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The epidemic has changed the global packaging industry, and the four future trends are worth grasping - Maypak

March 29, 2023

According to research by Smithers in "The Future of Packaging: Long-Term Strategic Forecasts to 2028," the global packaging market will grow at an annual rate of nearly 3% to more than $1.2 trillion by 2028 .

From 2011 to 2021, the global packaging market grew by 7.1%, and most of this growth came from China, India, and other countries. Increasing number of consumers are choosing to relocate to urban areas and adopt a modern lifestyle, thus boosting the demand for packaged goods. The e-commerce industry has accelerated this demand globally.

A number of market drivers are having a major impact on the global packaging industry(Also affects cosmetic packaging) . Four major trends that will emerge over the next few years:

According to WHO statistics, as of September 2021, the number of people infected with the new crown worldwide has reached 210 million, and experts predict that this epidemic sweeping the world will continue for 1-3 years. The impact of the epidemic on the global packaging industry is also in all aspects. For example, in countries that took the lead in responding to the epidemic, such as my country and South Korea, the packaging demand for groceries, healthcare products and e-commerce transportation will rise sharply. But at the same time, demand for industrial, luxury and some B2B transport packaging may decline. Therefore, the new crown epidemic may become one of the trends that will change the packaging industry.

In addition, consumers around the world may be increasingly inclined to change their pre-pandemic shopping habits, leading to a strong rise in e-commerce express delivery and other home delivery services. This translates into increased consumer income on consumer goods, as well as exposure to modern retail channels, and a growing middle class eager for exposure to global brands and shopping habits. In the United States, where the epidemic continues, online sales of fresh food have increased significantly compared with before the epidemic in 2019, with an increase of more than 200% in the first half of 2021, and sales of meat and vegetables increased by more than 400%. Along with it, the pressure on the packaging industry is also increasing. Because of the economic downturn, customers are becoming more sensitive to prices. Packaging manufacturers and processors need to try their best to win enough orders to keep their factories running.

In fact, since 2017, there has been a growing interest in sustainability, especially in the packaging industry. These conditions are reflected across the globe in central governments, municipal regulations, consumer attitudes and individual consumer brands who want to convey values through packaging.

The EU is leading the way in this area by promoting a circular economy, with governments and people in Europe paying particular attention to plastic waste. Plastic packaging is highly scrutinized in Europe as a high-volume, single-use item. A number of EU strategies are being advanced to address this issue, including switching to alternative materials, investing in the development of bio-based plastics, designing packaging to make it easier to recycle, and improving the recycling and treatment of plastic waste.

However, it needs to be pointed out that under the background of the current epidemic, people's consideration of hygiene and food safety may become a higher priority. On the contrary, the sustainability performance of other packaging substrates may not be so important in people's minds— — at least for now. Concerns about recyclability and leakage of plastic waste into the environment appear to be outweighed by new awareness and expectations among consumers and the packaging industry about the health and safety advantages plastic packaging can provide.

Driven by the popularity of the Internet and smartphones, the global online retail market continues to grow rapidly. Consumers are increasingly accustomed to purchasing goods online. Smithers pointed out that this situation will continue to increase in the next 10 years, and people and businesses will demand more environmentally friendly, hygienic and healthier packaging solutions that can transport goods safely. For example, more and more people will consume food, beverages, medicines and other products on the way to work or travel. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for packaging solutions that can provide convenience and portability, and the flexible plastics industry is one of the major beneficiaries.

Additionally, with the shift to single-person living, more and more consumers—especially younger cohorts—are tending to buy groceries more frequently and in smaller quantities. This has fueled the growth of convenience store retailing and driven the demand for more convenient and smaller sized packaging formats.

As brand companies around the world continue to seek new high-return, high-growth areas and markets, the internationalization of many FMCG brands is also increasing. In the next few years, people's increasingly modern and technological lifestyle will accelerate this process.

Likewise, the globalization of e-commerce and international trade has stimulated demand for components such as "RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)" tags and "smart" tags to prevent counterfeiting and implement better marketing monitor.

Frankly speaking, at present, consumers are not as loyal to brands as they used to be. In order to improve this phenomenon, brands try their best to use various marketing activities to attract customers to participate, and have added the "packaging experience" link to their customers' shopping process, because brand owners want to rely on flexible packaging Designing to personalize products, deliver a unique selling proposition (USP) and brand philosophy is a "profitable" way to attract consumers and earn customer loyalty, killing two birds with one stone.

Transparency and sustainable marketing also mean that brands can communicate their brand values through packaging that combines functionality, performance and environmental awareness. Communicate concepts such as "environmentally responsible products" and "recyclable product packaging" without incurring additional costs or reducing profits. Generally speaking, flexible packaging has unique designs and attractive colors, which can help brand owners create brand identity, attract consumers' attention, increase sales and gain a competitive advantage among various similar products.

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