North America Protective Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, Forecasts (2020 - 2025)

The North America Protective Packaging Market is segmented by Material Type​ (Plastics, Paper and Paperboard​), Product Type​ (Rigid, Flexible, Foam Based​), End-user Vertical​ (Food and Beverage​, Pharmaceutical​, Consumer Electronics​, Beauty and Homecare​), and Country.

Market Snapshot

Study Period: 2020-2025
Base Year: 2019
CAGR: 3 %

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Market Overview

The North America protective packaging market is expected to register a 3% CAGR during the forecast period 2020 - 2025. Protective packaging emerged as one of the most significant packaging techniques used for packaging of various ends user industry products, such as consumer electronics, pharmaceutical, and automotive, among others that safeguard and shield core product from damages during transportation or storage.​

  • The rise in e-commerce purchases is the key factor expected to boost protective packaging films' demand and drives the region's growth. According to Statcan, the retail e-commerce sales in Canada accounted for CAD 3431.22 million in April 2020 that increased from CAD 877.35 million in January 2016.
  • The market is expected to witness new partnerships and M&A activities to address new challenges emerging in the market and drive growth. For instance, in June 2019, Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm, agreed to acquire Pregis LLC, protective packaging materials and automated systems manufacturer, from Olympus Partners, which after five years of ownership and a series of acquisitions resulted in Pregis LLC growing from 14 to 22 manufacturing sites in North America and Europe. ​
  • The region hosts many protective packaging manufacturers such as Sealed Air Corporation, Sonoco Products, Packaging Corporation of America, Pregis LLC, among others who are making an increased investment in R&D to develop environment-friendly and sustainable protective packaging material. For instance, in September 2019, Sonoco announced its new EnviroSense sustainable packaging initiative for its different range of packaging products that include protective packaging products. ​
  • Furthermore, the region's sustainable packaging coalition hosted the protective packaging design challenge where Flexi-Hex, ClimaCell, Cruz Foam, Returnity, and Ecovative Mushroom Packaging were five finalists announced in September 2020. For instance, ClimaCell is produced by TemperPack, who has patented a process for creating foam from paper and plant starch. The technology provides both thermal protection and protection from vibration and shock, along with other applications like void fill, cushioning, and blocking.​
  • With the outbreak of COVID-19, the market for protective packaging is witnessing significant growth owing to a rise in demand from e-commerce, pharmaceutical, and other end-user industries. According to Adobe's Digital Economy Index's latest data, U.S. e-commerce jumped 49% in April, FY 2020, compared to the baseline period in early March before shelter-in-place restrictions came into effect. Online grocery helped drive the increase in revenues, with a 110% boost in daily sales between March and April. Meanwhile, electronic sales were up 58%, and book sales have doubled.​​

Scope of the report

Protective packaging are materials that are built to protect and add buffer to a product from potential harm or damages/destruction while shipping or warehousing. Protective packaging can be used either as a primary packaging or secondary packaging material depending upon the products’ end-use application.​ The scope of the market is comprehensive and is limited to North America.

Material Type​
Paper and Paperboard​
Other Material Types​
Product Type​
Molded Pulp
Paperboard-based Protectors
Insulated Shipping Containers
Flexibles (Mailers, Paper Full, and Air Pillows)​
Bubble Wraps​
Foam Based​
End-user Vertical​
Food and Beverage​
Consumer Electronics​
Beauty and Homecare​
Other End-user Verticals​
United States

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Key Market Trends

Food and Beverage Industry to Drive the Market Growth

  • E-commerce is witnessing a growth in online food & restaurant service companies. The shelf life of several products in the food and beverage industry can be very short and delivering an item before its depletion period is the most common pain-point in the sector. The wide adoption of plastic packaging in the food and beverage industry, which includes bags, pouches, and shrink films primarily due to their flexibility and durability, are factors that create demand for plastic protective packaging solutions in the region.
  • Brand owners are increasingly looking to packaging converters to design secondary packaging solutions that will prevent shipping-related damage. Moreover, for beverages made of glass bottles (most fragile items), packaging airbags are used nowadays. If any of the multiple chambers loses air in airbags, the balance remains inflated to provide continued protection. Airpack provides this solution to various e-commerce companies.​
  • Molded pulp packaging is a newer type of packaging typically made from recycled materials. It is used for protective packaging, mostly for food and beverages. Additionally, molded pulp packaging benefits from performance advantages, including excellent cushioning, bracing, blocking, and providing backlash against single-use plastic products manufactured from expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam.​
Ecommerce In US.png

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United States Holds Significant Market Share

  • The region is witnessing significant demand from the consumer electronics segment. According to the consumer technology association, retail revenue from consumer electronics and technology sales in the United States in 2019 was USD 406 million, and is expected to reach USD 422 million by the end of FY 2020. With the increasing demand for consumer electronics, the demand for protective packaging is expected to grow in the foreseen period.​​
  • Furthermore, the region is witnessing enormous growth in the e-commerce industry, which is also driving the protective packaging market. For instance, in the United States, Amazon is the biggest player, and it had more than 119 million products listed on its website, as of April 2019. Additionally, the company mentioned that it sells over 4,000 products every minute. The company also boasted an impressive 2.5 million sellers on its website in 2019; therefore, such huge demand from the company drives the studied market.​
  • The vendors in the region are innovating and offering various protective packaging products in the market. Moreover, the market is expected to witness new partnerships and M&A activities to address new challenges emerging in the market and drive growth. For instance, in May 2019, US Based Sealed Air Corporation announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Automated Packaging Systems Inc. (APS), a manufacturer of automated bagging systems, for an overall price of USD 510 million. APS will bring highly complementary and additive capabilities to the company, including engineering, automation technology, and sustainability, which will strengthen its protective packaging solutions.​
Retail Sales in US.png

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Competitive Landscape

The North America protective packaging market is moderately fragmented and consists of various vendors providing these products and solutions. Vendors in the market focus on product innovations and strategic initiatives such as merger and acquisition, partnerships to capture the market share. Some of the recent developments in the market are:

  • October 2020 - Smurfit Kappa Group launched the BanaBag packaging solution made from cellulose. This product is largely used for banana cultivation, acting as a natural insulator against ho
  • January 2020 - Sealed Air Corporation, the inventor of Bubble Wrap, launched a new version of Bubble Wrap brand packaging material made with at least 90% recycled content.​​

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 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.2.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    3. 4.3 Market Drivers

      1. 4.3.1 Increasing Trend of E-commerce​

    4. 4.4 Market Challenges ​

      1. 4.4.1 Alternative Forms of Packaging​

    5. 4.5 Assessment of Impact of COVID-19 on the market


    1. 5.1 Material Type​

      1. 5.1.1 Plastics​

      2. 5.1.2 Paper and Paperboard​

      3. 5.1.3 Other Material Types​

    2. 5.2 Product Type​

      1. 5.2.1 Rigid

        1. Molded Pulp

        2. Paperboard-based Protectors

        3. Insulated Shipping Containers

      2. 5.2.2 Flexibles (Mailers, Paper Full, and Air Pillows)​

        1. Bubble Wraps​

      3. 5.2.3 Foam Based​

    3. 5.3 End-user Vertical​

      1. 5.3.1 Food and Beverage​

      2. 5.3.2 Pharmaceutical​

      3. 5.3.3 Consumer Electronics​

      4. 5.3.4 Beauty and Homecare​

      5. 5.3.5 Other End-user Verticals​

    4. 5.4 Country

      1. 5.4.1 United States

      2. 5.4.2 Canada


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Intertape Polymer Group Inc.

      2. 6.1.2 Pregis Corporation

      3. 6.1.3 Riverside Paper Co.

      4. 6.1.4 Sealed Air Corporation

      5. 6.1.5 Sonoco Products Company

      6. 6.1.6 Smurfit Kappa Group

      7. 6.1.7 DS Smith PLC

      8. 6.1.8 Storopack Hans Reichenecker Gmbh

      9. 6.1.9 International Paper Company

      10. 6.1.10 Crown Holdings Inc.

    2. *List Not Exhaustive


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The North America Protective Packaging Market market is studied from 2020 - 2025.

The North America Protective Packaging Market is growing at a CAGR of 3% over the next 5 years.

Intertape Polymer Group Inc., Sonoco Products Company, Smurfit Kappa Group plc , DS Smith plc , Sealed Air Corporation are the major companies operating in North America Protective Packaging Market.

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