The plastic film market was valued at USD 183.46 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 220.25 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 3% over the forecast period 2021 - 2026. According to numbers generated by a Harris Poll chartered by the Flexible Packaging, 83% of all brand owners are currently using flexible packaging of some type. This supports the growth of the pouch packaging market.
- Plastics films offer several advantages over other rigid packaging materials such as these films are lightweight, they provide good barrier properties and most importantly they are recyclable and reusable.
- Further, the steady increase in demand for quick, yet healthy breakfast products is projected to increase the market growth of HDPE films. HDPE films have moisture barrier properties which makes it suitable for packaging breakfast cereals, especially flakes.
- Further, with rising e-commerce, there is substantial growth for protective packaging, including plastics films, wraps, etc. This trend is expected to support the growth of the market in the future.
- However, owing to the rising stringent regulations against plastic recyclability, it is expected to hinder the market growth in the future.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand of Packaged Food Offers Potential Growth
- The food industry is the largest end-user of plastic films and has seen continued, strong growth due to a rise in convenient packaging for ready-to-eat foods, snacks, frozen meals, and cake mixes.
- Factors such as convenience to flexibility, strong sealing strength, and vacuum finish are positively influencing the plastic film market growth.
- Moreover, scientists across the globe are working on different technologies which could result in increasing shelf-life of the packaged food. Recently in September 2019, Washington State University scientists experimented a metal oxide which when coated to a layer of the plastic film, would significantly increase the shelf life of the food. This metal oxide was tasted on cheese and tested after three years of storage and found the taste was as good as the previous version that was stored for nine months.
- They are working closely with the US Army to improve their "Meals Ready to Eat" (MREs) to stay tasty and healthy for three years. Such advancement in technology is expected to have a positive outlook on the market.
- Additionally, with the growth of the packaged food industry in developing nations like India, it can be inferred that the overall packaged food industry will flourish. Additionally, Accenture predicted that by 2050, 66% of the world's population will be staying in the urban area and thus in return it will help in the growing packaged food industry, which in return would help in the flourishing of the plastic film market in the packaged food industry.
Asia- Pacific to Witness Fastest Growth
- Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth because of the presence of two highly populated countries i.e. China and India. In these two countries, the increase in disposable income will act as a supplement for the growth of industries such as food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, pet food, and cosmetics which in return will help in flourishing the plastic film market.
- Moreover, global vendors are entering the Indian market through strategic partnerships. This is expected to shape the plastic film market in the region. In September 2019, HuhtamÃ¤ki Oyj added a manufacturing unit in India to speed up growth by acquiring a national vendor Mohan Mutha Polytech Private Limited (MMPPL). This acquisition would enhance the customer base in the region, especially in the food and beverage sector.
- Further, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Japan, in 2018, approximately 2.53 million tons of plastic films and sheets were produced in Japan, representing a slight increase from around 2.46 million tons in 2016. The increase in the production of plastic films is attributed to the increase in demand of e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, and food industry.
- Therefore, all the above factors are expected to drive the market in the Asia-Pacific region.
The plastic film market is highly competitive in nature because of the presence of global players and unlicensed local units manufacturing low-grade plastic bags. Partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions are the prime growth strategy adopted by the global players to sustain in the market. Some of the key developments in the market are:
- In July 2019 - Berry Global Group, Inc. announced the acquisition of RPC Group Plc (RPC) for a purchase price of approximately USD 6.5 billion. Through this acquisition, the company visibility in Australia gets strengthens because of the subsidiaries of RPC Group such as Synergy Packaging.
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