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Column/Opinion January 2, 2014

Revealing key trends driving the global packaging market

Smithers Pira projects global packaging sales to reach $975 billion by 2018, with Asia predicted to represent more than 40% of demand.
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Figure E.2 World Packaging Consumption by Region, 2012 vs. 2018 ($ billion). Source: Smithers Pira

Global packaging sales were projected to rise by 3% to $797 billion in 2013 and grow at an annual rate of 4% to $975 billion by 2018, according to a new market report by Smithers Pira, a global testing, consulting, and information services business.

The Future of Global Packaging to 2018” provides a detailed five-year forecast of the global packaging market. Based on expert research and analysis, this report contains more than 500 tables and figures revealing industry trends and information.

According to this report, sales of packaging are concentrated in Asia, which accounted for 36% of the total in value terms in 2012. North America and Western Europe totaled shares of 23% and 22%, respectively. In 2012, Eastern Europe was the fourth-largest consumer of packaging with a global share of 6%, closely followed by South and Central America with 5%. The Middle East represents 3% of the global demand for packaging, while Africa and Australasia each have a 2% share.

The study expects this segmentation of the market to change significantly by 2018; Asia is predicted to represent more than 40% of global demand, while North America and Western Europe lose out noticeably.

The report explores the numerous reasons for this expected growth, including technical developments, cost per package, sustainability initiatives, and the growth of the consumer class in the Asia-Pacific, South and Central America, and Eastern Europe.

The growth of global packaging sales is being driven by a number of trends, depending on various geographical regions. Growing urbanization, investment in housing and construction, the development of retail chains, and the burgeoning healthcare and cosmetics sectors are driving packaging demand in China, India, Brazil, Russia, and other emerging economies. An increase in living standards and personal income in the developing regions fuels consumption across a broad range of products, with subsequent growth in demand for the packaging of these goods.

In terms of economically developed markets, several social and market trends have had a major impact on developments in packaging in recent years. These include: the trends towards smaller households and accompanying rise in demand for more, smaller pack sizes, the increasing requirement for convenience among consumers, and the growing number of men interested in health and beauty products.

According to the report, all end-use sectors registered growth in value terms during 2012. Medium-term forecasts for food packaging demand indicate a potential growth rate of 3.4% on average to 2018, reaching a value of about $284 billion. Consumption of drinks packaging over the period is projected to increase at a rate of 3.3% on average per annum until 2018, reaching a value of $102 billion.

The Future of Global Packaging to 2018 is available to purchase online and receive immediately for £3950. For more information about the report and licensing arrangements, contact Heather Adams in the U.S., or call 207/781-9632. In the U.K., contact Bill Allen, or call 011/44. (0)1372 802086.

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