Rigid metal to drive Indian packaging market — GlobalData

Market set to grow at 6.9% CAGR through 2026

GlobalData’s latest report on packaging material consumed in India for different segments. Photo: GlobalData Packaging Intelligence Center
GlobalData’s latest report on packaging material consumed in India for different segments. Photo: GlobalData Packaging Intelligence Center

The Indian packaging market is set to grow from 373.6 billion units in 2021 to 521.9 billion units in 2026, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9%, driven by the increased use of rigid metal, forecasts GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘India Packaging Market Size, Analyzing Key Pack Material (Pack Type, Closure Material and Type, Primary Outer Material and Type), Innovations and Forecast, 2021-2026,’ says that flexible packaging was the most consumed packaging material in India, accounting for a share of 73.3% in 2021. 

The low cost and light weight of flexible packaging, along with easy and convenient storage through resealable packs with zip locks, contribute to its significant usage in the consumer packaged goods industry.

Srimoyee Nath, a consumer analyst at GlobalData, says, “The packaging market in India is largely characterized by the demand for convenience. Features such as low cost, portability, durability, and lightweight are highly sought by consumers. Premium packaging formats also play an important role for upscale products defining their quality as well as exclusivity.”

Rigid plastics and paper and board were the next most used packaging materials, with shares of 13.3% and 6.5%, respectively. Rigid metal is anticipated to record the fastest CAGR of 8.9% in the Indian packaging market during 2021-26. Its high recyclability, which makes it more sustainable, coupled with a growing inclination towards smaller pack sizes to align with their needs of on-the-go consumption and portion control, will contribute to the growth of rigid metal.

During the forecast period, rigid metal and rigid plastics will be the winning packaging materials with significant use in food and non-alcoholic beverages industries. Their ease of handling and cost-effectiveness will appeal to the comfort-seeking and value-conscious consumers,” Nath says.

According to the report, the food industry in India was the primary user of packaging materials, accounting for a 64.3% share in 2021 in terms of size. Within the food industry, flexible packaging was the most widely used pack material, with significant use in dairy and soy food, dried food, bakery and cereals, and savory snacks sectors. The non-alcoholic beverages industry was the second-largest user of packaging materials in the country.

The packaging industry in India is revolutionizing with novel pack formats in terms of shapes and sizes that are proving to be highly convenient and attractive. With out-of-home consumption resuming post the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for smaller pack sizes is expected to increase. Simultaneously, the need for environmental protection will continue to boost the recyclable and reusable packages,” Nath says. 

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

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