Bottled water drives high PET growth – flexible packaging dominates

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Bottled wate

Greater awareness about health and wellness, environmental issues and overall macroeconomic factors are the three key trends that will affect the global packaging market in the coming few years, says a report published by Euromonitor titled Global Packaging Trends 2017- Global Growth Markets for Packaging. The report provides details about the three biggest markets in Asia Pacific, which are China, Japan and India.

The report says that the bottled water segment will achieve the highest absolute volume growth during 2015-2020 across all the major regions of the world. In Asia Pacific, absolute volume growth during 2015 – 2020 is predicted to be about 47 billion units. This is highest among all the six regions covered — Asia Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, Latin America and Middle East and Africa.

PET will be the main driver of packaging trends across the globe with water, juice and ready-to-drink tea being the strong performers throughout the Asia Pacific region. PET is outpacing growth of other packaging materials because of its flexibility in form and size, especially in beverages, the report says. PET packaging is becoming increasingly popular in Asia Pacific also because of its transparency and cost advantages compared with HDPE and glass.

Key trends in Asia Pacific
Despite what the report says is a slowdown in major economies of the region such as China and India, it predicts overall packaging will see continued growth in the region driven by the further growth of fast moving consumer goods industry. According to the report, flexible plastic will see growth due to affordability, light weight, and growth in packaged foods overall and remain popular as price-conscious consumers seek value for money. PET bottles will nevertheless realize the highest absolute growth in the region.

Talking about India, the report says that manufacturers are shifting to flexible packaging from traditional glass and metal packaging. The report adds that simplified versions of packaging for sale via internet retailing will become more common in connected countries such as China and Japan.

Shaped liquid cartons will see the highest CAGR of 12.5% during 2015-2020, driven by growth in plain yogurts in key markets. Dairy products in China will lead the growth in brick liquid cartons, with slim 250 ml cartons gaining popularity.

Savory snacks and confectionary will drive growth in flexible plastic, with small, affordable pack sizes and flexible packaging will remain the major contributor to home care packaging over the forecast period especially in India.

China maintains the largest packaging share in the region, with a 46% volume share in 2015 – this share is expected to decrease to 43% by 2020. Flexible plastic dominates the market. Overall, steady growth of the consumer goods market will drive Chinese packaging growth through the forecast period.

In China, flexible plastics remain the top choice followed by PET bottles and glass bottles. During 2015-2020, flexible plastics, however, will see a CAGR of -0.5% while PET bottles will see CAGR of 3.6% and glass bottle will see CAGR of 3.1%.

With 16% volume share of the 2015 packaging market in the region, India ranks far behind China. However, changing consumer lifestyles of the increasing urban population is driving packaging growth in the country, the report says.

Flexible plastics remain the dominant packaging format in India as well, followed by flexible paper and PET bottles. The flexible plastics segment is forecast to see CAGR during 2015-2020 of 9.1% while PET bottles will register a CAGR of over 15%. Flexible paper segment will grow by a CAGR of 7.1% during 2015-2020.

Overall, Japan will experience a forecast volume increase of only 0.8% across all pack types due to economic stagnation. PET bottles are forecast to show higher than average 2.3% volume growth due to the popularity of bottled water, though other pack types will suffer as consumer purchasing power decreases.

In Japan too, flexible plastics dominate with metal cans and PET bottles following. The growth rate in all the three segments in Japan is expected to slacken. Flexible plastics will grow by CAGR of just 0.6%, metal cans will see CAGR of -0.2% and PET bottles segment will grow with CAGR of 2.3%.

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