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.