Chinese packaging industry will enter a key development period, that is, the golden development period to the problem-prone period. Studying the latest global trends and types of driving factors will have important strategic significance for the future direction of my country's packaging industry.
According to research by Smithers in "The Future of Packaging: Long-Term Strategic Forecasts to 2028," the global packaging market will grow by nearly 3% annually to more than $1.2 trillion by 2028 .
From 2011 to 2021, the global packaging market has grown by 7.1%, with most of this growth coming from China, India, and other countries. More and more consumers are choosing to move to urban areas and adopt a modern lifestyle, hence this boosts the demand for packaged goods. And the e-commerce industry has accelerated this demand globally.
Many market drivers are having a significant impact on the global packaging industry. Four main trends that will emerge in the next few years:
According to WHO statistics, as of September 2021, the number of people infected with the new crown in the world 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 various aspects. For example, in countries such as my country and South Korea, which took the lead in responding to the epidemic, the demand for packaging for groceries, healthcare products and e-commerce transportation will rise sharply. At the same time, however, demand for industrial, luxury and some B2B shipping packaging is likely to decline. Therefore, the new crown epidemic may become one of the trends changing the packaging industry.
In addition, consumers around the world may be increasingly inclined to change their pre-pandemic shopping habits, leading to a strong uptick in e-commerce express 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 craving access to global brands and shopping habits. In the U.S., where the pandemic continues, online sales of fresh food have grown tremendously compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, increasing by more than 200% in the first half of 2021, and sales of meat and vegetables by more than 400%. Along with this, the pressure on the packaging industry is also increasing. Because of the economic downturn and customers becoming more price sensitive, packaging producers 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 are reflected in central governments around the world, municipal regulations, consumer attitudes and individual consumer brands who want to convey their values through packaging.
The European Union is leading the way by promoting a circular economy, and European governments and people are particularly concerned about plastic waste. Plastic packaging, as a high-volume, single-use item, is heavily scrutinized in Europe. A number of EU strategies are advancing to address this problem, including replacing alternative materials, investing in the development of bio-based plastics, designing packaging to make it easier to recycle, and improving the recycling and handling of plastic waste.
However, it should be pointed out that in the context 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. Consumers and the packaging industry have new awareness and expectations about the hygiene and safety benefits that plastic packaging can provide, which seems to outweigh concerns about recyclability and plastic waste leaking into the environment.
Driven by the popularity of the Internet and smartphones, the global online retail market continues to grow rapidly. Consumers are increasingly used to buying 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 safer packaging solutions for transporting goods. For example, more and more people will consume food, beverages, medicines and other products on the way to work or travel. As a result, the demand for packaging solutions that can provide convenient and portable is increasing, and the flexible plastics industry is one of the main beneficiaries.
In addition, with the transition to single life, more and more consumers - especially younger groups - tend to buy groceries more frequently and in smaller quantities. This drives growth in convenience store retailing and drives demand for more convenient, 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. Over the next few years, people's increasingly modern, technological lifestyles will accelerate this process.
Likewise, the globalization of e-commerce and international trade has stimulated the need for brands with components such as "RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)" tags and "smart" tags to prevent counterfeiting and implement better marketplaces monitor.
Frankly speaking, consumers are not as loyal to brands as they were in the past. In order to improve this phenomenon, brands have tried their best to use various marketing activities to attract customers to participate, and have added a "packaging experience" to their customers' shopping process, because brand owners want to rely on flexible packaging. Designing to deliver personalized products, deliver a unique selling proposition (USP) and brand philosophy in such a "profitable" way to attract consumers and earn customer loyalty kills two birds with one stone.
Transparency and sustainable marketing also means that brands can communicate their brand values through packaging that combines functionality, performance and environmental awareness. Communicating 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 that help brands create brand identity, capture consumers' attention, increase sales and gain a competitive advantage in a variety of similar products.