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 years, says a report published by Euromonitor titled Global Packaging Trends 2017 – Global Growth Markets for Packaging.
The report says that the bottled water segment will achieve the highest absolute volume growth during 2015-2020. The segment will see the largest unit growth 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, namely 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.
Further, the report suggests that flexible plastic will see a robust growth due to affordability, light weight, and growth in packaged foods overall.
Key trends in Asia Pacific
Despite slowdown in major economies of the region such as China and India, the report predicts that overall packaging will see continued growth driven by the further growth of fast-moving consumer goods industry.
Flexible plastic will remain popular as price-conscious consumers seek value for money. 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.
PET bottles will realize highest absolute growth in the region. PET packaging is becoming increasingly popular due to its transparency and cost advantages compared with HDPE, glass, etc.
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 confectionery will drive growth in flexible plastic, with small, affordable pack sizes being popular with low-income consumers. Flexible plastic will remain the major contributor to home care packaging over the forecast period due to its low cost and ease of use, especially in India.
The report provides details about the three biggest markets in Asia Pacific—China, Japan and India.
China maintains the largest packaging share in the region by far, 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 bottles will see a CAGR of 3.1%.
With 16% volume share of the 2015 packaging market, India ranks far behind China; however, changing consumer lifestyles of the increasing urban population is driving packaging growth in the country, states the report.
Flexible plastics remain the dominant packaging format in India as well, followed by flexible paper and PET bottles. Flexible plastics segment will see a CAGR during 2015-2020 of 9.1% while PET bottle will register a CAGR of over 15%. The flexible paper segment will grow by a CAGR of 7.1% during 2015-2020.
Overall, Japan will experience a forecast volume increase of 0.8% across all pack types due to economic stagnation. PET bottles will show higher than average growth at 2.3% forecast volume growth due to the popularity of bottled water, even as other pack types will suffer with decreasing consumer purchasing power.
In Japan too, flexible plastics dominate with metal cans and PET bottles following. Growth rate in all the three segments in Japan is expected to slack. Flexible plastics will grow by CAGR of just 0.6%, metal cans will see a CAGR of -0.2% and the PET bottles segment will grow with a CAGR of 2.3%.