In 2011, the global paper packaging market was expected to reach $236.46 billion, a figure that is forecast to rise significantly as demand continues to grow within the lucrative emerging markets, according to “The Paper Packaging Market 2011-2021,” a new report from Visiongain. Although the performance of the paper packaging industry, like every industry, is tied intimately to global economic trends, it has proven itself to be relatively resilient against the backdrop of the economic crisis of 2008. Indeed, despite the reverberations still being felt in the economic markets, paper packaging is enjoying a second wind driven by convenience, affordability and recyclability.
Paper-based packaging has strong environmental credentials and, with further improving papers barrier properties, the industry is increasing its viability as a packaging material. As technological improvements continue to progress—providing packaging tailored to the consumers’ needs—the continuous growth of paper packaging is further driven by its eco-friendly nature and emerging acceptance among consumers.
Buoyed by lucrative new markets in the rapidly emerging economies of China, India and Brazil, globalization has brought accessibility and greater reach to the industry, according to the report. These emerging markets have vast new potential consumer bases and are leading to an increase in mergers and acquisitions with companies keen to gain a foothold in these new markets.
The paper packaging industry is witnessing unprecedented opportunity and growth. Ever-increasing consumer demand, especially in North America, Europe and the new economic powerhouses of China and India, combined with an increased emphasis on recyclability due to the evolving regulation in the packaging industry, are driving the industry. Meanwhile, changes in lifestyle, demographics and consumer habits are constantly influencing paper packaging and its consumption.
As supermarkets and hypermarkets continue to flourish, it is becoming increasingly important for packaging manufacturers to differentiate their products and make them stand out on the crowded shelves. The advancements made in processing technologies have driven specialization within the industry, resulting in an ability to produce specialty products that effectively meet customer requirements. As paper grades and printing qualities steadfastly improve, paper packaging is able to diversify and meet customer needs aesthetically and in terms of functionality and convenience.
Changing global demographics are also a key driver for growth in the paper packaging industry. The increased lifespan and reduced birth rates in the developed markets are providing new packaging challenges for companies keen to expand their customer base by catering to the expanding over-60s generation. In addition, youthful populations in the emerging markets are focusing the attention of packaging manufacturers on lightweight, attractive, and colorful packaging for this new consumer-orientated generation.
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