Growth in global folding carton market

Emerging countries, single-serve packs, consumer electronics, and healthcare drive growth.

This Smithers Pira chart shows emerging countries, single-serve packs, consumer electronics, and healthcare drive growth.
This Smithers Pira chart shows emerging countries, single-serve packs, consumer electronics, and healthcare drive growth.

The global market for folding cartons is growing by 5.1% annually, and will reach $184 billion by 2018, according to a new study by Smithers Pira. Market growth will be led by increased demand for healthcare products, cigarettes, dry foods, and frozen/chilled foods, especially in the emerging economies.

β€œThe Future of Folding Cartons to 2018,” outlines the shape of the industry globally by end-use sector, region, and country. With strategic forecasts to 2018, plus details of key market drivers and opportunities, it analyzes major drivers and trends shaping the industry, and explores end-use markets and current and future worldwide demand.

Three key technologies will result in added value in the folding carton market between 2013 and 2018: Retail-ready packs (mainly in microflute), anti-counterfeit systems, and barrier coating technologies.

According to Smithers Pira, a global trend towards smaller packs will be offset by an increase in demand for single-serve portion packs. Smaller packs tend to use more total packaging material than the larger packs they replace, for the same volume of packed product.

The need for continual brand differentiation in the crowded marketplace is the impetus of growing demand for innovation in printing methods, with an increase in such technologies as QR codes, holographic images, Fresnel lenses, and other 3D devices. The technological developments in printed electronics are bringing the development of smart packaging closer to fruition as costs are decreasing.

Consumer electronics continue to offer great opportunities for folding cartons and microflute packs with the continued global growth in demand for mobile phones, tablets, and other personal devices.

The health care sector, accounting for nearly 10% of the folding cartons demand, will see a call for the development of smart packs able to provide a system for monitoring patient medication. The level of counterfeit goods, and the health threats these products pose, is stimulating demand for sophisticated track-and-trace systems in the form of either 1D and 2D barcodes, or RFID systems.

Global demand for convenience foods and the development of niche markets such as low-calorie products are growth opportunities for both the dry and frozen foods sectors. In the confectionery market, perceived over-packaging has been a focus of consumer discontent, leading to considerable innovation in the packaging of seasonal products such as Easter eggs and Christmas gift packs.

According to the report, personal care market has shown a rapid recovery from the global recession and growth is being stimulated by the use of technology in the form of social media, mobile commerce, and in-store digital technologies, targeting the tech-savvy young consumer. Eco-friendly brands are also gaining prominence.

Globally, cartonboard production grew by 1.3% in 2012 to reach a total of 42.5 million tons, valued at $37.3 billion, with more than half of this volume located in the Asia-Pacific sector. Total volume of converted folding carton grew by over 1% to reach 47.4 million tons in 2012, with 55% of this emanating in the Asia-Pacific sector.

The report is available from Smithers Pira for Β£3950 /$6300. For more information, call Heather Adams at 207/781.9632. Smithers Pira is an information resource on packaging, paper, and print industry supply chains.