Flexible Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Flexible Packaging Market is segmented by Material Type (Plastic, Paper, Aluminum Foil), Product Type (Pouches, Bags, Films and Wraps), End-user Industry (Food, Beverages, Pharmaceutical and Medical, Household and Personal Care), and Geography.

Flexible Packaging Market Snapshot

Flexible Packaging Market Size
Study Period: 2019- 2026
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: 4.37 %
Flexible Packaging Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The flexible packaging market (henceforth referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 233.32 billion in 2020. It is projected to be worth USD 300.18 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 4.37% during the period 2021-2026 (henceforth, referred to as the forecast period). With the recent outbreak of COVID 19, 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 supply chain disruptions, lack of availability of raw materials used in the manufacturing process, labor shortages, fluctuating prices that could cause the production of the final product to inflate and go beyond budget, and shipping problems.

  • The demand for flexible packaging is growing faster than in many other forms. It includes trends like e-commerce, digital printing, and sustainability, which can drive market development and growth. Customers are increasingly eager to pay extra for specific product attributes boosted by flexible packaging. For instance, according to the Flexible Packaging Association, more than 60% of consumers in North America are keen to pay more for tangible and functional packaging benefits, such as product protection, shipping friendly, and supply chain efficacy, among others.
  • In the food industry, beyond convenience, the other characteristics, such as sustainability, transparency, food safety, and reduction in food waste, influence 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, offering excellent barrier properties, suitable for lunchmeat and portion packs, and reduced plastic use by up to 80%.
  • Many companies worldwide are following a trend of building PE-based packages with the help of mono materials. A past collaboration between Borealis and Borouge developed a series of new and fully recyclable mono-material pouch solutions for PE- and PP-based materials.
  • Furthermore, in July 2021, AR Packaging announced that they are launching Ecoflex, a recyclable mono-polyethylene film for thermoforming applications that the company says provides an alternative to PA-based materials while fully meeting OPRL guidelines.
  • As most recycling facilities are outdated, they are incompetent of handling changes in waste streams. For example, even though the quantity of paper waste has degenerated and plastic waste has increased, the current device is ill-equipped to handle such changes in the trends of packaging waste.

Scope of the Report

Flexible Packaging is a package like bags and pouches that can be modified and are of free shape. The world of flexible packaging for commodity goods and services is a high volume, low margin world of a product polymer manufacturer. The study covers the market based on the type of material being used in the manufacturing of different flexible packaging products to be used in various end-user industries across the globe.

Material Type
Polyethene (PE)
Bi-orientated Polypropylene (BOPP)
Cast polypropylene (CPP)
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH)
Aluminum Foil
Product Type
Films & Wraps
Other Product Types
End-User Industry
Frozen Food
Dairy Products
Fruits and Vegetables
Meat, Poultry, and Seafood
Baked Goods and Snack Foods
Candy and Confections
Other Food Products
Pharmaceutical and Medical
Household and Personal Care
Other End-User Industries
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Asia Pacific
Rest of Asia Pacific
Latin America
Rest of Latin America
Middle East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Dairy Products are expected to Hold a Significant Market Share in the Food Segment

  • The current market scenario is indicative of an upsurge in demand from dairy products, as the consumption of dairy products is increasing at a healthy rate. For instance, according to the US Department of Agriculture, the per capita consumption of cheese amounted to 40.2 pounds in 2020. Moreover, the annual cheese consumption in 2020 was recorded highest in the European Union than the united states as the consumption accounted for 9,482 metric tons in the EU as compared to 5,766 metric tons in the United States according to USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
  • Among all the dairy products, milk is a primary staple food and an essential part of a balanced diet containing a high percentage of calcium and other vital nutrients. According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and the US department of agriculture, worldwide milk production in the year 2020 amounted to around 532.25 million metric tons. In 2020, European Union was the leading producer of cow milk and produced about 157.5 million metric tons of cow milk, followed by the United States and India.
  • Carton packaging has conventionally been associated with milk, as it protects food and is also good for the environment. Paperboard is a frequently used material for making cartons for milk packaging. Also known as gable-top cartons, milk cartons is a common form of poly-coated paper packaging. By weight, milk cartons are 80% paper and 20% polyethylene. Paper milk cartons substituted refillable glass bottles in the 1950s, offering consumers a convenient, lightweight alternative.
  • Steady growth in the dairy beverage market, especially in Asia-Pacific, has led to the growth of flexible packaging of dairy products. Advantages such as long-shelf-life and no refrigeration are needed to aid the growth of flexible packaging over traditional packaging methods. According to Asia and Middle East Food Trade Journal, cartons are the most common packaging material for milk in the beverage market (around 51% share) and the entire sector of aseptically-packaged products (approximately 72% share) of December 2020.
  • In recent times, vacuum pouches with moderate (PA/PE) or high barrier (PA/EVOH/PE) properties have gained widespread acceptance. These film-based vacuum pouches are incorporated in Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) applications and utilized mainly for dairy and protein packaging.
Flexible Packaging Market Trends

Asia Pacific is Expected to Witness Significant Growth

  • In the food industry, beyond convenience, other characteristics, such as sustainability, transparency, food safety, and reduction in food waste, influence the flexible packaging choice for meat, poultry, and seafood. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and National Bureau of Statistics of China, in 2020, the food industry in the country generated total profits of around CNY 620.66 billion.
  • According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW Japan), the volume share of generics in the Japanese prescription drugs market stood at around 78.3% in 2020. Over 35% of prescription drugs in the country are imported from the United States, and this demand is anticipated to increase as the country has a rapidly aging population demanding new medicines for associated conditions. Hence, such trends are expected to contribute to the market's growth positively.
  • According to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, the sales volume of dairy food within the Indian packaged foods market amounted to about 26.45 million metric tons in 2020. This was a significant increase from about 22.03 million metric tons in 2019. The expansion and diversification of India's food retail are expected to act as catalysts for dairy packaged foods, with urban areas accounting for more than 75% of the sales.
  • Australia has witnessed a significant increase in population in the last decade. For instance, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the country's population increased from 22 million in 2010 to more than 25.6 million in 2020. This is anticipated to drive the demand for more consumables, like packaged meals, convenience packages, among others.
  • The Indonesian packaging industry growth is primarily driven by the country's expanding population and higher demand for low-cost, flexible packaging. For instance, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 2020, the total population of Indonesia increased to approximately 270.2 million inhabitants from 258.5 million inhabitants in 2016.
Flexible Packaging Market Growth

Competitive Landscape

The Flexible Packaging Market is competitive owing to the presence of multiple vendors in the market. The market appears to be moderately concentrated, with the major players adopting strategies such as product innovation, mergers, and acquisitions to stay competitive in the market. Some of the major players in the industry are Amron Limited, Mondi Group, Berry Global Inc, Sealed Air Corporation, among others.

  • October 2021 - Berry Global and LyondellBasell collaborated to advance the goal of sustainably sourcing 100% of its customer-facing packaging by 2026. The collaboration supports the selection of plastic-lined paper cups with limited recyclability to single-substrate, clear plastic drink cups that more consumers will be able to recycle.
  • June 2021 -Coveris, with its technical capabilities, developed a new cereal liner solution. The Cereal+ liner has been created to deliver packer performance, improved shelf life. Coveris Cereal+ liner is made from fully recyclable polyethylene and provides product protection, freshness, and shelf life for cereals and dry foods packed in bag-in-box films.

Recent Developments

  • September 2021: ProAmpac announced the latest addition to the ProActive Sustainability platform, QUADFLEX Recyclable. The format utilizes ProAmpac’s R-2000 recyclable laminated mono polyethylene product providing the marketplace a sustainable alternative to multi-material laminates.
  • August 2021: Huhtamaki partnered with RiverRecycle and VTT to develop technology to tackle floating river waste. donated EUR 600,000 to fund the development and piloting of a river waste collector, invented by the Finnish cleantech start-up RiverRecycle

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.2.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers

      3. 4.2.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.2.4 Threat of Substitutes

      5. 4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Assessment of Impact of COVID-19 on the Industry

    5. 4.5 Market Drivers

      1. 4.5.1 Increased Demand for Convenient Packaging

      2. 4.5.2 Demand for Longer Shelf Life and Changing Lifestyles

    6. 4.6 Market Restraints

      1. 4.6.1 Concerns Regarding the Environment and Recycling


    1. 5.1 Material Type

      1. 5.1.1 Plastic

        1. Polyethene (PE)

        2. Bi-orientated Polypropylene (BOPP)

        3. Cast polypropylene (CPP)

        4. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

        5. Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH)

      2. 5.1.2 Paper

      3. 5.1.3 Aluminum Foil

    2. 5.2 Product Type

      1. 5.2.1 Pouches

      2. 5.2.2 Bags

      3. 5.2.3 Films & Wraps

      4. 5.2.4 Other Product Types

    3. 5.3 End-User Industry

      1. 5.3.1 Food

        1. Frozen Food

        2. Dairy Products

        3. Fruits and Vegetables

        4. Meat, Poultry, and Seafood

        5. Baked Goods and Snack Foods

        6. Candy and Confections

        7. Other Food Products

      2. 5.3.2 Beverage

      3. 5.3.3 Pharmaceutical and Medical

      4. 5.3.4 Household and Personal Care

      5. 5.3.5 Other End-User Industries

    4. 5.4 Geography

      1. 5.4.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

      2. 5.4.2 Europe

        1. United Kingdom

        2. Germany

        3. France

        4. Italy

        5. Spain

        6. Turkey

        7. Poland

        8. Russia

        9. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.4.3 Asia Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. Australia

        5. Rest of Asia Pacific

      4. 5.4.4 Latin America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Mexico

        4. Rest of Latin America

      5. 5.4.5 Middle East and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Egypt

        4. Iran

        5. Nigeria

        6. Rest of Middle East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Amcor Plc

      2. 6.1.2 Berry Global Inc.

      3. 6.1.3 Mondi Group

      4. 6.1.4 Sealed Air Corporation

      5. 6.1.5 Coveris Holdings SA

      6. 6.1.6 UFlex Limited

      7. 6.1.7 Huhtamaki Group

      8. 6.1.8 Proampac LLC

      9. 6.1.9 WIPF Doypak (Wipf AG)

      10. 6.1.10 FlexPak Services LLC

      11. 6.1.11 Laser Packaging Manufacturing PTE Limited

      12. 6.1.12 KM Packaging Services Ltd

      13. 6.1.13 Sonoco Products Company

    2. *List Not Exhaustive


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Frequently Asked Questions

The Flexible Packaging Market market is studied from 2019 - 2026.

The Flexible Packaging Market is growing at a CAGR of 4.37% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2021.

Amcor Plc, Mondi Group, Sealed Air Corporation, Coveris Holdings SA, Berry Global Inc. are the major companies operating in Flexible Packaging Market.

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