Flexible Packaging Paper Market to Surge in China for Preventing Future COVID-19 Outbreaks

Flexible packaging paper is anticipated to gauge high demand in China, owing to increased concerns about health and food safety after the now subsided COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the region. As such, East Asia is predicted to dictate the highest revenue among all regions in the flexible packaging paper market, where the global market is anticipated to reach a value of ~US$ 65 Bn by 2029. The adoption of flexible packaging is estimated to increase in China to prevent future COVID-19 outbreaks.

In an analysis conducted by Wood Meckenzie— a Scottish research company, tighter regulations might come into practice in China’s packaging industry. Thus, the market for flexible packaging paper is projected to witness growth in China, since the Government is reportedly considering the adoption of improved meat handling and distribution practices. Though China has a very low consumption of flexible packaging for meat and fresh produce, even a slight increase in the novel packaging segment could lead to flexible packaging paper market growth.

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Companies Bolster Credibility Credentials with Recyclable Packaging Paper

A significant shift from plastic to the adoption of recyclable paper is anticipated to generate incremental opportunities for manufacturers in the flexible packaging paper market. Since consumers are becoming increasingly aware about the adverse effects of plastic on the environment, manufacturers are capitalizing on this opportunity to innovate in paper pouches. For instance, Swiss multinational food and drinks corporation Nestlé announced the launch of their product Nesquik All Natural powder in five European markets whilst emphasizing on their sustainability credentials of adopting packaging paper from sustainable sources.

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The flexible packaging paper market is witnessing a transition from recyclable plastic to recyclable paper packaging. The consumer demand for more natural and sustainable food has triggered the demand for sustainable flexible packaging paper. As such, flexible packaging paper is acquiring prominence in food packaging and tea bag overpacks, among others. Thus, increase in applicability of the novel paper is boosting market growth.

FPA Seeks Clarity on Essential Packaging Manufacturing Amid COVID-19 Crisis

The flexible packaging paper market is fragmented with emerging players accounting for a market share of ~86%-91%. However, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 has paralyzed the packaging industry and is increasing efforts to seek clarity on what essential business means. For instance, the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) has issued a letter to the White House in the U.S. to address the growing need for essential packaging manufacturing. Increase in the number of online sales, owing to the COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented demand for flexible packaging paper.

Flexible packaging paper is increasingly being used in F&B products such as cereals and frozen meals. It is also used in sterile health and beauty products, which is evident since the revenue of food and personal care & cosmetics end users are projected for exponential growth in the flexible packaging paper market. Hence, manufacturers are seeking clarity on ‘essential’ packaging manufacturing that helps keep products fresh and sterile for the convenience of consumers.

Collaborative Platforms Create Awareness about Robust Paper Recycling Infrastructure

Circular flexible packaging is one of the important trends revolutionizing the market landscape. Companies in the flexible packaging paper market are increasing focus in sustainable packaging solutions that meet the demands of consumers. For instance, Huhtamäki Oyj— a Finland-based food packaging specialist, has developed the Huhtamäki blueloop, a novel platform where partners can collaborate to brainstorm over sustainable flexible packaging paper. The introduction of such innovative platforms is contributing toward market expansion.

Collaborative platforms are accelerating the process of innovations in flexible packaging paper on the global level. As such, paper is being highly publicized in the area of circular economy leveraged by a robust recycling infrastructure. Since consumers are already aware about the advantages of paper, it is easier for manufacturer in the flexible packaging paper market to innovate in new materials such as glassine, which gives a sophisticated look to products.

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Flexible Packaging Paper Market: Overview

  • According to Transparency Market Research’s latest market report on the flexible packaging paper market for the historical period 2014-2018 and forecast period 2019-2029, the growing demand for sustainable yet convenient and durable packaging solution is projected to drive the flexible packaging paper market growth
  • Globally, the revenue generated by the flexible packaging paper market has been estimated to be ~US$ 44 Bn in 2019 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 3.9% in terms of value during the forecast period

Impact of Covid-19 to Retard Market Growth

  • The flexible packaging paper market growth is expected to restrict due to the effects triggered by self-isolation guidelines and modifying packaging materials for healthcare consumables. As consumers are preferring to stay indoors and are purchasing only essential commodities, demand from several end-markets is shrinking.
  • Several industries are witnessing a sharp decline in demand in the sales of non-essential commodities. This shrinking demand is likely to negatively impact the demand for flexible packaging paper for the packaging of luxury goods, apparels, cosmetics, and more.

Demand for Flexible Packaging Paper Escalated by Rising Demand for Sustainable Packaging Solutions

  • Since the packaging industry impacts the environment significantly, there have been constant innovations towards shifting to environment-friendly and sustainable packaging materials; this has given rise to sales of flexible packaging paper globally. Packaging markets have seen customers shift toward paper-based packaging material from single-use plastics.
  • Matured markets such as the U.S. and Europe are witnessing a rise in the number of global brands offering products in eco-friendly packaging. Consumers in these regions tend to prefer ecologically sound, recyclable, and biodegradable packaging materials, as their purchase decisions are based on both sustainability and convenience.

Increasing Use of Packaging Formats as Branding Tool to Boost Demand for Flexible Packaging Paper

  • Brand owners are treating flexible paper bags and sacks as a promotional tool. They are demanding customized formats, which are unique and possess brand logos and other decorative features that will increase their product’s shelf visibility. Paper-based packaging solutions are highly customizable and offer easy printability. This has incrementally increased the demand and sales for flexible packaging paper in the past years.
  • Packaging manufacturers are providing different shapes, sizes, and types of products customized for brands to cater to the demand for personalized packaging solutions

Flexible Packaging Paper Market: Key Findings

  • The kraft paper segment in the flexible packaging paper market accounts for the majority of the market share in terms of value. It is used most prominently for making bags and sacks, envelopes, and pouches. The kraft paper segment of the global flexible packaging paper market is likely to expand by ~1.2x its current value and is projected to generate an incremental opportunity of ~US$ 4 Bn over the next five years.
  • Bags & sacks is the most prominent application of flexible packaging paper. Use of bags & sacks in the packaging of food grains, bakery & confectionery, and consumer goods has resulted into high demand for bags & sacks across the globe. The bags & sacks segment in the global flexible packaging paper market is forecasted to reach nearly US$ 25 Bn by 2029. 
  • Food industry has established itself as the key end user of flexible packaging paper. The rise in smaller or single-person households and the demand for convenience via on-the-go packaging and resealability has influenced the demand for flexible packaging paper in the past years. Thus, the food segment in the flexible packaging paper market is projected to grow a CAGR of 4% and reach US$ 23 Bn by 2023.
  • South and East Asia cumulatively are expected to account for more than 40% of the global flexible packaging paper market by 2029, as rising number of single households, and millennials with fast-paced lifestyles has shaped the packaging landscape in the region. These regions are expected to represent an incremental opportunity of nearly US$ 4 Bn by 2023. 

Flexible Packaging Paper Market to Flourish as Flexible Packaging Gains Ground

  • Flexible packaging paper market is witnessing growth due to its key advantages such as lightweight, durability, stiffening properties, and thus, substituting the rigid packaging paper market, especially in food and beverages
  • Rigid packaging paper includes cans, boards, boxes, and containers, which are costly and heavy or difficult to handle
  • On the other hand, flexible packaging paper products include stand-up pouches and tubes, which can be modified and customized with ease. In order to reduce production cost and make effective use of money, several companies are replacing rigid packaging solutions to flexible packaging paper solutions.

Flexible Packaging Paper Market – Competition Landscape

  • Key players operating in the flexible packaging paper market are
    • International Paper Company
    • Mondi Group
    • Gordon Paper Company, Inc.
    • Canadian Kraft Paper Ltd.
    • KRPA Holding CZ, a.s.,
    • McNairn Packaging
    • Nordic Paper AS
    • PG Paper Company
    • Pudumjee Paper Products Ltd.
    • Sappi Limited
    • Stora Enso Oyj.
    • DS Smith PLC
    • Nippon Paper Industries Co Ltd
    • BillerudKorsnas AB
    • Gulf Paper Manufacturing Company
    • Smurfit Kappa Group PLC
    • Emami Paper Mills Ltd.
    • WestRock Company
    • Rengo Co Ltd.,
    • JK PAPER Ltd.
  • Stora Enso Oyj, International Paper Company, Smurfit Kappa Group Plc, Westrock Company, Nordic Paper AS, and Sappi Ltd. have been identified as leading players operating in the global flexible packaging paper market

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