, the lightweight characteristic of flexible packaging significantly reduces transportation costs. This is particularly important in e-commerce, where shipping efficiency is critical to maintaining competitive pricing and profitability.

Additionally, the reduced volume and weight of flexible packaging aim to reduce shipments and minimize packaging waste, thus aligning with sustainability goals and minimizing environmental impact. Designing flexible packaging to fit product dimensions more precisely optimizes space utilization in transport and storage, thereby further reducing logistical costs. The combination of consumer convenience and logistical efficiency makes flexible packaging an attractive option across various industries. Multi-layer flexible packaging materials, despite their superior barrier properties and protection, present significant challenges in terms of recycling. These materials often consist of different layers, such as plastic, aluminum, and paper, which are laminated together to enhance product preservation.

However, the separation and processing of these layers for recycling are complex and costly, which leads to low recycling rates. This raises environmental concerns due to the frequent disposal of such packages in landfills, thereby contributing to pollution and waste management issues. To address this challenge, key industry players are implementing several strategies. One approach is investing in research and development to create more recyclable multi-layer materials or mono-material alternatives that provide similar protection without the recycling difficulties. Companies are further exploring advanced recycling technologies, such as chemical recycling, which breaks down complex materials into reusable raw materials.

Additionally, there is a rising inclination toward redesigning packaging to minimize the use of non-recyclable components and increase the proportion of recyclable content. Additionally, strategic efforts include engaging in collaborations with recycling facilities and actively participating in circular economy initiatives. These efforts aim to mitigate the environmental impact of flexible packaging and promote sustainable growth in the market. For instance, in May 2024, Sonoco Products Company announced that Sonoco Flexible Packaging had received ISCC PLUS certification, thereby enhancing its credibility as the market leader in high-performance laminations with recycled content within their EnviroFlex Recycled Content portfolio.

Flexible Packaging Market Trends

The integration of QR codes, NFC tags, and other smart technologies in flexible packaging is revolutionizing product traceability and enhancing consumer engagement. These technologies enable brands to provide detailed product information, verify authenticity, and offer interactive experiences directly through the packaging. For instance, by scanning a QR code or tapping an NFC tag with a smartphone, consumers access information about the product's origin, ingredients, manufacturing processes, and even the environmental impact. This level of transparency builds trust and fosters stronger brand loyalty.

Additionally, smart packaging offers personalized marketing opportunities, such as promotional offers, loyalty rewards, and interactive content, thereby creating an engaging and tailored consumer experience. In logistics, these technologies facilitate real-time tracking of products through the supply chain, leading to the improvement of inventory management, reduction of counterfeiting, and enhancement of overall efficiency. As consumers increasingly demand more information and connection with the brands they choose, the adoption of smart packaging solutions is set to grow, thereby fostering innovation and providing competitive advantages in the marketplace.

Segmentation Analysis

The global flexible packaging market is segmented based on material, product, application, and geography.

By Material

Based on material, the market is categorized into plastic, paper, metal, and bioplastic. The plastic segment captured the largest market share of 69.19% in 2023, fueled by its versatility, cost-effectiveness, and excellent performance characteristics. Plastics such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are highly favored in the flexible packaging industry due to their durability, lightweight nature, and superior barrier properties. These materials offer robust protection against moisture, oxygen, and other external factors, which is crucial for preserving the quality and shelf life of various products, particularly in the food and beverage sector.

Additionally, plastic packaging is highly adaptable and easily molded into a variety of shapes and sizes, which makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, including pouches, bags, films, and wraps. The ability to incorporate advanced features such as reseal ability, transparency, and printability further enhances its appeal. Moreover, ongoing innovations in plastic materials, including the development of recyclable and biodegradable options, have strengthened its position in the market. The economic efficiency of plastic packaging, combined with its functional benefits and adaptability, contributes to the growth of the segment.

By Product

Based on product, the market is divided into pouches, bags, films & wraps, and others. The films & wraps segment is anticipated to witness the highest growth, registering a CAGR of 5.91% over the forecast period, largely attributed to increasing demand for efficient, cost-effective packaging solutions across various industries. Films and wraps offer excellent flexibility and protection, making them ideal for a wide range of applications, including food products, pharmaceuticals, and personal care items. These materials provide superior barrier properties against moisture, gases, and contaminants, which help maintaing product integrity and extend shelf life.

The convenience and versatility of films and wraps, such as their ability to conform to different shapes and sizes, reduce material wastage and optimize storage and transportation efficiencies. Additionally, advancements in film technologies, including the development of multi-layer films and the incorporation of smart features such as easy-peel and resealable closures, are enhancing their functionality and consumer appeal. The growing emphasis on sustainable packaging has led to innovations in recyclable and biodegradable films, thereby propelling the growth of the segment.

By Application

Based on application, the market is divided into food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and others. The food & beverages segment garnered the highest revenue of USD 175.92 billion in 2023, primarily fueled by the increasing demand for convenient, safe, and sustainable packaging solutions. Flexible packaging is particularly suitable for food and beverages due to its excellent barrier properties. These properties effectively protect against moisture, oxygen, and light, thereby preserving the freshness and quality of consumables. The rise of ready-to-eat meals, snack foods, and single-serve portions has driven the need for flexible packaging options that are lightweight, easy to open, and portable.

Additionally, the growth of online grocery shopping and food delivery services has boosted the demand for durable and efficient packaging, ensuring that products are delivered in optimal condition. Innovations such as reseal able pouches, vacuum packaging, and smart packaging technologies that monitor freshness and track product information have enhanced the appeal of flexible packaging in this sector. Moreover, the increasing consumer awareness regarding sustainability has led to a preference for packaging solutions that minimize environmental impact, prompting manufacturers to adopt recyclable and biodegradable materials.

Flexible Packaging Market Regional Analysis

Based on region, the global flexible packaging market is classified into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, MEA, and Latin America.

Flexible Packaging Market Size & Share, By Region, 2024-2031

The Asia Pacific Flexible Packaging Market share stood around 37.40% in 2023 in the global market, with a valuation of USD 97.21 billion, fueled by rapid urbanization, increasing disposable incomes, and a burgeoning middle-class population. The region's expansive population and growing economies, particularly in countries such as China, India, and Japan, has led to a surge in demand for packaged goods. This demand is increasing across various sectors, including food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products, all of which extensively use flexible packaging for convenience and efficiency.

Additionally, the rise of e-commerce and the proliferation of online shopping in Asia-Pacific have significantly boosted the need for durable and lightweight packaging solutions that protect products during transportation. Local manufacturers are increasingly adopting innovative packaging technologies and materials to meet consumer preferences and regulatory requirements for sustainability. The availability of low-cost raw materials and labor, coupled with favorable government initiatives to promote industrial growth, further supports the dominance of the Asia-Pacific region in the flexible packaging market.

Europe is projected to experience significant growth, recording a 4.56% CAGR in the foreseeable future owing to the stringent regulatory landscape and strong consumer demand for sustainable packaging solutions. European Union regulations emphasize reducing packaging waste and promoting recycling, prompting manufacturers to innovate and adopt eco-friendly materials and practices. Consumers in the region are highly environmentally conscious, favoring products with minimal environmental impact, which propels the demand for recyclable and biodegradable flexible packaging.

Additionally, Europe boasts a well-established food and beverage industry that continually seeks advanced packaging solutions to enhance product shelf life, safety, and convenience. Technological advancements in smart packaging, which offer improved traceability and consumer engagement, are further gaining traction in the region. Moreover, the presence of numerous leading packaging companies and a strong focus on research and development activities contribute to the Asia-Pacific flexible packaging market growth.

Competitive Landscape

The global flexible packaging market report will provide valuable insight with an emphasis on the fragmented nature of the industry. Prominent players are focusing on several key business strategies such as partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, product innovations, and joint ventures to expand their product portfolio and increase their market shares across different regions. Companies are implementing impactful strategic initiatives, such as expanding services, investing in research and development (R&D), establishing new service delivery centers, and optimizing their service delivery processes, which are likely to create new opportunities for market growth.

List of Key Companies in Flexible Packaging Market

  • Amcor plc
  • Berry Global Inc.
  • Sealed Air
  • Mondi
  • Constantia Flexibles
  • Huhtamaki Oyj
  • Coveris
  • Sonoco Products Company
  • Transcontinental Inc.
  • DS Smith

Key Industry Developments

  • May 2024 (Launch): Amcor and AVON, a 135-year pioneer in cosmetics and personal care, launched the AmPrima Plus refill pouch for AVON Little Black Dress shower gels in China. The recycle-ready packaging reduces carbon footprint by 83%, water consumption by 88%, and renewable energy use by 79%.
  • September 2023 (Expansion): Sealed Air announced an exclusive distribution alliance with Sparck Technologies, a global provider of 3D automated packaging solutions. Sealed Airaim to distribute Sparck's CVP Automated Packaging Solutions in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea to enhance operational efficiency and workplace safety for SEE's customers.
  • August 2023 (Acquisition): Amcor announced its agreement to acquire Phoenix Flexibles, thereby enhancing Amcor’s capacity and presence in the rapidly expanding Indian market.

The Global Flexible Packaging Market is Segmented as:

By Material

  • Plastic
  • Paper
  • Metal
  • Bioplastic

By Product

  • Pouches
  • Bags
  • Films & Wraps
  • Others

By Application

  • Food & Beverages
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cosmetics
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Spain
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Russia
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Rest of Asia-Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • North Africa
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
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CUSTOMIZATION OFFERED
  • Check Icon Additional Company Profiles
  • Check Icon Additional Countries
  • Check Icon Cross Segment Analysis
  • Check Icon Regional Market Dynamics
  • Check Icon Country-Level Trend Analysis
  • Check Icon Competitive Landscape Customization
  • Check Icon Extended Forecast Years
  • Check Icon Historical Data Up to 5 Years
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
The global market is projected to reach USD 380.69 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.02% from 2024 to 2031.
The global market was valued at USD 259.92 billion in 2023.
The rise of e-commerce and home delivery services coupled with the integration of QR codes, NFC tags, and other smart technologies in flexible packaging is revolutionizing product traceability and enhancing consumer engagement.
Top key players of flexible packaging are Amcor plc, Berry Global Inc., Sealed Air, Mondi, Constantia Flexibles, Huhtamaki Oyj, Coveris, Sonoco Products Company, Transcontinental Inc., DS Smith, and others.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region with the CAGR of 5.91% in the forecasted period (2024-2031) with the market value forecasted to reach at USD 152.24 billion by 2031.
By product, the pouches segment will hold the maximum share in the flexible packaging market with the revenue value of USD 97.98 billion by 2031.
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