Convenience Packaging Is on the Rise
The market research institute Ceresana analyzed the European market for flexible packaging made from plastics, paper, and aluminum. These not only include consumer good packaging for end customers, but also shrink and stretch films for storage and transport, paper labels, all kinds of carrier bags, sacks for heavy loads, and flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC). The analysts at Ceresana expect the European market for flexible packaging, i.e. all types of packaging and materials taken together, to reach a market volume of about 19.2 million tonnes in 2021.
According to the new study, the packaging industry has to react to changes in consumer demands: Lack of time and a desire for convenience and easy and practical use as well as attractive and innovative products are the mainsprings. Currently, it is especially demand for stand-up pouches that is rising: Using composite films allows for a further reduction of weight, thereby saving resources and transport costs. Modern filling techniques in combination with sterilizable bags guarantee an ever increased quality of products and rising filling speed. These reasons also make disposable sachets more popular: Small bags are no longer used only for mustard, coffee, ready-made sauces and other foodstuffs, but also pharmaceutical drugs, for example.
The choice of materials and material layers is determined by the specific properties and demand that a packaging needs to fulfil for a specific good. In many segments, flexible packaging made from biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) or PET (BOPET) has become much more important in the past. Especially in Western Europe the market for BOPP films performed weakly in recent years. But demand is projected to recover in the future. Thanks to its positive properties, consumption of flexible BOPET packaging will continue its dynamic development, especially across large areas in Eastern Europe.
After demand had fallen in 2008 and 2009, consumption of heavy duty and transport packaging is rising again. The market for transport packaging can capitalize on the increasing volume of products traded via the internet. Ceresana also sees good opportunities for the packaging of pharmaceutical products in upcoming years: Due to a rising average age in many European countries, there is a trend towards ready-dosed single-portion packs for medicaments.
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