United Kingdom Corrugated Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022-2027)

The United Kingdom Corrugated Packaging Market is segmented by End-User Industry (Processed Food, Fresh Food and Produce, Beverages, Paper Products, Electrical Products).

Market Snapshot

Market Snapshot
Study Period: 2020-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: 2.81 %

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Market Overview

The United Kingdom Corrugated Board Packaging Market was estimated to be worth USD 3.71 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach USD 4.42 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 2.81% between 2022 and 2027. 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.

  • Corrugated boards are highly versatile and can take various forms other than the box. They are slowly replacing flexible plastic bags due to sustainability issues. 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.
  • According to the CPI association, 47 mills were operating in the United Kingdom. About 9.90 million metric tons of paper and paper board consumption was recorded in the country in 2020, which is a significant decline compared to the previous year’s 10.8 million metric tons. Owing to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, end-user industries faced declining business, especially restaurants and fast-food joints.
  • The United Kingdom has taken measures to encourage manufacturers to take responsibility for the use of sustainable packaging solutions. Corrugated boards have always been a popular choice of packaging due to their strength, cushioning, and protective, flexible, and recyclable properties.
  • Furthermore, corrugated boxes are fast becoming the packaging of choice across a wide range of industries, from transportation and e-commerce services to the food and drinks industry in the region. The demand for convenience foods is on the rise due to the busy lifestyle of people.
  • The rise of e-commerce, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has heightened the need for corrugated packaging solutions in the country.
  • Growing government regulations for companies to adopt sustainable packaging materials to reduce packaging waste further drives the demand for corrugated board packaging. In November 2021, the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO), which represents the corrugated packaging industry across Europe, including the United Kingdom, released its corrugated packaging recyclability guidelines aimed at optimizing recyclability via design parameters for paper and board packaging.

Scope of the Report

Corrugated packaging is made up of three or more sheets of corrugated fiberboard, also known as containerboard, and is a durable, cost-effective, and adaptable packaging material. The scope of the UK corrugated market study is structured to track the spending across end-user industries, such as processed foods, fresh food and produce, beverages, paper products, and electrical products, among other end-user industries. 

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Key Market Trends

E-commerce Industry Expected to Stimulate Demand

  • The e-commerce industry is witnessing a significant transformation in consumer behavior on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has boosted e-commerce business as consumers are changing their shopping behavior by opting to buy online rather than shopping at physical stores.
  • Despite the recent economic slowdown, which has negatively influenced e-commerce package/retail sales in general, e-commerce retail sales have continued to rise, providing significant potential for corrugated packaging suppliers.
  • 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.
  • According to Web retailer, in 2021, the United Kingdom was the third-largest e-commerce market globally, with online retail sales reaching USD 131 billion annually, behind only China and the United States. The United Kingdom is also one of the most developed markets for e-commerce globally, with online sales making up 23% of total UK retail sales.
UK's E-commerce Conversion Rate

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.
  • Fruit packing necessitates extreme caution due to the product's fragile and perishable nature. When it comes to rigid fruit transport packaging, corrugated fiberboard (CFB) is the most environmentally friendly solution. Corrugated boxes have recently gained a large following among fruit exporters because of their improved adaptability for air, sea, and road transport.
  • According to the most recent sales figures, health-conscious Britons drive the highest demand for fruit and vegetables this century. Stay-at-home Brits with more free time have spent more time at home cooking since the first lockdown began in 2020.
  • Similarly, fruit such as apples, pears, and berries witnessed record growth in 2021, while chestnut mushrooms, strong in vitamin D, witnessed a significant surge in popularity over the last 12 months. Therefore, the fruit industry in the United Kingdom presents a huge market for corrugated box packaging.
  • 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.
United Kingdom Corrugated Packaging Market

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape of the United Kingdom Corrugated Packaging Market is 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.

  • April 2022 - DS Smith introduced a corrugated cardboard box for the e-commerce shipment of medical devices. The corrugated cardboard box features a single-material solution instead of glued packaging with a single-use plastic insert.
  • June 2021 - Smurfit Kappa Group announced an investment of EUR 24 million to expand its corrugated plant in Rethel, North-East France. The investment will facilitate the consolidation of two existing facilities at that plant and the installation of a new corrugator and conversion equipment.

Recent Developments

  • November 2021 - DS Smith launched a new erectable and reusable tray with an automatic side base as part of its sustainable efforts. With 100% recyclable and smart construction, DS Smith's novel sustainable tray is manufactured utilizing 100% corrugated cardboard.
  • October 2021 - Smurfit Kappa Group acquired a 600,000-ton containerboard mill Verzuolo in Northern Italy, for a purchase price of EUR 360 million. This mill complements the company's existing operations and is strategically located close to the port of Savona, which delivers significant benefits for the company in logistics and operations.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study


    1. 2.1 Research Framework

    2. 2.2 Secondary Research

    3. 2.3 Primary Research

    4. 2.4 Primary Research Approach and Key Respondents

    5. 2.5 Data Triangulation and Insight Generation



    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 Substitute Products

      5. 4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    3. 4.3 Technology Snapshot


    1. 5.1 Market Drivers

      1. 5.1.1 Strong Demand from the E-commerce Sector

      2. 5.1.2 Growing Adoption of Light Weighing Materials and Scope for Printing Innovations Propelling Growth in Electronics and Personal Care Segment

    2. 5.2 Market Challenges

      1. 5.2.1 Concerns Over Material Availability and Durability of Corrugated Board-based products

    3. 5.3 Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 on the Market


    1. 6.1 Total Shipments in Terms of Square Meter (2017-2020)

    2. 6.2 Total Shipments in Terms of Ton (2017-2020)

    3. 6.3 Total Number of Companies and Employment

    4. 6.4 Consumption of Raw Materials - White Or Colored Kraftliner, Brown Kraftliner, Testliners And Others

    5. 6.5 Corrugated Board Production in The UK (in Ton) and Top Trading Countries


    1. 7.1 Ppi for Corrugated and Solid Box Manufacturing in United Kingdom

    2. 7.2 Corrugated Box Consumption (in '000 Ton) In The United Kingdom (2017-2020)

    3. 7.3 Market Segmentation - By End-user Industries

      1. 7.3.1 Processed Food

      2. 7.3.2 Fresh Food And Produce

      3. 7.3.3 Beverages

      4. 7.3.4 Paper Products

      5. 7.3.5 Electrical Products

      6. 7.3.6 Other End-user Industries

    4. 7.4 Company Profiles

      1. 7.4.1 John Hargreaves

      2. 7.4.2 Board24 Ltd (logson Group)

      3. 7.4.3 Durham Box Co. Ltd

      4. 7.4.4 Boxway Packaging Group Limited

      5. 7.4.5 Gwp Group

      6. 7.4.6 The Box Factory Limited

      7. 7.4.7 Cbs Packaging Group

      8. 7.4.8 Saxon Packaging (Smurfit Kappa Group)

      9. 7.4.9 Nuttall Packaging

      10. 7.4.10 International Paper Company

      11. 7.4.11 Mondi Group

      12. 7.4.12 Smurfit Kappa Group

      13. 7.4.13 Ds Smith Plc

      14. 7.4.14 Westrock Company




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Frequently Asked Questions

The United Kingdom Corrugated Packaging Market market is studied from 2020 - 2027.

The United Kingdom Corrugated Packaging Market is growing at a CAGR of 2.81% over the next 5 years.

John Hargreaves, Board24 Ltd (Logson Group), Durham Box Co. Ltd, BoxWay Packaging Group Limited, GWP Group are the major companies operating in United Kingdom Corrugated Packaging Market.

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