Three Major Factors Changing the Packaging Industry Worldwide

The global packaging industry is expected to reach USD 770.5 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 5.6%, according to data from Technavio. Packaging is a wide and complex industry with a large number of players, end-users, and applications, and is heavily influenced by consumer preferences, dynamics, and needs; environmental concerns and regulations; and developments in technology and manufacturing equipment. Presently, the global packaging industry is currently being transformed by three major factors:


1.Growing aging population worldwide: In developed countries, the percentage of people aged 65 and above will grow from 16% to 26% of the total population, while the percentage of people aged 80 or older will rise from 4% to 9%. The WHO estimates that nearly two billion people worldwide will be aged 60 years and above by 2050. This is expected to raise the demand for easy-to-use and easy-to-open packaging, especially for the food and pharmaceutical packaging This is also likely to lead to the increased use of clearer and bolder labeling, as well as innovative packaging materials.


2. Urbanization and changing family demographics: Increasing urbanization globally is has led to a rise in the consumption of and demand for industrial products such as construction, agriculture, and food and beverage packaging products. Consumers in urban areas typically spend more on almost all categories of consumer goods and services than consumers in non-urban areas. Additionally, the sizes of families throughout the world—especially in North America and Europe—are becoming smaller, and there has been a significant increase in single-person homes. This is resulting in increased demand for functional, prepackaged, and convenient food products, as well as smaller sizes of various consumer products and household necessities that have a longer shelf life. The market is also seeing increased spending from the middle-class population, particularly in APAC countries. Middle-class spending on packaged products is expected to reach USD 35 trillion by 2020.


3. Changing preferences for materials: Many manufacturers are changing their choice of primary packaging material in accordance with consumer demands and specific market needs for environmental friendliness, durability, and decreased costs. Rigid plastic packaging is currently the fastest-growing segment of the packaging industry due to its ease of disposal and lightweight nature. Many manufacturers are turning to rigid bio-plastics derived from plant sources to produce packaging in box, sleeve, bag, and other forms and better adhere to environmental regulations and concerns. Improved resin formulations and highly-efficient and advanced machinery solutions for the filling of plastic packaging will improve the quality and the utilization potential of rigid plastics across all segments of the market.


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