Germany-based research group Ceresana has produced a study showing that it expects the European market for flexible packaging to reach a volume of around 19.2 million metric tons by 2021.
The company highlights how flexible packaging offers good options for increasingly demanding consumer requirements, and due to this flexible packaging is replacing its rigid counterparts in many market segments.
Ceresana states its study includes not just packaging sold to end customers in retail stores, but also secondary and tertiary packaging, such as shrink and stretch films, which are used to store and transport goods. Heavy duty industrial packaging such as sacks or flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC), are also included. The study looks at packaging made from plastics, paper and aluminium.
The study says stand-up pouches are a big growth area for flexible packaging, and Ceresana attributes this to the use of low-weight composite films which reduce both resource consumption and transport costs.
Ceresana indicates that an increasing older population in Europe will see ready-dosed medications in single-portion packs become a big growth market area in flexible packaging.
The trend of consumers favoring convenience products is set to continue. People spending more time at work and having less time to prepare meals has also accelerated the market for disposable sachets.
The research company states that on the materials side biaxially oriented polypropylene has become more and more important in flexible packaging. Although in Western Europe the market for BOPP films has performed weakly, demand is predicted to recover, with biaxially oriented PET packaging continuing dynamic development especially in Eastern Europe.
When looking at estimating growth in pharmaceutical packaging, the company again cites how the average age in Europe is increasing, predicting therefore that the market will pick up speed. Following a decline in 2008 and 2009 in heavy duty and transport packaging, the market is envisioned to be in a position to capitalize on the increase in goods traded online.