United Kingdom (UK) Corrugated Board Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The United Kingdom Corrugated Board Packaging Market is Segmented by End-user Industry (Processed Foods, Fresh Food and Produce, Beverages, and Paper Products).

Market Snapshot

UK Corrugated Board Packaging
Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
CAGR: 5 %

Need a report that reflects how COVID-19 has impacted this market and its growth?

Market Overview

The United Kingdom Corrugated Board Packaging Market is expected to register a CAGR of approximately 5% during the forecast period (2021 - 2026). Corrugated packaging is found in different styles, shapes, and sizes, depending on the application. Due to its 100% recyclability and cost-effectiveness, it is widely used in the packaging industry.

  • According to the Confederation of Paper Industry, the United Kingdom, 3.9 million metric tons of paper and board production, and 5.3 million KSM of corrugated board production were done in 2019.
  • Corrugated board is versatile, due to which it can take various forms other than the box, and due to sustainability issues, it is slowly replaced by flexible plastic bags. Moreover, corrugated boxes act as a perfect base to hold several types of printing techniques. Due to this, companies tend to prefer corrugated packaging as a marketing tool. It acts as a mobile billboard, where the companies do not have to spend additionally on marketing. According to FEFCO, the United Kingdom shipped over 2,147 thousand metric tons of corrugated boxes in 2018.
  • Furthermore, the corrugated board packaging manufacturers are directly collaborating with vendors to provide more agile and customizable solutions. The Corrugated Case Company in the United Kingdom has partnered with Mjallen, Next PLC, Moores, Radius Systems, and other clients to deliver its corrugated boxes. In 2019, it produced 16,346,155 corrugated boxes.
  • The United Kingdom has many corrugated board manufacturers due to the increasing demand for packaging in many end-user industries, such as food and beverage, e-commerce, and paper products, among others. According to FEFCO, in 2018, there were 28 corrugated board packaging manufacturers with 67 production plants and 16,262 employees, in the United Kingdom.
  • With the outbreak of COVID-19, the demand for corrugated board packaging in the region is witnessing significant growth due to demand for transport packaging of essential products, such as packaging for food and other consumer products, medical and pharmaceutical and tissues, and hygiene products.
  • Moreover, companies are launching new corrugated packaging products to meet the requirements arising owing to the COVID-19 crisis. For instance, DS Smith has developed special emergency provision boxes to meet the increased demand for safer home delivery in the food retail sector, as the global COVID-19 outbreak is intensifying.

Scope of the Report

  • Corrugated board packaging is a versatile and cost-efficient method to protect, preserve, and transport a wide range of products. Attributes, such as light-weight, biodegradability, and recyclability, are the advantages of this packaging that make it an essential component in modern life.
  • The market has been segmented by the end-user industry (processed foods, fresh food and produce, beverages, paper products, and other end-user industries).
  • The study also covers the impact of COVID-19 on the market.
By End-user Industry
Processed Foods
Fresh Food and Produce
Paper Products
Other End-user Industries (Electrical Products and Others)

Report scope can be customized per your requirements. Click here.

Key Market Trends

E-commerce Industry Expected to Stimulate Demand

  • The e-commerce industry has emerged as a significant player in recent years. The prominent e-commerce companies, such as Amazon, have been using corrugated board boxes for the principal packaging and rely on plastic packaging for individual items. According to GWP Group, in the United Kingdom, e-commerce accounts for more than 20% of the total businesses, and 90% of e-commerce orders are shipped in corrugated boxes.
  • Furthermore, these e-commerce firms have benefited from additional savings by using corrugated board-based packaging. According to a study, the corrugated board can achieve savings of 7-36%, depending on the box size and can manufacture boxes with 30% greater stacking strength and crush resistance, while using lighter-weight materials for the bottom panel of the box. 
  • An additional factor that allows corrugated boxes to gain share from paperboard cartons is the introduction of e-commerce-ready packaging that substitutes lightweight and easy-to-open cartons for boxes that can withstand the rigors of shipping. Corrugated boxes used for e-commerce are more likely to be printed with high-quality graphics and customized to fit packaged contents in order to save on costs and increase the aesthetic impact during unboxing.
  • In May 2020, DS Smith launched the e-commerce packaging range to help SMEs gradually move to online trading. The company introduced the Essential Solutions online e-commerce range to provide solutions for the most popular applications, including; letterbox packs, an essentials provisions box, a corrugated tray replacement for recyclable plastic crates, and bottle packs.

Fresh Food and Produce Industry Expected to Gain Significant Traction

  • The food industry is rapidly moving towards eco-friendly packaging by adopting corrugated board packaging solutions. The increasing concern towards hygiene in food packaging has mandated several standards for the packaging industry and stimulated the adoption of eco-friendly packaging solutions.
  • The EU Regulation 1935/2004 on food contact materials and Regulation 2023/2006 on good manufacturing practice (GMP) are the laws applicable to corrugated packaging used in food applications in the EU. Hence, this poses several challenges in acquiring hygienic and sustainable packaging solutions for the food industry.
  • Several solution providers in the market aim to provide solutions for the food industry to expand their market presence. For instance, in May 2020, Softbox created a new plastic-free 100% kerbside-recyclable cardboard insulated shipper, for the delivery of chilled food. The single-use low-cost parcel shipper is made from 100% recycled corrugated cardboard, using zero plastic.
  • Also, in June 2020, Cepac, a United Kingdom-based packaging solution provider achieved registered status for its Chiller Pack, which is a corrugated cardboard composition packaging, designed for the transport of fresh fish and shellfish. It assists in the dry transportation of fish and shellfish.

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape of the United Kingdom Corrugated Board Packaging Market is moderately fragmented owing to the presence of several regional players, and the rapid emergence of new solution providers in the region. Also, several global players are expanding their global presence by expanding their operations in the United Kingdom. The market players are also forming strategic partnerships and collaborations to boost their market presence and gain maximum market traction.

  • October 2019 - Scottish drinks packaging firm McLaren Packaging and Staffordshire-based printed packaging supplier Swanline Group, collaborated to create the sustainable energy facility fuelled by organic waste to power the manufacture of corrugated sheet board. McLaren's GBP 5.5 million investment will facilitate carbon-neutral corrugated material for use at McLaren and Swanline's manufacturing plants in Port Glasgow and Staffordshire.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions & Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

      1. 4.2.1 Strong Demand from the E-commerce Sector

      2. 4.2.2 Growing Adoption of Light Weighting Materials and Scope for Printing Innovations Propelling Growth in the Electronics and Personal Care Segment

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 Concerns over Material Availability and Durability of Corrugated Board-based Products

    4. 4.4 Market Opportunities

    5. 4.5 Industry Supply Chain Analysis

    6. 4.6 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.6.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.6.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.6.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.6.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.6.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    7. 4.7 Impact of COVID-19 on the Corrugated Packaging Industry


    1. 5.1 By End-user Industry

      1. 5.1.1 Processed Foods

      2. 5.1.2 Fresh Food and Produce

      3. 5.1.3 Beverages

      4. 5.1.4 Paper Products

      5. 5.1.5 Other End-user Industries (Electrical Products and Others)


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles*

      1. 6.1.1 International Paper Company

      2. 6.1.2 Mondi Group

      3. 6.1.3 Smurfit Kappa Group

      4. 6.1.4 DS Smith PLC

      5. 6.1.5 WestRock Company

      6. 6.1.6 Sealed Air Corporation

      7. 6.1.7 GWP GROUP

      8. 6.1.8 The Box Factory Limited

      9. 6.1.9 Belmont Packaging

      10. 6.1.10 Saxon Packaging (Smurfit Kappa Group)

      11. 6.1.11 Atlas Packaging Limited

      12. 6.1.12 The Corrugated Case Company

      13. 6.1.13 NUTTALL Packaging

      14. 6.1.14 Cardboard Box Company

      15. 6.1.15 Fencor Packaging Group Limited



**Subject to Availability

You can also purchase parts of this report. Do you want to check out a section wise price list?

Frequently Asked Questions

The United Kingdom (UK) Corrugated Board Packaging Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The United Kingdom (UK) Corrugated Board Packaging Market is growing at a CAGR of 5% over the next 5 years.

DS Smith PLC, GWP GROUP, Belmont Packaging, Saxon Packaging (Smurfit Kappa Group), Atlas Packaging Limited are the major companies operating in United Kingdom (UK) Corrugated Board Packaging Market.

80% of our clients seek made-to-order reports. How do you want us to tailor yours?

Please enter a valid email id!

Please enter a valid message!