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The European market for flexible packaging

Bags increasingly replace metal tins and rigid containers. The market research institute Ceresana analyzed the European market for flexible packaging made from plastics, paper, and aluminum. These not only include consumer good packaging for end customers, but also shrink and stretch films for storage and transport, paper labels, all kinds of carrier bags, sacks for heavy loads, and flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC). “We expect the European market for flexible packaging, i.e. all types of packaging and materials taken together, to reach a market volume of about 19.2 million tonnes in 2021”, says Oliver Kutsch, CEO of Ceresana.

Convenience Packaging Has Its Fingers On The Pulse
The packaging industry has to react to changes in consumer demands: Lack of time and a desire for convenience and easy and practical use as well as attractive and innovative products are the mainsprings. Currently, it is especially demand for stand-up pouches that is rising: Using composite films allows for a further reduction of weight, thereby saving resources and transport costs. Modern filling techniques in combination with sterilizable bags guarantee an ever increase quality of products and rising filling speed. These reasons also make disposable sachets more popular: Small bags are no longer used only for mustard, coffee, ready-made sauces and other foodstuffs, but also pharmaceutical drugs, for example.

Biaxially Oriented Films Doing Well
The choice of materials and material layers is determined by the specific properties and demand that a packaging needs to fulfil for a specific good. In many segments, flexible packaging made from biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) or PET (BOPET) has become much more important in the past. Especially in Western Europe the market for BOPP films performed weakly in recent years. But demand is projected to recover in the future. Thanks to its positive properties, consumption of flexible BOPET packaging will continue its dynamic development, especially across large areas in Eastern Europe.

More E-Commerce Needs More Packaging
After demand had fallen in 2008 and 2009, consumption of heavy duty and transport packaging is rising again. The market for transport packaging can capitalize on the increasing volume of products traded via the internet. Ceresana also sees good opportunities for the packaging of pharmaceutical products in upcoming years: Due to a rising average age in many European countries, there is a trend towards ready-dosed single-portion packs for medicaments.

The Study in Brief
Chapter 1 lists demand for flexible packaging (in tonnes) in Europe as a whole and 23 individual countries, split by the packaging types “Packaging films (plastics)”, “Bags & sacks (plastics)”, “Shrink & stretch films (plastics)”, “Labels (paper)”, “Bags & sacks (paper)”, “Other packaging (paper)”, and “Aluminum packaging”. It also depicts demand in these countries split by the materials polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), other plastics, paper, and aluminum. Analysis for the eight largest markets (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey) and the aggregate of all remaining countries is additionally split by the applications “Food” (incl. beverages)”, “Consumer non-food”, “Heavy duty & transport”, and “Carrier bags”.
Chapter 2 offers a substantial analysis of various types of flexible packaging: Data on demand development for the packaging types “Packaging films (plastics)”, “Bags & sacks (plastics)”; “Shrink & stretch films (plastics)”, “Labels (paper)”, “Bags & sacks (paper)”, and “Other packaging (paper)”, each split by 23 national European markets.
In chapter 3 demand for the packaging materials PE, PP, PET, PVC, other plastics, paper, and aluminum is analyzed, split by 23 European countries.
Chapter 4 examines the application areas for flexible packaging: Data on demand development in the segments “Food (incl. beverages)”, “Consumer non-food”, “Heavy duty & transport” and “Carrier bags”, split by the eight largest market and the aggregate of the “rest of Europe”.
Chapter 5 provides profiles of the largest manufacturers of flexible packaging, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites, profile summary, products, and applications. Extensive profiles are provided for 80 producers, including alesco GmbH & Co, KG; Ampac Flexibles; Bemis Europe Flexible Packaging; Graphic Packaging Holding Company; Leipa Georg Leinfelder GmbH; Mitsubishi Polyester Film GmbH; Papier-Mettler; Polifilm GmbH; RKW SE; Sappi Europe; Südpack Verpackungen GmbH & Co, KG; Taghleef Industries L,L,C; Treofan Group.

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