The global flexible packaging market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.12% during 2023-2028


IMPACT OF COVID-19. In the aftermath of COVID-19, the flexible packaging market witnessed a supply chain disruption because of a voluntary shutdown of factories or authorities enforcing lockdown.

New York, Feb. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- announces the release of the report "Flexible Packaging Market - Global Outlook & Forecast 2023-2028" -
In some cases, though, the workforce at the supplier location had been reduced to ensure a certain amount of work was carried out to deliver smaller batches of materials required at the converter’s place. The high prices of premium categories of F&B products are expected to be majorly impacted, while the reasonably priced essential F&B products are expected to see higher demand. In Italy, the post-COVID-19 situation prompted the packaging vendors to reassess and revisit their inventories. The packaging vendors have re-strategized their supply chain by reducing dependence on cross-border suppliers as there exists a fear of trade route blockade.

As some end-use applications have flourished, the demand for flexible packaging has been affected due to less consumption. Medicines, dairy products, food, sanitizers, face masks, disinfectants, and others have been in high demand. These products also require packaging, particularly flexible packaging, thereby increasing demand for flexible packs in the flexible packaging market.


Increased Adoption Of Flexible Packaging Over Rigid Packaging

Major influencing factors in the global flexible packaging market include the cost of raw materials, lesser cost of production, and lightweight nature. Further, the demand from buyers and end customers is compelling the shift to flexible packaging. The advent of smaller packs and single-serve packaging has resulted in more packages of lesser volume in 2020 and during COVID-19. The flexible packaging market also offers easy-to-use caps and closure functionalities that were previously one of the reasons for slower adoption rates. Flexible pouches have become the most sought-after product as they can package products belonging to food, pharma, beverages, FMCG, and others. Also, other flexible packaging products, such as aluminum foil and paper, have expanded their scope with many variations. Also, the newer retort packages with increased protection features from the external environment, combined with functionalities such as zips and spouts, are increasing the adoption of pouch packaging and, in turn, flexible packaging over rigid packaging. Hence, a greater number of products that were earlier packaged in rigid materials are flexible adoption packaging.
Usage of High-Barrier Plastic Packaging Materials

The barrier properties of films used in plastic packaging are important as it ensures that the food is not spoilt and shelf life is increased. The advent of thinner packaging materials leads to a requirement for high-barrier properties. These barrier properties include the permeability of gases, water vapor, aroma compounds, and light. The polymers used in these plastic films are the essential differentiating factor for the efficacy of such barrier films in maintaining the quality of packaged or processed foods. The flexible plastic packaging market widely uses high-barrier films for premium food protection. The lightweight nature and flexibility of flexible packaging using these high-barrier films replace traditional packaging materials such as metal, rigid plastic, and glass. With the growing demand for high-barrier packaging, especially in the vacuum packaging market due to its cost-effectiveness and efficiency, recyclable high-barrier plastics such as stand-up pouches are preferred. Moreover, rising awareness of eco-friendly and convenient packaging in the food industry is also expected to increase the demand for high-barrier vacuum packaging in the flexible packaging market.


Recycling Challenges With Flexible Packaging Products

Recycling flexible pouches and other products are cumbersome and not economically viable, as separating those materials involves many processes. Unlike rigid plastic products, recycled flexible packaging cannot be used for packaging food and pharmaceuticals as per FDA regulations. The recycled material can only be used for other applications. The recycling process involves the collection of waste, sorting, and recycling. In these processes, the materials undergo washing, shredding, and categorization of plastic and extruding. Low-quality materials are disposed of or transferred to energy recovery centers, as end-users use only high-quality material output.
Further, presently, the supply of recycled plastics is not robust. Also, the quality of recycled plastics is not uniform across all regions and facilities. The volume of plastics required by converters is enormous, and the supply side is yet to match the huge demand. This is one of the factors why the adoption rates are currently low for recycled plastics and creates a recycling challenge in the global flexible packaging market. Any fluctuation in the quality or quantity has an immediate impact on the prices of the end products and hence is currently not economically viable.



Flexible plastic held the largest share of the global flexible packaging market in 2022, accounting for a 67.9% share. The larger share is attributed to the high demand for packaging in the food industry. Co-extrusion or lamination are the two methods used in the industry to manufacture multilayer and multi-material flexible packaging in which flexible plastic weight is the highest. However, from a recycling perspective, the market is facing challenges in the continued usage of multi-material because of the cumbersome process required to separate the materials during recycling.

Segmentation by Material

• Flexible Plastic
o PE (Polyethylene)
o BOPP (Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene)
o CPP (Cast Polypropylene)
o BOPET (Biaxially-oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate)
o PA (Polyamide)
o PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
o PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
o EVOH (Ethylene-Vinyl Alcohol)
o Others
• Flexible Paper
• Foil


The flexible packaging market has been broadly classified into consumer and industrial packaging by application category. The consumer packaging segment is further sub-segmented into bakery confectionery, meat, poultry & seafood, dairy, RTE, frozen food, healthcare, personal care, tea & coffee, pet food, and others. The industry has been dominated by consumer packaging, accounting for the highest share of the market. Moreover, the consumer packaging market is expected to grow faster than industrial packaging in the global flexible packaging market.

Segmentation by Application

• Consumer Packaging
• Industrial Packaging


The F&B industry in the consumer flexible packaging end-users dominates the global flexible packaging market. The packaging costs in the food industry account for 8?10% of the total product cost. Adding shipping cost, which is usually 9%, increases the overall cost of the packaging and logistics. The flexible packaging reduces the packaging and logistics costs due to reduced weight and volume. Also, the cost-benefit in reducing food wastage and energy consumption during packaging drives the wider adoption of flexible packaging in foods and beverages. The increasing number of quick-service restaurants and retail outlets has fueled food consumption, fueling their packaging market.

Segmentation by Consumer Flexible Packaging End-Users

• Bakery & Confectionery
• Meat, Poultry & Seafood
• Dairy
• Ready-To-Eat (RTE)
• Healthcare
• Frozen Food
• Tea & Coffee
• Personal Care
• Petfood
• Other end-users


The global bags & sacks flexible packaging market accounted for 43.71% market share in 2022. The demand for bags & sacks is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period owing to the usage of these products in various applications such as healthcare, personal care, pet food, and others. The industry is largely influenced by monolayer PE films that do not require advanced packaging machinery. The growth rate in this category is largely driven by retail carry bags, storage bags, bread bags, diaper bags, sacks, and produce bags. During the forecast period, the market demand for plastic bags & sacks is anticipated to grow as they are lower in cost and have a higher product-to-package ratio, providing additional advantages during logistics.

Segmentation by Product

• Bags and Sacks
• Pouches
• Others


By printing, the global flexible packaging market can be segmented into flexographic and rotogravure printing. Flexographic printing is most widely adopted in North America and South America and uses three types of inks – solvent-based, water-based, and ultraviolet-cured inks. For most flexible packaging substrates, solvent-based is widely used to allow for adequate adhesion and wetting. Regarding volume, packaging comprises around 92% of the flexographic printing market, and the remaining is non-package printing, such as electronic products and others. In the forecast period, flexographic printing is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.41%, particularly driven by the demand in APAC countries.

Segmentation by Printing

• Flexography Printing
• Rotogravure Printing

The APAC region is projected to lead the global flexible packaging market from 2022 to 2028. Higher domestic demand and the availability of low-cost labor make this region the most attractive market for flexible packaging producers. Hence, the market players focus on this region to gain a larger share and increase their profitability. Expansions and investments, acquisitions, agreements, and new product launches are some of the major strategies adopted by the key players to enhance their positions in the flexible packaging market. Factors such as improving the global economy, expanding the working population, and rising domestic demand for food and pharmaceutical products are expected to boost the market for flexible packaging. Differentiation is the key factor in the APAC region, as the packaging market and the end-user industries are highly fragmented. Being a vast geography with the inclusion of China and India, there are supply chain challenges in procuring raw materials. Brand owners in India and China prefer packaging companies with the least supply chain risk (diversified procurement). The region has demand for both low-cost sachets and premium luxury packaging.

The flexible packaging market in Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.13% annually during the forecast period, mainly due to faster economic growth and higher disposable income among consumers. The competitive edge lies with vendors that have technologically advanced equipment and can deliver aseptic, retort, anti-counterfeit, and child-resistant packaging. Healthy growth in most end-user markets, such as coffee, pet food, and fresh foods, has driven production in recent years. Smaller households need more single-serve options, and there is a rising demand for more product varieties from consumers. This supports the general trend from rigid to the flexible system, which offers greater convenience and fits better with today’s lifestyle needs.

Segmentation By Geography

• North America
o US
o Canada
• Europe
o UK
o Germany
o France
o Spain
o Italy
o Benelux
o Austria
o Scandinavia
o Switzerland
o Rest of Europe
o China
o India
o Australia
o Japan
o South Korea
o New Zealand
o Rest of APAC
• Latin America
o Brazil
o Mexico
o Argentina
o Chile
o Rest of Latin America
• Middle East & Africa
o Turkey
o Egypt
o Saudi Arabia
o South Africa
o Rest of the Middle East & Africa


The global flexible packaging market is highly fragmented, with several top vendors operating. However, the industry is witnessing consolidation, albeit at a slow pace. The key vendors in the global flexible packaging market include Amcor, Berry Global, Mondi, Sealed Air, TC Transcontinental Packaging, Sonoco, Huhtamaki, Constantia Flexibles, Ahlstrom, Greif, WestRock, Smurfit Kappa, Alu Flex Pack, Aptar Group. The industry has witnessed the entry of many external players by adopting an inorganic growth strategy to expand its operations in many regions. The larger players have technological strength and high-volume product lines that have helped offset the cost variations. The smaller companies focus on customization, as the competition in the market is mainly based on two aspects – features and price.

Recent Developments In The Global Flexible Packaging Market

• In September 2022, Amcor announced an investment of around USD 45 million in ePac Flexible Packaging, digitally based flexible packaging with high quality and short run length.
• In August 2022, Berry Global launched top-selling thermoformed and injection stretch blow-molded food packs in recycled PET (rPET) form.
• In June 2021, Mondi and one of the Dutch cheese packaging companies, Hazeleger, developed a mono-material solution for packaging Westland Kaas Maaslander cheese slices. These packings have the properties of being lightweight and easily recyclable.

Key Company Profiles

• Amcor
• Berry Global
• Mondi
• Sealed Air
• TC Transcontinental Packaging
• Sonoco
• Huhtamaki
• Constantia Flexibles
• Ahlstrom
• Greif
• WestRock
• Smurfit Kappa
• Alu Flex Pack
• Aptar Group

Other Prominent Vendors

• Alinvest
• Aran Group
• Aluberg
• American Packaging Corporation
• Bischof + Klein
• Bioplast
• Carcano
• Danaflex
• Printpack
• ProAmpac
• Wipak Group
• Saica Flex
• Etapak (Bask? Ambalaj)
• Innovia Films
• UFlex
• International Paper
• Reynolds Group
• Novolex
• Sigma Plastics
• Glenroy
• Symetal
• Krajcár Packaging
• Gascogne Flexible
• Schur Flexibles
• Schmid Folien
• RKW Group
• Pouch Partners
• Perlen Packaging
• Goglio Packaging
• Kleiner Flexible Packaging
• Winpak
• Stora Enso
• Global-Pak
• Di Mauro
• Eurofoil
• Gerosa Group
• LEEB Flexibles
• PolyPak
• Walki
• All4Labels
• SIG Combibloc Group
• Ringmetall SE
• The Reflex Group
• DazPak Flexible Packaging
• Süpack
• Coveris
• Wipf AG
• Clondalkin Packaging
• Korozo Group
• Grupo Lantero
• Gualapack Group


1. How big is the flexible packaging market?
2. What is the growth rate of the flexible packaging market?
3. Which are the key players in the global flexible packaging market?
4. Which region holds the most significant global flexible packaging market share?
5. What are the rising trends in the flexible packaging market?
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