The North American flexible packaging market was valued at USD 40.14 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 48.39 billion by 2026 and grow at a CAGR of 3.16% over the forecast period (2021-2026). Technological innovation, sustainability trepidations, and attractive economics are among the reasons for the remarkable growth of flexible packaging in the last two decades in the United States. The way consumers view and interact with packages is altering. Due to the rising focus on sustainability, traditional rigid packaging solutions are being substituted by innovative and more sustainable, flexible packaging. The growing market demand for customer-friendly packages and heightened product protection is expected to boost flexible packaging as a viable and cost-effective substitute.
- Flexible packaging in North America is rising faster than many other forms. It includes trends, like e-commerce, digital printing, and sustainability, which can be used to drive market development and growth. Customers in the region are eager to pay more for certain product attributes boosted by flexible packaging. For instance, according to the Flexible Packaging Association, more than 60% of North American consumers are keen to pay more for tangible and functional packaging benefits, such as product protection, shipping friendly, and supply chain efficacy, among others. - Customers in the region are willing to pay an additional amount for food stored in flexible packaging. For instance, more than 46% of Americans are willing to pay more for food and beverage products stored in flexible packaging than for food products kept in non-flexible packaging. Moreover, 71% of Americans said they may prefer flexible packaging over non-flexible packaging when asked to pick between flexible and non-flexible packaging for a product they consider purchasing (Flexible Packaging Association, 2017). - Flexible packaging is mainly used for food, contributing to more than 60% of the total market. The US flexible packaging industry is witnessing healthy growth, as the industry was able to implement innovative solutions for many packaging challenges it faced. According to the Flexible Packaging Association, brand owners are taking on films, pouches, and bags as a go-to packaging solution, acknowledgments in part to extensive acceptance by American consumers. - The impact of COVID-19 on the market is significant in the short-run, as the global lockdown has brought the entire packaging supply chain to an almost grinding halt due to the United States having the largest number of confirmed cases across the world. However, with online shopping on the rise, the market is expected to rebound in the long-run.
Key Market Trends The Increased Demand for Convenient Packaging by Millennial Customers may Drive the Market Growth
- The demand for flexible packaging products is generally driven by millennial customers in the region, as they have an ardent preference for single-serving and on-the-go style food and beverage foodstuffs. As these products are generally designed to be durable, portable, and lightweight, flexible packaging stands to be a famous option to pack such products. Firmest growing areas of snack foods, both in terms of processed foods and fresh items, are anticipated to govern the demand for flexible packaging from the food and beverage industry of the region. - Additionally, the advanced packaging styles, such as collapsible/reusable pouches, bag-in-box, among others, are raising the usage of flexible packaging in combination with rigid packaging formats. Products, such as pouches, liners, bags, and shrink wraps, are opening an extensive range of new applications to the flexible packaging market in the region. Moreover, consolidation of the e-commerce sector in the region is anticipated to make flexible packaging one of the quickly growing packaging approaches over the forecast period. - E-commerce is an example of the convenience trend. Its efficiencies, coupled with the comfort of comparison shopping, are also motivating down prices in several sectors. As business insider reports, e-commerce is driving virtually wholly retail growth, and its influence on flexible packaging may develop with it in the region.
United States is expected to Remain the Largest Market for Flexible Packaging
- The United States holds the key market share in the region due to the existence of established industries, like the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, etc. However, Canada is anticipated to witness a higher growth rate due to the growing adoption of these packaging techniques across numerous industries. Furthermore, the region has a flourishing retail industry that banks heavily on flexible packaging methods, being a global leader in the retail industry. - For instance, according to the balance, in 2017, the US retail industry generated USD 1.14 trillion in value-added, which is 5.9% of US gross domestic product. The biggest category within retail is automotive (at USD 212 billion), grocery stores (at USD 167 billion), and general merchandise (at USD 161 billion). Internet retailing is the wildest growing segment. By 2020, it is projected to reach USD 523 billion, at a growth rate of 9.32% each year until then. - Walmart (based out of the United States) is not only the largest global retailer, but also the largest of its kind in the world. Of the top 10 largest retail companies, globally, five of them are based out of the United States, making the country the foremost in the retail industry. As per the Flexible Packaging Association of the United States, flexible packaging is the second-largest packaging segment in the country, with almost 20% share in the market.
Competitive Landscape The North American flexible packaging market is fragmented and consists of several major players. The major players with a prominent share in the market are focusing on expanding their customer base across foreign countries.
- September 2019 - Amcor opened a packaging innovation center in New Albany (Ohio, the United States). The innovation center is supported by a cross-functional team of engineers, designers, and technical specialists who work with customers on their product concepts. This innovation center specializes in the home and personal care market, but its services are open to packaging customers across all Amcor segments. - July 2018 - PPC Flexible Packaging, an Illinois-based consumer packaging company, invested over USD 2 million in upgrading its equipment and facilities, which is expected to positively impact the US market.
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