The global folding carton market will be worth over 100 billion USD by 2020 and will consume almost 47 million tonnes, according to a market study by Smithers Pira.
The 87 billion USD market for folding cartons, already dominated by demand from the Asia-Pacific sector, is set to undergo more of a shift towards this region, which is expected to increase its share of the world market from 52 percent of the volume consumed in 2014 to more than 60 percent of the forecast 2020 market. Central to increasing dominance from this region is the growth in demand from China, which will increase its share of the market from 31 percent in 2010 to 39 percent by 2020, assisted by growing consumption in the Indian sub-continent, which will consume more than six percent of the total in 2020.
Smithers Pira’s The Future of Folding Cartons to 2020 report found that healthcare products are the single largest users of folding cartons, followed by tobacco, and it is these two industries that face the most significant challenges in folding carton usage. Other market influences include heightened demand in packaging for household care products. Global demand for small electrical appliances, including smartphones, is driving up consumption of mini-flute and folding carton packaging, while the recession has seen an increase in DIY and automotive parts. The popularity of dry foods, especially in Asia, is driving up demand for folding cartons; conversely, the gradual improvement in these distribution chains and the expansion of supermarkets in this region also stimulates folding carton consumption in frozen and chilled food applications.
Top 10 end-use markets for folding cartons, by volume, in 2014 (graphic and data source: Smithers Pira)
The Future of Folding Cartons to 2020 outlines that the entire supply chain in this market faces ever-growing pressure from its customer base to come up with innovative techniques, processes and designs to enable the sometimes fickle brand owners to differentiate their products on the highly competitive supermarket shelf. Consequently, converters and printers are facing a need for ongoing investment in new printing technology that offers more colors and more impactful finishing techniques such as hot foiling, embossing, spot varnishing and the like.
The end result of these many influences and trends is a growing market, with end use consumption of folding carton packaging expected to increase by five percent in 2015, followed by a period of sustained growth of around 3.5 percent annually, worth 106 billion USD at constant 2014 prices.
Folding carton printing will form part of the extensive presence of package printing processes, technology and products at Labelexpo Europe 2015. This will include Xeikon showing digital folding carton printing as part of the technical Packprint Workshop feature area.
‘Package printing is now central to the label printing community and Labelexpo experience,’ according to Lisa Milburn, managing director of Labelexpo Global Series. ‘With 53 percent of our total exhibitors showing products for flexible packaging and 32 percent featuring products for folding cartons, Labelexpo Europe offers all printers the most extensive showcase of package printing solutions available.’
Read more about the future for digitally print folding cartons in L&L issue 4, 2015