Flexible Packaging Demand – European Market Witnesses Poland’s Rise to the Top

According to PCI Films Consulting, Poland showed a remarkable growth rate of 5% in flexible packaging demand during 2014.

Flexible Packaging Demand

In contrast, it was a mere 1.4% for Europe as a whole. The European marketplace average was significantly outperformed by other national markets of Romania, the Slovak and Czech Republics, and Turkey.

Overall, the European flexible packaging market is the most mature, though slow growing region worldwide. However, emerging Eastern European market has experienced a growing demand at around 5% per annum until 2014.

This growth was supported, to a large extent, by the rising demands in Russia, Poland and Ukraine. However, with the Ukrainian and Russian economies being hit by recession, the demand for flexible packaging was affected badly.

Poland’s remarkable growth in flexible packaging market is attributed to emphasis on packaged food exports and strong domestic demand. The report of PCI Films Consulting gives the credit of Poland’s robust flexible packaging demand to the high levels of direct investment initiated by multinational food brand owners in the recent years.

Such inward investment were aimed to take advantage of the Polish market’s lower production costs and Eastern Europe’s rising packaged food markets.

Paul Gaster, Director – Flexible Packaging of PCI Films Consulting, told that Poland’s changed flexible packaging needs were supported by its domestic, sophisticated flexible packaging industry.

Some leading names among multinational converters in this league are Constantia and Mondi, Amcor, along with Polish converter Alupol, all of which played significant roles.

Another Major European Trend in Flexible Packaging Demand
PCI’s report identifies changing consumer drinking habits triggering the growing flexible packaging demand from coffee companies. It’s interesting to note that most European markets experienced being largely stable or slowly declining volume of coffee consumption.

Surprisingly, there was a boost in flexible packaging usage, triggered by the newly added-value formats. This positive trend was evident in increased usage of capsule systems and coffee pod using aluminium lids and associated outer moisture barrier bags.

In some national markets, the growing use of VFFS bags of ground beans and coffee also contributed to this rising demand for flexible foil packaging.

The acceptance of refill bags for instant coffee also played a crucial part in this scenario.

Flexible Packaging Demand Within Europe
The market for flexible packaging varies in Europe. In general, Western and Northern European countries have a more developed market for flexible packaging. On the other hand, Southern and Eastern European countries have less developed markets. Some of the key drivers of demand within each region include the following:

In Northern and Western Europe, the key drivers of demand for flexible packaging are convenience, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. Convenience is a major factor, as consumers in these regions are increasingly looking for packaging that is easy to open and close. Sustainability is also a key concern, as consumers in these regions are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of packaging. Cost-effectiveness is another important driver of demand, as companies in these regions are looking for ways to reduce their packaging costs.

In Southern and Eastern Europe, the key drivers of demand for flexible packaging are convenience and cost-effectiveness. Convenience is a major factor in these regions, as consumers are looking for packaging that is easy to open and close. Cost-effectiveness is also an important driver of demand, as companies in these regions are looking for ways to reduce their packaging costs.

Products Packaged in Flexible Materials
Flexible packaging can be molded or formed into a variety of shapes. It is made from materials such as paper, foil, film, and cloth. Flexible packaging is used in food and beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and even on electronics.

Food and beverage is the largest market for flexible packaging. Products such as cereals, snacks, confectionery, baked goods, and frozen foods are typically packaged in flexible materials. The demand for flexible packaging in this industry is expected to grow at a rate of 5% per year until 2025.

The pharmaceutical industry is another major market for flexible packaging. Flexible packaging is often used for medical devices and pharma products such as pills, powders, liquids, and gels. The demand for flexible packaging in the pharmaceutical industry has an expected growth rate of 7% per year through 2025.

Also, the cosmetics industry is another major market for flexible packaging. Products such as lotions, creams, perfumes, and makeup are often packaged in flexible materials. The demand in this industry is expected at an 8% growth rate per year through 2025.

The electronics industry is another major market for flexible packaging. Products such as capacitors, batteries, and printed circuit boards are often packaged in flexible materials. The growth rate of the demand for flexible packaging in this industry is 9% per year through 2025.

Challenges to Flexible Packaging
One of the key challenges facing the flexible packaging market in Europe is the issue of sustainability. With growing concerns about plastic waste and its impact on the environment, consumers are increasingly looking for packaging that is eco-friendly and easy to recycle.

Flexible packaging is typically plastic materials and plastics are difficult to recycle. Unfortunately, many of these products end up in a landfill. However, there are a number of initiatives underway to address this issue.

Some companies are investing in R&D to create and develop more sustainable packaging materials. In addition, many local authorities are now introducing recycling schemes specifically for flexible packaging. As awareness of these issues grows, it is likely that the flexible packaging market will continue to grow in Europe.

For more news and views on flexible packaging, take a look at the Valdamark knowledge based for frequently asked questions and answers.

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