Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Flexible Packaging Report
Materials such as plastics, paper, aluminum foil and cellulose are majorly used in flexible packaging. Factors such as increasing demand for food products, technological innovation in the packaging industry, rising disposable income of the individual, and changing consumer lifestyle are primarily driving the market. Moreover, flexible packaging is increasingly being preferred over rigid packaging due to several advantages such as less raw material requirement, low storage space, and lower shipping cost. However, fluctuation in crude oil prices which leads to change in prices of its downstream chemicals is expected to slow down the growth of the market. Focus towards R&D activities on flexible packaging technologies is expected to provide new opportunities for the growth of the market.
Plastics were the highest consumed materials in flexible packaging in 2012, owing to their significant properties over other products. They have the ability to be modified by co-polymerization and use of additives to match the precise packaging demands of the product to be packed. However, cellulose is expected to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period owing to its high durability, protection from external environmental factors such as sunlight and high aesthetic value. These factors are expected to contribute significantly to the growing demand for cellulose.
Food & beverages was the largest application segment for flexible packaging in 2012. Changing lifestyles and eating habits of consumers has led to a growing demand for packaged fast foods over the past few years and the trend is expected to continue over the next few years. However, the demand for flexible packaging is expected to be highest from pharmaceuticals over the next few years. The pharmaceutical market is expected to grow significantly over the next few years as a result of various factors including governmental initiatives, rising consumer awareness regarding general health, increase in disposable income, rising number of chronic diseases and growing ageing population among others. Presence of stringent regulations regarding packaging of pharmaceuticals to prevent presence of fraudulent drugs in the market and maintenance of the chemical properties of the drugs is expected to boost the demand for flexible packaging over the next few years.