Global Flexible Plastic Packaging Market Projected to Reach US$ 171.6 Billion by 2033

Flexible Plastic Packaging Market
Flexible Plastic Packaging Market

The global flexible plastic packaging market continues to witness significant growth, with projections estimating a value of US$ 108.3 billion in 2023, surging to US$ 171.6 billion by 2033. The market is expected to grow at a robust Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.7% during the forecast period, driven by various factors including the rise in E-commerce activities, increased focus on sustainability, and expanding applications in the food and beverage industries.

Key Highlights of the Market:

  • Resilience During the Pandemic: Flexible plastic packaging emerged as a lifeline for the worldwide E-commerce sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. The post-pandemic era has witnessed a surge in demand for flexible packaging solutions, driving growth in the printing and packaging industry.
  • Focus on Sustainability: Manufacturers are increasingly emphasizing the development of bio-based and sustainable flexible plastic packaging materials to address environmental concerns and meet consumer demand for eco-friendly packaging solutions.
  • Rising Demand for Packaged Food: The growing demand for packaged food items has led to increased utilization of raw materials such as polystyrene, polyethylene terephthalate, and polyethylene in flexible plastic packaging. This trend is expected to drive market growth, particularly in the food and beverage sectors.
  • Cost-Effectiveness and Shelf Life: Manufacturers are leveraging plastic flexible packaging due to its cost-effectiveness and ability to prolong the shelf life of packaged products compared to other materials. This has led to its widespread adoption across various consumer goods industries.
  • Changing Consumer Lifestyles: The increasingly fast-paced and hectic lifestyles of consumers have led to a rise in the consumption of processed and packaged products, further boosting the demand for flexible plastic packaging solutions worldwide.
  • Focus on Recyclability: In response to stringent government regulations and environmental pressures, manufacturers are actively developing recyclable and sustainable flexible plastic packaging solutions. This includes the exploration of bio-plastic alternatives such as bio polypropylene and polybutylene, aimed at reducing environmental impact and meeting evolving consumer preferences.

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Emerging Trends in Flexible Packaging:

  1. Eco-Friendly Solutions: The widespread use of bio-plastics in the packaging industry is an emerging trend driven by consumer awareness of climate change and regulatory measures banning non-biodegradable and single-use plastics in many countries. Innovative solutions like eco-friendly composite films and collapsible pouches are gaining traction.
  2. Eye-Catching Packaging Design: Brands are focusing on packaging design that is visually appealing and memorable to consumers. With the rise of E-commerce, customized and creative packaging plays a crucial role in retaining customers and enhancing brand loyalty.

Key Takeaways: 

  • North America flexible plastic packaging market will grow at 3.0% CAGR during the assessment period owing to thriving e-commerce industry and increasing demand for convenient packaging solutions from restaurants and food services.
  • Europe market will exhibit a growth rate of 2.6% CAGR from 2021 to 2031, driven by increasing research on developing flexible bio-plastics and elevated export and production of flexible plastic packaging in the region.
  • Japan will hold more than 14% of the East Asia market in 2021, backed by increasing development in recycling infrastructure and limited usage of non-biodegradable plastics in the country.
  • Polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastics are gaining traction owing to their superior durability, recyclability and lightweight nature. The segment is predicted to expand by 1.11x of its current valuation over the assessment period.
  • General barrier packaging will account for more than 80% of the global market share by the end of 2031. Increasing demand for safe and sterile packaging options for packing vegetables and fruits will be the key growth driver.

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Business Growth Opportunities:

  1. Sustainable Packaging Solutions: The increasing focus on environmental sustainability presents an opportunity for the development and adoption of eco-friendly and biodegradable flexible plastic packaging materials.
  2. Growing E-commerce Retailers: The thriving E-commerce market, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, is driving the demand for flexible plastic packaging solutions as online retailers strategically invest in eye-catching packaging to attract and retain customers.
  3. Innovation in Materials: Advancements in polymer technology and material science offer opportunities for the creation of high-performance and customizable packaging solutions, meeting specific needs of different industries.
  4. Rising Disposable Income in Emerging Markets: As disposable incomes rise in emerging economies, there is an expanding consumer base for packaged goods, driving the demand for flexible plastic packaging in various industries.
  5. Customization and Personalization: The trend towards personalized and customizable packaging solutions provides an avenue for manufacturers to differentiate their products and cater to the evolving preferences of consumers.

Trends in the Flexible Plastic Packaging Industry:

  1. Shift Towards Recyclability: The industry is witnessing a notable trend towards recyclable and recycled content in flexible plastic packaging, aligning with global efforts to reduce plastic waste and promote a circular economy.
  2. Emphasis on Lightweight Packaging: As sustainability gains importance, there is a trend towards lightweight packaging to minimize material usage, transportation costs, and environmental impact throughout the packaging lifecycle.
  3. Digital Printing Technologies: Adopting digital printing technologies enables more vibrant and intricate designs on flexible plastic packaging, allowing brands to enhance product visibility and appeal to consumers.
  4. Evolving Regulatory Landscape: Stringent regulations regarding plastic usage and disposal are influencing industry practices, leading to the development of packaging solutions that comply with environmental standards.
  5. Growing Demand for Convenience Packaging: Consumers increasingly seek convenience in packaging, leading to the rise of resealable, easy-to-open, and single-serve flexible plastic packaging formats across various product categories.

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Key Companies Profiled              

  1. Amcor Ltd.
  2. Constantia Flexibles Group GmbH
  3. Berry Global Group, Inc.
  4. Huhtamäki Oyj
  5. Sonoco Products Company
  6. Bemis Company, Inc.
  7. Sealed Air Corporation
  8. AR Packaging Group AB
  9. Mondi Group
  10. DS Smith Plc
  11. CCL Industries Inc.

Key Segmentation: 

By Material Type:

  • Oil Base Polymers
  • Bio-Plastics

By Product Type:

  • Pouches
  • Bags & Sacks
  • Tubes
  • Sleeve Labels
  • Films & Wraps

By Packaging Type:

  • VSP (Vacuum Skin Packaging)
  • MAP (Modified Atmospheric Packaging)
  • General Barrier

By End-Use:

  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Personal Care
  • Homecare
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Industrial Packaging
  • Consumer Packaging
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ)
  • Japan
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)


Ismail Sutaria (Lead Consultant, Packaging and Materials) has over 8 years of experience in market research and consulting in the packaging & materials industry. Ismail’s strength lies in identifying key challenges faced by the client and offering logical and actionable insights to equip the clients with strategic decision-making power.

Ismail has been an instrumental part of several transformational consulting assignments. His key skills include competitive benchmarking, opportunity assessment, macroeconomic analysis, and business transformation advisory. Ismail is an MBA holder in Marketing and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics.

About Future Market Insights (FMI)

Future Market Insights, Inc. (ESOMAR certified, recipient of the Stevie Award, and a member of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce) offers profound insights into the driving factors that are boosting demand in the market. FMI stands as the leading global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, consulting, and events for the Packaging, Food and Beverage, Consumer, Technology, Healthcare, Industrial, and Chemicals markets. With a vast team of over 400 analysts worldwide, FMI provides global, regional, and local expertise on diverse domains and industry trends across more than 110 countries.

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