Convenient and sustainable: the European market for food packaging

Protective gas for ready-made meals, high barrier film for fish, stand-up pouches for coffee powder: food packaging has become a science of its own. “The application of food packaging is determined by complex trends,” explains Oliver Kutsch, CEO of the market research institute Ceresana. “There is a continuous development of new and innovative types of packaging and technologies. Legislation and consumer behavior are changing. At the same time, manufacturers are working hard on offering evermore cost-effective packaging solutions.” The overall European market for food packaging (excluding beverages) is analyzed in Ceresana’s latest market study. Analysts at Ceresana expect this market (including secondary and transport packaging) to reach a volume of more than 38 million tonnes by 2022.

Demand for Bioplastics is Rapidly Growing
Especially the sales volume of environmentally sustainable packaging is growing strongly. Ceresana is forecasting a growth rate of more than 15% p.a. for disposable bags and other packaging solutions made of bioplastics. This trend will have a positive effect on products made of recycled plastics, and, to a more modest degree, also on paper packaging. However, sustainability alone is not enough. Glass packaging has a good reputation in this respect, but its demand is falling after all. Many consumers perceive glass containers to be too heavy, the risk of glass breakage too high.

Convenience is the Key
Above all manufacturers of packaging solutions for chilled and frozen food as well as ready-made meals are benefiting from the trend towards convenience. The sales volume of canned food, however, is dropping. There are great differences depending on material and type of packaging. Over the next years, for example, demand for metal packaging in the Ready-Made Meals segment is expected to rise by only 0.5% p.a. while that of paper and cardboard packaging will increase by 3.1%. The growing demand for shelf-ready packaging will be noticed in the application Paper. The rising popularity of trading food online will lead to an increased demand for cardboard and corrugated board shipping packaging on the long term.

Rigid Containers – Dynamic Market
In Plastics, the European demand for rigid containers will record a comparatively strong growth rate of about 2.0% p.a. This type of packaging profits from the rapidly rising demand for food on the go. In Germany, however, plastic bag packaging is recording the highest growth rates of 2.6% p.a. Stand-up pouches in particular are currently very popular. In the Packaging Films segment, above all the sales of PET film are going up. Innovative products such as intelligent packaging systems monitor the content. Some of them can even actively absorb or release substances in order to extend the shelf life of food. They are the future of packaging solutions.

The Study in Brief
Chapter 1 offers a detailed analysis of the demand for food packaging in all of Europe as well as in 22 individual countries (unit: 1,000 tonnes). The information given is divided into application, type of packaging and material applied. Forecasts are provided for the period up to 2022. Plastic packaging in the most important countries is split by type of plastic (PE, PP, PET, and others). This allows for a more detailed analysis of films, bags, containers as well as caps and closures.
Chapter 2 analyzes the packaging demand in 12 application areas, such as Bakery and Pastry, Ready-Made Meals, Chilled and Frozen Food, Canned and Preserved Food, Dairy Products, Confectionery and Snacks as well as Dry Food.
Chapter 3 covers the demand for food packaging split by the materials plastics, paper and cardboard (including corrugated board), metal and glass. The consumption volume is analyzed individually for the different types of packaging, for example bags, tubes, cans, caps and closures or container glass.
Chapter 4 provides profiles of the most important manufacturers of food packaging, clearly arranged according to contact details, revenues, profit, product range, production sites, profile summary, type of product, and application. Detailed profiles are given for 102 manufacturers including Amcor Ltd., Auxiliar Conservera S.A., Berry Plastics Corporation, Coveris Holding S.A., DS Smith plc, Karatzis SA, Reynolds Group Holdings Limited, Riwisa AG, Sealed Air Corporation, Smurfit Kappa Group PLC, Sonoco Products Co., Ltd., and Tetra Pak International S.A.


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