Surging demand for flexible plastics in pharmaceutical packaging, owing to increasing health awareness among consumers and the burgeoning popularity of convenient packaging, is one of the key trends stimulating market growth.
In the food & beverage industry, flexible plastic packaging plays a key role in securing the contents of packages. It is considered as a material of choice for packaging frozen foods to facilitate long-term storage. It is extensively used for packaging of various food and beverage products such as coffee, tea, confectionery and chocolate, chilled food, baked goods and snacks, dried food and mixes, beverage and juices, and sauces and condiments.
Spiraling demand for flexible plastic packaging products such as stand-up pouches and flat pouches is providing a push to the market. Manufacturers of food and beverage products prefer stand-up pouches to differentiate their brands and gain a competitive advantage in the market. Stand up pouches have the flexibility of being tailored to offer unique designs, styles, and sizes.
The product has garnered widespread popularity in healthcare applications. Usage of flexible plastic packaging ensures less space on displays or retail shelves. A trend that has gained significance in recent years is the growing popularity of see-through packaging. Emphasis on reviewing physical properties such as the color of food items and personal care products before purchase is encouraging the trend of see-through packaging, which is working in favor of the market.
Asia Pacific is poised to emerge as the most promising region during the forecast period. Presence of a large number of small- and medium-sized companies has led to a fragmented market environment. especially in the downstream segment.
The polyethylene segment dominated the global market in 2017 and accounted for 26.4% of the overall revenue. Abundant availability of the material is bolstering the growth of the segment. The pliability of PE makes it an ideal material in packaging solutions.
The industry is witnessing significant demand for other materials such as polyamine and polypropylene. Polyamine is anticipated to be the fastest growing segment in terms of revenue during the forecast period, owing to its unique properties such as mechanical strength, high flexibility, and excellent oxygen barrier. PP is being increasingly employed in the food and beverage industry and is in huge demand in countries such as the US, China, and India. The growth of the PP segment can be attributed to the increasing popularity of plastic recycling in the aforementioned countries.
In terms of revenue, stand-up pouches were the most prominent type segment in the flexible plastic packaging market in 2017, with a share of 67.4%. These pouches are gaining widespread popularity owing to their convenience of storage. These pouches are being increasingly preferred by manufacturers of packaged beverages such as mineral water, milk and soft drinks (non-carbonated). On the other hand, flat pouches are poised to post the highest CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period.
Based on applications, the market has been segmented into healthcare, personal care, and food and beverages. By revenue, the healthcare segment dominated the industry in 2017. It is expected to retain its position through 2025 and represent a share of 32.5% of the market.