Molded Fiber Pulp Packaging Market

2020 Analysis and Review: Molded Fiber Pulp Packaging Market by Product – Trays, Drink Carriers, Boxes, End Caps et al for 2020-2030


Being an eco-friendly and biodegradable packaging type, molded fiber packaging has emerged as an ideal solution for both primary and secondary packaging in food & beverage and consumer durable electronic goods.

Molded fiber pulp is manufactured using recycled paperboard and newsprint, which makes it more affordable than conventional variants such as expanded polystyrene, vacuumed formed polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). On this premise, molded fiber pulp packaging aids in cost-optimization during shipping and transportation.

Moreover, Sustainable Packaging Coalition® (SPC) has identified molded fiber pulp as a sustainable packaging as its manufacturing process involves only recycled materials. From the supply side perspective, post its shelf-life, molded fiber pup can be recycled, thereby maintaining the production life cycle and keeping the production process cost-effective.

As both packaging manufacturers and end-users stress employing packaging solutions that are sustainable, environment-friendly, and cost-effective, they are opting for molded fiber pulp packaging. Besides, availability in diverse sizes and shapes molded fiber papers aid end-users in offering safe packaging for a multitude of products while also limiting environmental effect.

For instance, molded fiber pulp offers efficient packaging for a wide variety of products, ranging from food products in the form of egg cartons and cup carrying trays to electronic products such as mobiles, TVs, and refrigerators, to name a few popular products. The aforementioned benefits - both on the demand and supply side - will continue to drive the molded fiber pulp packaging market on a positive growth trajectory through the assessment period.

Growing Demand in Organized Retail

Increasing spending power across the world is ensuring that sales through organized retail channels, such as hypermarkets, supermarkets, and departmental stores. On these lines, the demand for molded fiber pulp packaging will prevail high in frozen and perishable food products sold in organized retail stores.

Furthermore, molded fiber pulp packaging is one of the most cost-effective modes of packaging that reduces the overall transportation and storage costs, thus aiding retailers in widening their profit margins.

Besides, the raw materials of molded fiber, paperboard, and newsprints are widely available and affordable, thereby facilitating abundant production to cater to the growing demand in the organized retail sector.

On the other hand, in the past decade, e-commerce has grown threefold backed by the growing penetration of the internet in emerging economies of Latin America and Asia, which house a large base of the working-class population.

The number of digital buyers grew from 1.32 Bn in 2014 to 2.05 Bn in 2020. Moreover, the number is expected to cross 2.14 Bn by 2021, indicating the continual growth of e-commerce.

In a similar vein, numerous western retail players such as Target and Best Buy are penetrating into the emerging economies to leverage the presence of a large consumer base, and this is expected to create substantial revenue opportunities for market players.

Flexibility Boosting Adoption

Molded fiber pulp packaging is available in a wide range of formats such as trays, clamshell containers, drink carriers, end caps, plates, and boxes among others which makes it a highly popular mode of packaging among manufacturers of consumer goods.

Likewise, molded fiber pulp takes the role of a cushion in the packaging on electronics, making it ideal for storage and transportation of fragile products.

Moreover, the materialistic nature of molded fiber pulp enables it to take various shapes without the need for an assembly process from the production end. This reduces the time and cost involved in the development of different packaging variants.

Similarly, on the supply side, the easy availability of raw materials and affordability contribute to wider profit margins. On the demand side, features of molded fiber such as bracing, blocking, resistance to extreme temperatures, water resistance, and neutrality to electricity make it one of the safest modes of packaging.

Low Strength Limits Adoption

Although molded fiber has established itself as the go-to sustainable packaging solution, certain factors continue to hold back the market from reaching its full growth potential.

While the eco-friendly and sustainable nature of the market is widely acknowledged, the strength of the packaging has been a subject of debate among end-users.

On a broader level, the data of the U.S. government show that pulp and paper manufacturers are the fourth largest industrial emitters of greenhouses gases, and the pulp and paper industry releases about 212 million tons of hazardous substances into the air and water.

On this premise, environmentalists are urging the closure of pulp and paper industries, thus negatively influencing consumer perception.

On the other hand, as molded fiber pulp packaging is derived using short fiber as raw material, the pulp products are rigid, but have a lower strength threshold. Besides, considering raw materials such as newspapers and papers, molded fiber pulp inherits the low tensile strength of these raw materials.

Due to the low strength, this packaging is unsuitable for packing heavyweight products such as refrigerators, television sets, and furniture, among others, thus restricting the adoption of low-weight applications.

Along similar lines, EPS (expanded polystyrene) packaging is light in weight but is structurally stronger than molded fiber pulp packaging is acting as a counterpart to molded fiber pulp packaging and is posing a challenge to the steady growth of the market.

Region-wise Insights

North America Molded Fiber Pulp Packaging Market

North America, led by the US, is expected to remain a prominent region through the assessment period, capturing a share little below 1/5th of global value. The US is the largest consumer of wine in the world, with the volume of wine consumed surging past 33 Mn hectoliters. This, in turn, propels demand for molded fiber packaging.

By the same token, the number of mobiles sold in the US rose to 77.5 Mn from 52. 9 Mn in 2015, lucidly indicating the upward spike, furthering creating revenue opportunities to players offering molded fiber pulp packaging.

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APEJ Molded Fiber Pulp Packaging Market

Asia Pacific except Japan (APEJ) is poised to remain the largest regional market for molded fiber pulp packaging, capturing a share little below 2/5th of overall market value. Frontline by emerging economies such as China and India, the region's lucrativeness is attributed to soaring sales of consumer durable electronic goods.

According to the International Data Corporation's (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, China was the largest market for smartphones in 2019, recording shipments of over 282 Mn units. Closely following China was India, registering shipment of 152.5 million units in 2019.

Both the nations outpaced the US in terms of sales and are projected to remain the most lucrative regions for the years to come, backed by rapidly increasing purchase power.

The proliferating sales of mobile phones and other consumer durables allude to high demand for packaging and molded fiber pulp finds remarkable traction owing to its proven safety in the packaging of lightweight products.

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Europe Molded Fiber Pulp Packaging Market

Western Europe is projected to remain the second most lucrative region, accounting for more than 1/5th of market value. The demand for molded fiber pulp packaging is driven by the need for quality packaging solutions for electronic goods and eggs. 

For instance, 7.8 billion barn eggs were produced by the farms in Germany in 2018, of which 1.4 billion organic eggs. 2018 marked the largest production and consumption, ascribed to growing health and fitness trends. As egg cartons are made of molded fiber pulp, the demand for the packaging is expected to prevail high for the years to come.

Moreover, France is one of the largest consumers of wine in the world, with consumption touching 25.5 Mn hectoliters in 2019, thereby subsequently necessitating packaging for wine bottles.

Likewise, France and Germany are the largest markets for laptops and mobiles, with the number of mobile phones sold in 2019 in Germany touching 19 Mn. On these lines, the presence of strong F&B and CDEG sectors will continue to fuel the demand for molded fiber pulp packaging.

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Category-wise Insights

Trays and Clamshell Containers Remain Highly Sought-after

By product type, trays and clamshell containers are expected to remain the most sought products, cumulatively capturing over 70% of market value with individual shares of near-proportion.

The demand for both these types is attributed to availability in different sizes and the ability to facilitate the packaging of large volumes of products.

Transfer Molded Pulp Holds Lion’s Share

Based on product type, transfer molded pulp is expected to remain the most popular pulp type, accounting for more than half of the overall market value.

High preference for transfer molded pulp type is attributed to its thinness that aids end-users to reduce the size and weight of the shipment.

Adoption in Primary Packaging Fuels Revenue

On the basis of application, usage of molded pulp in primary packaging is expected to drive the majority of revenue, capturing over 70% of market value, as the majority of consumer durables use primary packaging.

F&B Drives Majority of Revenue

By end-use, the F&B segment, especially egg packaging, channels more than 2/5th of revenue to the market owing to the ever-increasing demand for food worldwide coupled with the growing trend of packaged food. 

Competitive Landscape

Players in the molded fiber pulp packaging market are directing their efforts towards the development of innovative packaging solutions, such as lightweight and strong designs to strengthen their foothold in the competitive landscape.

Moreover, having closely observed the energy consumption patterns during the manufacturing process as compared to EPS packaging, players are reworking the manufacturing technologies.

On these lines, UFP technologies, a US-based manufacturer, designed a packaging solution using molded fiber pulp that accommodates multiple models of an industrial door closing mechanism into one tray only. This design accommodates a 30 door closure configuration, thus saving expenses associated with tooling, production storage and transportation.

Molded Fiber Pulp Packaging Industry Report: Scope



Forecast Period


Historical Data Available for


Market Analysis

USD Million for value and tonnes for volume.

Key Regions Covered

North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, APEJ, MEA, and Japan.

Key Countries Covered

US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Rest of Latin America, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, U.K., Russia, BENELUX, Rest of Europe, Rest of Western Europe, India, China, ASEAN, Rest of APEJ, Australia and New Zealand, Rest of South Africa & Pacific GCC Countries, Turkey, South Africa, and Rest of MEA 

Key Segments Covered

Product type, Molded pulp type, Application, End-use, and Region

Key Companies Profiled

UFP Technologies, Inc, ESCO Technologies Inc, Huhtamaki Oyj, Brodrene Hartmann, Henry Molded Products, Inc, ProtoPak Engineering Corporation, EnviroPAK Corporation, Pacific Pulp Molding, LLC, Keiding, Inc, FiberCel Packaging, LLC, Pactiv LLC (Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd.), and OrCon Industries Corporation, among others.

Report Coverage

Market Forecast, brand share analysis, competition intelligence, DROT analysis, Market Dynamics and Challenges, Strategic Growth Initiatives

Customization & Pricing

Available upon Request

Key Questions Answered by the Report

  • What is the molded fiber pulp packaging market size?

    The global molded fiber pulp packaging market is expected to reach a valuation of US$ 13.1 Bn by 2030.

  • Which is the largest market for molded fiber pulp packaging?

    Asia Pacific Except Japan is expected to maintain hegemony over the regional landscape through the course of the forecast period.

  • Which are the top brands producing molded fiber pulp packaging?

    Key players operating in the market include UFP Technologies, Inc, ESCO Technologies Inc, Huhtamaki Oyj, Brodrene Hartmann, Henry Molded Products, Inc, ProtoPak Engineering Corporation, EnviroPAK Corporation, Pacific Pulp Molding, LLC, Keiding, Inc, FiberCel Packaging, LLC, Pactiv LLC (Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd.), and OrCon Industries Corporation, among others.

  • Where is molded fiber pulp packaging used?

    Molded fiber pulp packaging is majorly used in F&B sector to pack and store eggs and in CDEG sector to pack television sets, mobiles, laptops etc.

  • What is the future of the molded fiber pulp packaging market?

    Molded fiber pulp packaging market is expected to grow at a healthy pace through 2030 backed by soaring demand for sustainable packaging solutions.

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  • Is this research conducted by Future Market Insights?

    Yes, the research has been conducted by expert analysts of Future Market Insights through a combination of primary research and secondary research. To know more about how the research was conducted, you can  speak to research analyst

  • What research methodology is followed by FMI?

    FMI follows a methodology that encompasses demand side assessment of the market, and triangulates the same through supply side analysis. This methodology is based on use of standard market structure, methods and definitions.

  • Who are the respondents for primary research?

    FMI speaks to stakeholders across the spectrum, including C-level executives, distributors, product manufacturers, industry experts. For a full list of primary respondents, please reach out to us.

  • What are the sources of secondary research?

    FMI conducts extensive secondary research through proprietary databases, paid databases, and information available in the public domain. We refer to industry associations, company press releases, annual reports, investor presentations, and research papers. 

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Key Segments

By Product Type

  • Trays
  • Drink Carriers
  • Boxes
  • End Caps
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cups
  • Clamshell Containers


  • Primary Packaging
  • Secondary Packaging
  • Edge Protectors

Molded Pulp Type

  • Thick Wall
  • Transfer Molded
  • Thermoformed Fiber
  • Processed Pulp

End Use

  • CDEG
  • Food & Beverage
    • Egg Packaging
    • Wine Packaging
    • Fruit Packaging
    • Others
  • Cosmetics
  • Food Services
  • Healthcare
  • Automotive
  • Logistics
  • Others (Candles, Flower Packaging)

By Region

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • APEJ
  • MEA
  • Japan

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Molded Fiber Pulp Packaging Market