Flexible Thin Film Market Snapshot 2023 to 2033

The global flexible thin film market is anticipated to accumulate a market value of US$ 12.8 billion in 2023 and is expected to record a market valuation of US$ 24.9 billion by exhibiting a CAGR of 6.8% in the forecast period 2023 to 2033. The market for flexible packaging film solutions registered a CAGR of 5% in the historical period 2018 to 2022.

The packaged food and beverage industry has witnessed substantial growth in the past few years. The packaged food sector is being driven by various macro factors, including evolving lifestyles, growth in the urban population, increased economic activity in emerging markets, and increasing penetration of e-retail.

Flexible thin films offer many advantages compared to other rigid packaging materials because they are lightweight, offer good barrier properties, and, most importantly, are recyclable and reusable. The burgeoning demand for quick, healthy breakfast products is expected to drive the market growth of flexible packaging films. These films possess moisture barrier properties, making them an appropriate packing solution for packaging breakfast cereals, especially flakes.

Additionally, with flourishing e-commerce, there is significant growth for protective packaging solutions, including plastic films, wraps, etc. This trend is expected to support market expansion in the forecast period. Strong sealing strength, flexibility, and a vacuum finish are some key characteristics offered by these films that are opening up new avenues for this industry.

In addition, researchers worldwide are developing new technologies that could extend the shelf life of packaged foods, thereby benefiting market growth. The food industry is the largest end-user of plastic films and has been reflecting strong growth due to growth in convenient packaging solutions for ready-to-eat foods, snacks, frozen meals, and cake mixes.

The market is witnessing an increase in demand for dairy products and confectionery which is supporting growth in packaging films market. The manufacturers of packaged food are adopting novel packaging materials to improve the shelf-life and boost the appeal of the food product.

Based on region, the market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness the fastest CAGR of 6.4% during the analysis period. The growth is majorly attributed to growing population in India and China. In these two countries inflating disposable income will support the growth of industries such as food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, pet food, and cosmetics, which will foster the market of flexible films.

The food and pharmaceutical packaging sectors are the primary growth factors in this region. The growing Indian middle class and the flourishing organized retailing in the country are propelling growth in the targeted market. Another factor that has provided considerable stimulus to the flexible packaging industry is the swift growth of exports, which demand superior packaging standards for the international market.

The growth in pharma industry in Asia Pacific is determined by increasing awareness towards healthcare in the current population and accessibility to advanced treatment regimens without border restrictions. North America is expected to rule the market of flexible thin films by accumulating 37% market share by end of the forecast period. The tremendous growth in the region is due to the rapid emergence of consumer-friendly and sustainable packaging solutions that will expand the market of flexible films. The favorable aspects like increasing working population, hectic lifestyles, and evolving eating habits is fueling the demand for BOPET packaging films that will augment market growth in North America.

Data Points Key Statistics
Expected Market Value in 2023 US$ 12.8 billion
Projected Market Value in 2033 US$ 24.9 billion
Growth Rate (2023 to 2033) 6.8 % CAGR

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How Competitive is the Market?

Recent developments in technology, mergers, acquisitions, tie-ups, and partnerships within the companies involved in manufacturing flexible thin films are expected to create lucrative opportunities for market growth during the forecast period.

  • On April 2022, Custom Molded Plastics, an LLC Inteplast Group affiliate, has purchased Vantage Products Corporation to expand the injection molding. It enables the continued integration of post-consumer and post-industrial regrind in high-quality products from the custom structural foam manufacturer.
  • On February 2022, ‘Innovia Films’ launched ‘Rayo Form EUP60’, a white BOPP film for in-mold labeling (IML). With very high opacity, high yield product, and a density as low as 0.55 g/cm3, the film is suitable for use on small-to-medium size, thin or thick wall PP or PE containers, providing a tactile ‘soft-touch’ finish post molding.

The conventional rigid packaging formats are substituted by innovative flexible packaging alternatives to suffice consumer needs. Flexible thin film is gaining traction in the market as it offers the most efficient flexible packaging solution.

The flexible thin film is produced from plastic and has vital weight benefits that assure advantages in terms of raw material inputs and shipping facilities. The burgeoning demand for flexible thin films due to its durability, flexibility, and light-weight characteristics is frequently supplanting rigid packaging.

Due to excellent barrier features of flexible thin films that prevent moisture, oxygen, corrosion and its cost-effectiveness is boosting the demand for the flexible thin film in the market.

The flexible thin films are transparent with a high product-to-package ratio, takes lesser shelf-space, generate relatively less waste thus, flexible thin film packaging allows the shipping of more products given less of the packaging material is needed. Besides, it reduces fuel consumption and the overall transportation cost.

The shift towards flexible packaging by using the flexible thin film is attributable to benefit for the entire packaging value chain including brand owners, retailers, and, most importantly, consumers.

Flexible Thin Film Market - Market dynamics

Due to the pandemic spread of the novel Coronavirus, the packaging industry is experiencing downfall because of the lack of workforces and challenges related to raw material procurement.

Therefore, the flexible thin film market is also going sluggish currently. But due to the excellent characteristic feature of the flexible thin film, the huge demand for transporting the pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, etc in these difficult times can flourish the growth of flexible thin film market.

The flexible thin films are manufactured from plastic such as Polypropylene, Polyethylene, PET, BOPET, and PVC. The Polyethylene is majorly used because of its excellent flexibility and high moisture barrier properties for food and beverages packaging.

Polypropylene offers fat-resistant flexible thin films with high chemical resistance so, typically used in medical packaging. On the other hand, BOPET is a strong, clear and lightweight flexible thin film that is widely used for packaging materials for personal care, home care and other consumer and industrial products.

E-commerce is transforming the way customers shop. Customers can get anything delivered within a day or two at their doorstep. This is encouraging strong growth for protective packaging solutions, including a flexible thin film market. Although, sustainability outlasts in the brain of customers and so is making the flexible thin film producers to come up with innovative solutions.

Nevertheless, the customers of today are also more concerned about the environment and asking for sustainable packaging. Therefore, the manufacturers are in continuous research for using environmental materials for making flexible thin films. A current reinforcement of “food grade flavor molecules” combined to polymer structure has emerged in the development of a flexible thin film that releases aromas on the inside or outside of a package.

Ismail Sutaria
Ismail Sutaria

Principal Consultant

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Flexible Thin Film Market - Regional Outlook

The Asia Pacific region accounts to have a larger market of the flexible thin film, owing to the rapid growth of food and beverages industries. Also, the increasing trade will further fuel the regional demand of products in whole world.

The North America region also holds a sizable market because of the high demand for pharmaceuticals coupled with chemicals. The Europe and Middle East & Africa has a strong market for the flexible thin film as there is a rapid growth of e-commerce industry in the region. Also, markets in these regions are becoming saturated so, companies in these regions are expanding globally.

Other regions such as the Latin America and the Oceania also have strong potential of growth opportunity for the flexible thin film market.

Flexible Thin Film Market - Competitors

The different competitors in the flexible thin film market are as follows-

  • Alcan Packaging Beneq
  • 3M Company
  • Polyplex
  • Toppan Printing Co. Ltd
  • Uflex Ltd
  • Cosmo Films
  • Honeywell International Inc
  • Novatex
  • Centre For Process Innovation (CPI)
  • Jindal Polyfilms
  • Materion
  • Fraunhofer POLO Alliance
  • Sigma Technologies Int'l, LLC

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Flexible Thin Film Market segmentation

Material:

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • Biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET)

End use:

  • Food
  • E-commerce
  • Consumer Goods
  • Electrical and Electronics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Other End Use

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