The market in Asia-Pacific is driven by the increasing demand in developing markets of China and India, coupled with the advances in manufacturing technology and equipment, resulting in numerous end-use applications.
- Aluminum to Witness Greater Adoption: Asia-Pacific accounts for one of the largest food & beverage industries, owing to the high population in these countries, which is a major driver for the adoption of aluminum packaging. Also, China, India, and Indonesia are some of the largest manufacturers and exporters of tea and coffee, which is instrumental in driving aluminum foil packaging. These countries have also shifted to aluminum as it is a more eco-friendly and convenient choice of packaging, and it is also easy to carry out recycling activities, which are particularly beneficial to the environment. These recycling activities also contribute to the decrease in the cost structure for the packaging industry. The recycling rate of aluminum in countries, such as Japan, is significantly high. Many efforts are also being made in countries, such as India, to improve recycling, as the recycling rate is just about 25%. China has only about 20% of its aluminum produce recycled.
- India to Witness the Fastest Growth: The primary drivers for the growth of the flexible packaging market in the country are the increasing per capita income, growing health consciousness, and changing lifestyle patterns. The country also boasts of abundantly available raw materials for manufacturing plastic, metal, and paper packaging. The growing competition and packaging standards set by the government for labelling of quality, quantity, and price, coupled with the demand for easy and convenient packaging, have been instrumental in driving the adoption of flexible packaging in India. Further, the increasing global trade and India's WTO commitment for rationalising tariffs, and lowering trade barriers have enabled the growth of international trade in packaging material and machinery, which, in turn, has equipped manufacturers with the machinery necessary to innovate and offer enhanced packaging.
- Increased Demand for Convenient Packaging: Flexible packaging is preferred by both consumers and producers, owing to its advantages over rigid packaging. One of the significant benefits for the manufacturer and retailer is the reduced weight of the packaging, which results in reduced shipping and warehousing costs, while simultaneously creating more space on store shelves. Also, the increase in single-person households along with changing consumer preferences and rapidly population aging are further aiding the growth of flexible packaging in the region. Given that single-person households now represent the largest group, a growing demand for single-value pack sizes and convenient packaging is being witnessed. Also, with changing lifestyles, there is an increased demand for on-the go food and snacks. Thus, the industry players are launching small-size packaging, as well as lightweight and flexible packaging to suit this expanding demographic. For instance, Japanese beverage manufacturers have widened their selections of smaller pack sizes, in a bid to attract new consumers, while in food packaging, there has been a rise in the selection of small pack sizes that are easily consumable. "Tabekiri" packs meet the rising needs of single-person households attempting to consume small portions of a variety of products.
- A number of packaging problems involve optimization of costs subject to constraints imposed by the geometry of the alternatives. One such problem arises in those consumer goods warehousing systems which pack a large number of similar products, differing in size, into individual boxes for warehousing and subsequent shipment to the ultimate consumer. The problem is to select the optimum number and sizes of boxes which minimize the total system costs. The pollution caused due to the littering of packaging materials in open grounds, beaches and cities is attracting a lot of criticisim for plastic and Polystyrene material, though not directly created by the manufacturers but by misuse of the consumers, yet in different parts of region such problems are met by imposing a ban on manufacturing firms and industries.
- With the outbreak of COVID-19, the flexible packaging manufacturers have been flooded with a pool of issues that are expected to be only for the short -term. Some of the effects of lockdown include lack of availability of raw materials used in the manufacturing process, supply chain disruptions, fluctuating prices, labor shortages that could cause shipping problems, production of the final product to inflate and go beyond budget, etc.
Asia-Pacific Flexible Packaging Market Key Market Trends
Food-Packaging Industry to Drive the Market Growth
- According to IBEF, the Indian food and grocery market is the world's sixth-largest, with retail contributing 70% of the sales. The Indian food processing industry accounted for 32% of the country's total food market, one of the largest industries in India, ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export, and expected growth.
- The growth in the flexible packaging industry in India is mainly driven by the food and the pharmaceutical packaging sectors. The large and growing Indian middle class, along with the growth in organized retailing in the country are fuelling growth in the flexible packaging industry. Another factor, which has provided substantial stimulus to the packaging industry is the rapid growth of exports, which requires superior packaging standards for the international market. The Indian packaging industry is dominated by plastic flexible packaging.
- The traditional rigid packaging users have also been seen to shift to flexible packaging in recent times. According to industry sources, the main reason for this is that flexible packages are found aesthetically attractive, cost-effective and sturdy. Consumer preference for the use of convenient packaging and packaged products in affordable quantities in laminates is also one of the main reasons that have contributed to the growth of flexible packaging in India.
- Flexible packaging is mainly used for food, which contributes to more than 60% of the total market, according to the Flexible Packaging Association. The flexible packaging industry is witnessing healthy growth, as the industry was able to implement innovative solutions for the many packaging challenges it faced.
- In the food industry, beyond convenience, the other characteristics, such as sustainability, transparency, food safety, and reduction in food waste, are influencing the flexible packaging choice for meat, poultry, and seafood. Sustainability is one of the factors that the companies are finding more interest in recyclable and recycled-content flexible packaging solutions. For this, the solutions, such as formable paper, are gaining traction that offers excellent barrier properties, suitable for lunchmeat and portion packs, and reduced plastic use up to 80%.
Asia-Pacific is expected to Witness a Significant Growth
- Some of the key factors behind the significant growth of the Asia Pacific flexible packaging market are rising disposable income, improvement in the standard of living, and growing consumer demand for convenient packaging solutions.
- Change in the lifestyle and work culture especially in countries like India and Japan has given rise to the demand for easy-to-use and carry packaged food & beverage products, thereby driving the growth of the Asia Pacific flexible packaging market. The demand for flexible packaging is also derived from the growth of various end-user industries such as healthcare, food & beverages among others. In food packaging, there has been a rise in the selection of small pack sizes that are easily consumable. "Tabekiri" packs meet the rising needs of single-person households attempting to consume small portions of a variety of products.
- Other factors like lightweight material, low production cost, cheap availability of raw material, and low transportation cost reduce the overall manufacturing cost for manufacturers, leading to increased adoption of these solutions to cater to their packaging needs.
- China is expected to be the largest market for flexible packaging solutions, due to the rise of take away culture and availablility of multiple food packaging solutions. The rising number of supermarkets in the Asia Pacific region will also boost the demand for flexible packaging solutions.
- The growing Asian Market, rise of the middle class and increase in the spending power of consumers in this region has led to the increasing demand of flexible packaging.
The demand for flexible packaging is growing faster than many other forms. It includes trends, like e-commerce, digital printing, and sustainability, that can be used to drive market development and growth. Customers are increasingly becoming more eager to pay extra for certain product attributes boosted by flexible packaging. Key Players in this Market are - Amcor PLC, Berry Global Inc., Mondi Group, Sonoco Products Company, etc. The Recent developments in the market are -
- April 2020 - Amcor PLC partnered with Moda Vacuum Packaging. The combination of Amcor's Roll Stock and shrink bag with Moda's system will enable improvement in operational efficiencies and driving total cost savings.
- September 2020 - Berry Gloabal Inc. partnered with Conagra Brands Inc. for producing sustainable packaging. It has unveiled new sustainable packaging for its products developed in partnership. The companies say the new design will reduce the packaging's carbon footprint by 98 metric tons annually.
- The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
- 3 months of analyst support