Flexible Plastic Packaging Market

2021 Analysis and Review: Flexible Plastic Packaging Market by Material Type – Oil Base Polymers and Bio-Plastics for 2021 – 2031

Flexible Plastic Packaging Market Snapshot

The global sales of flexible plastic packaging are expected to exhibit 4.9% year-on-year growth rate in 2021 with sales reaching over 33.6 million tons. Future Market Insights projects flexible plastic packaging market to grow at 5% CAGR between 2021 and 2031 as consumer preference is shifting from traditional packaging products to stand-up pouches and re-closable packaging

Market research analysis identified Amcor Plc, Sealed Air Corporation, Berry Global Inc, Winpak Ltd., and Sonoco Products Company as top players in flexible plastic packaging market. They collectively hold around 15% of global market share in 2021.

Key Points Covered in Flexible plastic packaging Market Study

  • Market estimates and forecast 2021 – 2031
  • Key drivers and restrains impacting market growth
  • Segment-wise, Country-wise, and Region-wise Analysis
  • Competitive Mapping and Benchmarking
  • Brand share and Market Share Analysis
  • Key Product Innovations and Regulatory Climate
  • COVID-19 Impact On Flexible Plastic Packaging Market
  • Recommendation on Key Winning Strategies

2016 – 2020 Flexible plastic packaging Market Outlook in Comparison to 2021 – 2031 Forecasts

Increasing consumer inclination towards on-the-go and online food delivery is fueling flexible plastic packaging demand across the world. For past five years, flexible plastic packaging market experienced a steady growth of 4.3% CAGR.

E-commerce retails are extensively using flexible plastic packaging as it is waterproof, durable, lightweight and can be recycled easily. The demand for household essentials and medical items is expected to increase significantly, and sales of these items through online retail will increase.  This will boost the demand of flexible plastic packaging solutions to ensure safe and timely delivery of these products to their respective end users.

However, over-packing in e-commerce is emerging as a major concern as it creates additional wastage and requires high energy for recycling and creates pollution.

Lack of optimization in e-commerce packaging and breaking of single package into multiple individual ones from distribution center to delivery are the main causes of over-packing.  This will negatively influence the flexible plastic packaging market growth.

Development of novel packaging styles like compostable films, collapsible pouches, bag-in-box, and others by manufacturers will boost the flexible plastic packaging market growth.  

For instance, in 2021, KM Packaging launched a new compostable product range made from bio-plastic packaging materials. Its C-range includes shrink wrap, stretch wrap, adhesive tape, nets and bags. This will expand KM’s product portfolio of sustainable flexible packaging solutions and reach wider customer base.

Is Flexible Plastic Packaging Better Than Rigid Packaging?

High demand for flexible plastic packaging especially in food & beverages, electrical, consumer electronics, and e-commerce industries owing to its lightweight and high durability will boost the market growth in upcoming years.

Even though rigid packaging offers high barrier packaging solutions, flexible plastic packaging are replacing them due to its high flexibility, superior durability, and high shelf life.

Rigid packaging made of plastic and non-plastic materials were highly susceptible to breakage, leakage, and corrosion especially in metal packaging. Growing consumer inclination towards convenient and lightweight packaging will further boost the demand for flexible plastic packaging.

Introduction of new recyclable, sustainable, and flexible plastic packaging options in compliance with environmental laws to fulfill the consumer needs will further assist in replacing traditional rigid packaging.

Customization in flexible plastic packaging is offered by leading market players for merchandising of the products and create a better user experience will positively influence the market growth in upcoming years.

What Is The Impact Of COVID-19 Pandemic On Flexible Plastic Packaging Sales?

Overall flexible plastic packaging market growth experienced slight dip in 2020-2021 due to closing of manufacturing plants and reduced production. Surge in demand of flexible plastic in food and pharmaceutical product packaging was observed during that same period.

Increased online sales of daily need items, fruits, and groceries and bulk stocking to essential items during lockdown fueled the demand for flexible plastic packaging. To tackle the supply deficit, leading market players ramped up their production rate to ensure consistent supply of flexible plastic packaging. 

Elevated demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) kits by hospitals, diagnostic centers, clinics and other healthcare service providers will support the market growth throughout the crisis.

Country-wise Analysis

How Is E-Commerce Driving the Flexible plastic packaging Market in U.S.?

The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, in its quarterly report of 2021 announced that, U.S. retail e-commerce sales was around US$ 215 Bn, while the total retail sales till May 2021 was around US$ 1,581.4 Bn.

Flexible plastics are extensively used in packing of products during shipping phase from distribution center to a consumer in e-commerce industry. Growing e-commerce sales in U.S. will boost the demand for flexible plastic packaging in the country.

Flexible plastic packaging products are finding use in quick serve restaurants and single serve beverage servings as durable, portable, and lightweight, flexible packaging option. Growing fast food restaurant chains in U.S. will boost the growth in the country.

Furthermore, the U.S. houses some of the biggest e-commerce companies in the world, making it a lucrative market for flexible plastic packaging manufacturers. In addition, prominent end use sectors such as personal care, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and industrial packaging in the U.S. are expected to drive the growth in demand during forecast period.

Why Is The Demand For Flexible Plastic Products Increasing In Germany?

Increasing demand for fast moving goods and booming e-commerce industry will raise the demand for flexible plastic packaging solutions in Germany. Increasing demand for general barrier, long life, and durable plastics in healthcare industry is expected to bode well with the market growth in the country.

Rising international pressure towards eliminating non-biodegradable plastics and implementation of stringent government regulations on the plastic usage will provide momentum for development of biodegradable plastic packaging solutions and bio-plastic derived from sustainable sources.

In March 2021, Mondi launched its new packaging of a mono-material recyclable WalletPack for Bell Germany’s thinly sliced gourmet ham. The new product is developed in compliance with existing recycling guidelines in Germany. This new product is expected to replace multi-material non-recyclable plastic solution and is claimed to consume 37% less material than standard plastic packaging.

Such innovations in flexible plastic packaging will create opportunities for market growth in upcoming years.

How Is Innovation In Plastic Material Shaping The Flexible Packaging Market In China?

Flexible plastic packaging is gaining popularity among food, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries due to its low cost and eco-friendly nature. Banning of single use plastics and increasing government investment towards improving the recycling facilities in the country are expected to create a significant demand for flexible packaging products over the forecast period.

Market players are focusing on new product launches and participating in strategic merger and acquisitions to leverage on increasing demand of bio-plastics in China. For instance, Huhtamaki completed the acquisition of assets of Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging Co. Ltd in China, in June 2021.

Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging specializes in manufacturing of paper bags, wraps and folding carton packaging in China. The acquisition will expand Huhtamaki’s flexible packaging product portfolio and will make the company a major foodservice packaging provider across Asia.

On 15th June 2021, Mengniu announced the commercialization of collation post-consumer recycled (PCR) shrink film to be used in food and beverage industry. This new product was developed in collaboration with DOW Chemical Co. Ltd and is claimed to be made from recyclable one-pellet resin.

How Is Growing Packaging Industry Boosting Bioplastics Sales In India?

Growing awareness regarding benefits of recycling and bioplastics in India has elevated the demand for flexible plastic packaging in the country. Abundance of raw materials and rapid technological advancement in the field of flexible plastic packaging will act as key market drivers.

The Packaging Industry Association of India (PIAI) predicted that Indian packaging market will surpass the valuation of US$ 204.81 billion by the end of 2025. Rising per capita spending and high demand for superior products having light weight and durable flexible plastic packaging to protect them from contamination will boost the market growth throughout the forecast period.

Banning of single use plastic packaging by Indian government has promoted the market players towards developing biodegradable and recyclable plastic packaging solutions.

In March 2021, FKuR Kunststoff GmbH partnered with India's SKYi Innovations LLP for developing and producing biodegradable bio-plastics for agribusiness and other applications.

In January 2020, Indian Institute of Technology invented a new type of bioplastics which is low cost and offers superior strength than high density polyethylene (HDPE) .

Category-wise Insights

What is driving the sales of Bio-plastics in Flexible Packaging Market?

Banning of non-biodegradable and single use plastics across various countries and government initiatives promoting the adoption of bio-plastics are creating opportunities for market growth. Focus on eco-friendly packaging solutions and regulations implemented encouraging recycling will continue driving sales of bio-plastics.

Why are Consumers switching towards Flexible Plastic Films and Wraps?

Flexible plastic films and wraps are lightweight, durable, and provide excellent protection to a variety of products especially during travelling. Rising trend of on-the-go meals will remain a chief factor driving the sales of flexible plastic films packaging.

Why Is General Barrier Packaging Experiencing High Demand?

Rising adoption of flexible plastic packaging in packing fruits and vegetables and thriving fast food industry will fuel the demand for general barrier packaging through the forecast period.

What Is Driving The Demand For Flexible Plastic Packaging In Food Industry?

Rise in demand for packaged food and emergence of eateries are expected to generate highest demand throughout the forecast period. Expansion of the food service sector will also remain a chief growth driver. Continued focus on lightweight yet durable packaging solutions will fuel the demand for flexible packaging within the food industry.

Competitive Landscape

Flexible plastic packaging market offers high competition due to presence of large international companies and medium and small domestic market players. Future Market Insights (FMI) estimates that top five flexible plastic packaging market players account for nearly 15% of global market share.

Soaring popularity of sustainable packaging and banning of single use plastic is promoting market players towards developing new biodegradable plastics for flexible packaging. Market players are also working towards recycling the flexible plastic packaging to reduce carbon footprint.

Rise in number of partnership, strategic merger and acquisition is observed to solidify their market position and promote plastic circular economy.

For instance, Soteria Flexibles acquired a leading manufacturer of polyethylene flexible plastic packaging Redi-Bag on 10th June 2021. The acquisition will allow Soteria flexible to enter seafood and produce packing markets

In 2021, Berry Inc through its Verdant™ line launched an eco-friendly packaging solution The company launched the verdant extruded tube with 25% PCR thus pushing the boundaries for post consumer resin (PCR) content in its personal care packaging.

Flexible plastic packaging Market – Report Scope



Forecast Period

2021 – 2031

Historical Data Available for

2018 – 2028

Market Analysis

US$ Mn for Value & Units for Volume

Key Countries Covered

U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Rest of Latin America, EU-5, BENELUX (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), NORDIC (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden), Poland, Russia, Rest of Europe, China, India, Japan, GCC Countries, South Africa, Israel, Turkey, Iran, Rest of Middle East & Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand

Key Segments Covered

By Material Type, By Product Type, By Packaging, By End Use, and By Region

Key Companies Profiled

  • Amcor Ltd.
  • Constantia Flexibles Group GmbH
  • Berry Global Group, Inc.
  • Huhtamäki Oyj
  • Sonoco Products Company
  • Bemis Company, Inc.
  • Sealed Air Corporation
  • AR Packaging Group AB
  • Mondi Group
  • DS Smith Plc
  • CCL Industries Inc.
  • Uflex Ltd.
  • Winpak Ltd.
  • Rengo Co. Ltd.
  • Transcontinental Inc.
  • Epac LLC
  • Emerald Packaging Inc.
  • Glenroy, Inc.
  • Schur Flexibles Group
  • ProAmpac LLC
  • Goglio Group
  • Bischof & Klein GmbH & Co. KG
  • Clondalkin Group Holdings B.V.
  • BBC Cellpack Packaging
  • Bryce Corporation
  • Printpack, Inc.
  • Parkside Flexibles (Europe) Limited
  • Lindopharm GmbH
  • Flair Flexible Packaging Corporation
  • American Packaging Corporation
  • Coveris Holdings S.A.
  • Interflex Group Inc.

Report Coverage

Market Overview, Market Background, Market Forecast, Segmental Analysis, Regional Profiling and Competition Analysis

Customization & Pricing

Available upon Request

Key Questions Answered in the Report

  • What is flexible plastic packaging market size?

    Driven by shifting consumer preference from traditional packaging products to stand-up pouches and re-closable packaging, the flexible plastic packaging market size is forecast to reach US$ 98 billion in 2021 with a CAGR of 5.0%.

  • At what rate did the flexible plastic packaging market expand in the last five years?

    Between 2016 and 2020, the flexible plastic packaging sales grew at 4.3% CAGR.

  • What are the key trends shaping the flexible plastic packaging market?

    Adoption of bio-plastic films and shifting consumer preference from traditional packaging products to stand-up pouches and re-closable packaging are few of the key trends shaping the flexible plastic packaging market.

  • Who are the key exporters in flexible plastic packaging market?

    The U.S., China, Japan, Germany and U.K. are the key exporters operating in flexible plastic packaging market.

  • What is the North America flexible plastic packaging market outlook?

    Demand registered in North America will continue rising, backed by booming e-commerce in the U.S. and Canada, the North America market is anticipated to expand at 3.0% CAGR during the forecast period.

  • Who are the leading companies in flexible plastic packaging market?

    Amcor Plc, Sealed Air Corporation, Berry Global Inc, Winpak Ltd., and Sonoco Products Company are the top companies operating in the market.

  • What is the cumulative share of top companies in flexible plastic packaging market?

    Top players account for nearly 10 to 15% of the flexible plastic packaging market in 2021.

  • At what rate will flexible plastic packaging sales increase in Europe?

    Flexible plastic packaging sales will increase at 2.6% CAGR in Europe, backed by rising demand in the U.K., Germany, Russia and other countries.

  • Which are the top five countries driving flexible plastic packaging market demand?

    Leading countries driving demand in the flexible plastic packaging market are China, U.S., Germany, Japan, and France.

  • What are the key statistics for flexible plastic packaging market in Japan and South Korea?

    Currently in 2021, Japan and South Korea holds around 14% and 9% share respectively in the East Asia flexible plastic packaging market.

Key Segments Covered in Flexible plastic packaging Market Study:

Based On Material Type:

  • oil base polymers
  • bio-plastics

Based On Product Type:

  • pouches
  • bags & sacks
  • tubes
  • sleeve labels
  • films & wraps

Based On Packaging Type:

Based On End-Use:

  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Personal Care
  • Homecare
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Industrial Packaging
  • Others


  •  North America
  •  Latin America
  • Europe
  • South Asia
  • East Asia
  • Oceania
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)

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Flexible Plastic Packaging Market