The European Market for Carton board


During the pandemic, online retail virtually exploded – but now the development of e-commerce is slowing down again. Nonetheless, manufacturers and suppliers of shipping packaging can continue to expect growth, even if it is no longer as strong as in the previous record years of 2020 and 2021.

In their new market study on corrugated board, solid board and cartonboard packaging, the analysts at Ceresana forecast that demand in Europe for these materials will increase by an average rate of 1.8% per year until 2032. Individual branches of the economy are suffering from the poor consumer confidence, such as paper goods, stationery, office and household supplies, cleaning and laundry. Conversely, demand for packaging is growing, particularly for e-commerce, electrical and electronics, pharmaceuticals and medicine but also for chilled and frozen food.


Sustainable Corrugated Board for the Circular Economy

Corrugated board is a true closed-loop product made from renewable raw materials and is mainly manufactured from waste paper and used cartonboard; the pulp for virgin fibers usually does not come from trees cut down specifically for this purpose but from scrap and thinned wood. The smooth and corrugated paper webs are glued together with glue made from plant starch. Stable packaging made of corrugated board offers very good product protection and stackability at low weight. They can usually be reused and recycled several times; in some cases, they are compostable after use. In many cases, corrugated board is therefore a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic packaging. The current market study by Ceresana examines the demand for corrugated board packaging for 10 individual application areas, such as food, beverages, fashion, furniture and chemical products.


Combining Cardboard and Plastic for Effective Advertising

Despite environmental concerns, plastics continue to replace other materials in some areas of the packaging market. In non-alcoholic beverages, for example, PET bottles are increasingly replacing the classic beverage carton for fruit juice; in the field of milk, bottles made of polyethylene-HDPE are gaining further market shares. Increasingly, different packaging materials are also being combined, making recycling more difficult. For example, a plastic tray as primary packaging is combined with outer packaging made of cardboard, which can be easily printed. Beverage cartons are often coated with aluminum and polyethylene. Shelf-ready transportation packaging is becoming increasingly important as an advertising medium and marketing space. In addition to folding cartons and rectangular cartonboard packaging, the Ceresana market study also includes cans, drums (fiber drums) and other packaging made of rigid paper material among solid board and cartonboard packaging.


The new market study 

In the study “Corrugated Board, Solid Board and Cartonboard – Europe” several topics were discussed:

– in Chapter 1 the production and demand volumes of corrugated board, solid board & cartonboard packaging are given in tonnes for all of Europe. The study makes forecasts up to the year 2032.

– Chapter 2 deals in detail with production, import, export of and demand for packaging made of corrugated board, solid board and cartonboard for 24 individual countries. In addition, demand is analyzed in detail according to material types and application areas

– Chapter 3 provides company profiles of the top manufacturers of corrugated, solid & cartonboard packaging, categorized by contact details, revenues, profit, product range, production sites, brief profile as well as product types and application areas. Detailed profiles are provided by 60 manufacturers.


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