Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Flexible Packaging Market was valued at USD 67.04 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 81.11 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 3.4%, between 2021 and 2026. COVID-19 has led to bringing back single-use plastic bags rather than accepting reusable ones. For instance, Lush, a UK-based cosmetics retailer with a high percentage of packaging-free items, is being scrutinized by customers regarding how those products are picked and delivered to them. The pandemic is increasing the price of recycled plastic in Europe, as businesses reliant on the packaging are moving away from virgin materials. The price of virgin plastic decreased partly due to crude oil's price drop.
- Stand-up Pouches are witnessing significant demand and consumer interest in the region. The renewed interest in SUPs can be attributed to various factors, including the development of new packaging machinery, which delivers much higher production and filling speeds and improvements in sealing efficiencies. In addition, other technological advances have helped improve functionality and better heat and puncture resistance of the laminate material.
- Poland continues to have relatively strong growth, with exports accounting for around one-third of production. Regional imports are sourced majorly from Western European countries and growing from Asia and the Middle East.
- The end-user segment covers market developments and trends pertaining to food, beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and other end-users. The increasing adoption rates in different end-users are majorly driven by the reduced complexities and ease of application during the post-pandemic period.
- Healthy growth for most end-user markets, such as coffee, pet food, and fresh foods, has driven production higher, according to the Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE). The continuing demand for more product varieties from consumers supports the general trend from rigid to flexible packaging, which offers greater convenience and fits better into today's lifestyle needs.
- However, the total cost of ownership for flexible packaging manufacturing is significantly higher in the region, which further acts as a barrier to entry to new entrants. The capital-intensive nature of the market, added with the increasing competition, is acting as a major market challenge in the current market scenario.
Key Market Trends
Polyethylene Expected to Witness Significant Market Share
- The market players operating in the segment manufacture thermoplastics, such as polyethylene(PE). Major companies include Chevron Phillips Chemical, Dow, DuPont, BASF (Germany), and LyondellBasell Industries (the Netherlands), amongst others.
- Ample supplies of oil and gas are aiding the growth of several European chemical companies that can effectively regulate energy and feedstock costs. This is further driving the overall demand of PE resin as its abundance and ease of procurement is relatively higher in the studied region.
- Over the forecast period the PE resin demand for packaging is anticipated to surge in the EMEA region, mainly attributable to Intelligent value chain. Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming industrial production and creating new opportunities in the PE value chain. The increased traceability offered by Industry 4.0, from package production to the final product being placed on the retail shelf, is expected to play an important role in ensuring that the package composition can be tracked, especially when recycled content is included.
- Reducing food waste through improved plastic packaging and rising adoption of recyclable flexible films are some of the trends in the region, which are expected to accentuate the demand for polyethylene. For instance, in January 2020, German multinational Beiersdorf, specializing in skin care products, launched cosmetic bottles made of 100% recycled polyethylene (PE) for its Nivea brand. The launch of this PE bottle is a part of the company's Recyclist project and the result of a collaboration between the Fraunhofer IWKS, Fraunhofer IVV, and Pla.to.
- In February 2020, First Mile, a recycling company, partnered with the global sustainable fashion innovation platform, "Fashion for Good", to resolve the increasing issue of plastic polybag waste in the fashion industry. Furthermore, The increase in regulations against the use of plastic is anticipated to lay a significant effect on the market. In March 2020, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer revealed that the plastic packaging tax would see companies paying EUR 200 per metric ton of packaging made from less than 30% recycled plastic from April 2022.
Poland Expected to Witness Significant Market Share
- Poland is one of the significant markets for the European flexible packaging vendors, owing to the high rate of investment in advanced and innovating packaging across the various end-user industries and the company's growing focus on lightweight, portable, flexible, and environmentally friendly packaging.
- Many Poland packaging companies are also expanding their geographical presence through the market by opening new manufacturing units, which is expected to expand the scope of the region's flexible packaging market too. For instance, Plast-Box Group, one of Poland's and Europe's leading producers of plastic packaging, opened a new warehouse and logistics center near Warsaw with a total area of over 3,800 square meters.
- Furthermore, in July 2020, Sudpack, a flexible packaging company based in Germany, expanded into the region by adding a site in the country. The expansion is expected to support the company's operations in Eastern Europe, complementing the growth of various resin materials in the region.
- Aligned with the recycling of PET packaging, major companies operating in the region have engaged in various recyclable policies. Several chemical companies have identified the country as a strategic market and established PET recycling facilities. For instance, in August 2020, Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, announced an agreement to acquire IMP Polowat to expand its recycling capacity in the country.
- The country has witnessed a surging demand for plastic-based flexible packaging products. The flexible packaging market in Poland can be categorized into various types of resins, including PE, BOPP, CPP, PVC, PET, and many others. Different key players operating in the market offer products based on various resin types.
Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Flexible Packaging Market is fragmanted, with a considerable number of regional and global players. The innovation drives the market in the product offerings, increasing cloud adoption and data centers expansion.
- June 2021 - Amcor Ltd. announced the launch of its multi-chamber pouch, Dual Chamber Pouch, in Europe for drug-device combination products. The pouch provides high sterility and enhances the shelf-life of the products.
- June 2021 - Constantia Flexibles acquired Propak into its global network. , Propak is one of the prominent players in the European snacking industry, operates out of a single factory in Ducze. Furthermore, Constantia Flexibles is now one of the prominent participants in the European snack market due to this acquisition.
- May 2021 - Coveris acquired a flexible packaging manufacturing and trading business, Four 04 Packaging, based in Norwich, United Kingdom. This acquisition enabled Coveris to optimize its manufacturing capacities further, broaden its product portfolio, and expand its presence in the United Kingdom.
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