Flexible Packaging Market in Europe

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Flexible Packaging Market in Europe - Industry Outlook and Forecast 2020-2025

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Flexible Packaging Market in Europe

Most Exhaustive Report

Flexible Packaging Market in Europe - Industry Outlook and Forecast 2020-2025

SKU : ARZ200405 Published on : May 2020

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This research report on the Europe flexible packaging market covers sizing and forecast, share, industry trends, growth drivers, and vendor analysis. The study includes insights on the segmentation by Material (flexible plastic, flexible papers, and foil), Application (consumer and industry), Product (pouches, bags, and sacks, & others), Printing (flexographic, rotogravure, and others), End-users (food & beverage, healthcare, pet food, personal care, and others ), and Geography (Europe – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Austria, Scandinavia, Switzerland, & others).


The European flexible packaging market is likely to grow on account of fast economic growth and high disposable incomes during the forecast period. The competitive edge lies with vendors that have technologically advanced equipment and can deliver on aseptic, retort, anti-counterfeit, and child-resistant packaging. The healthy growth of end-users, such as coffee, pet food, and fresh foods, has driven production higher. The demand from Western Europe, which is considered as the mature market with high disposable personal incomes, has been high for flexible packing.

Similarly, the demand from Eastern Europe is expected to increase during the forecast period on account of an increase in the purchasing power of customers. In the aftermath of the COVID-19, the global flexible packaging market growth is expected to witness a supply chain disruption on account of the voluntary shutdown of factories or authorities enforced lockdown. And Europe seems no exception. Almost 70% of the demand in Europe comes from the food and beverage segment. The luxury personal goods sector, home care applications, oils & lubricants, and other non-food sectors are expected to witness a decline in the Q2 and Q3, 2020.


  • The German flexible packaging market is expected to witness an incremental growth of over $6 billion on account of its growing pharmaceutical sector, which is growing at an annual growth rate of 5%.
  • The healthcare segment is likely to reach $5 billion by 2025 due to the high consumer preference for lightweight, durable, and highly aesthetic packaging.
  • The flexographic segment is projected to achieve a mark over 33 billion units by 2025 as flexographic packing offers cost efficiency and low-energy requirement

 The Europe flexible packaging market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 4% during the period 2019–2025.

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This research report includes a detailed segmentation by material, application, product, printing, end-user, and geography.



The food industry is the major driver for flexible plastic packaging in Europe. An increasing number of food and beverage manufacturers are turning to flexible packing to add convenience and improve the consumer experience. These pouches also provide 99% product evacuation compared to rigid. Flexible plastic has been increased in application due to its durability, low weight, cost-effectiveness, and easy handling. Also, it uses less energy during the production process. Hence, the growing need for convenience and product safety among consumers is driving demand growth for the segment.

Flexible paper packaging has a wide application in the healthcare sector and the tobacco and CPG packaging industry. Paper laminates offer reduced weight and have over 50% of the recycled rate, hence, it is a more sustainable option than plastics. Paper sacks provide several purposes that are in line with the customer's packing needs and environmental sustainability. Europe accounted for over 30% of consumption in 2017 (around 4 million tons annually). The other category of papers such as wrapping paper witnessed a demand of 3.5−4 million tons in 2019 worldwide. The consumption of wrapping paper increased to around 890 wrapping paper in 2017 in Europe

Aluminum foils remain the material of choice for pharmaceutical manufacturers. Impenetrable to moisture, oxygen, and other gases with high resistance to micro-organisms and light, aluminum foils are witnessing high adoption. Therefore, aluminum foils help to keep medication safe and secure. The major end-user for aluminum foil is the pharmaceutical industry, especially blister packaging. Aluminum foils offer the convenience of higher shelf life for food products, which is the major factor fueling high adoption.


The flexible pouch market is highly growing in various applications, particularly in the food sector. The food industry has evolved globally in terms of packaging, especially in food norms, which are related to labeling and packaging. Maintaining a clean room and hygienic facility is paramount. In this aspect, existing companies have invested in newer machinery, while the new entrants in the pouch market are starting with high-end machine installments. A significant replacement has taken place to accommodate the high-volume packing of fruits and vegetables, meat, snacks, and RTE. These are the sectors that utilize multi-barrier technology and provide higher revenue to the industry. Europe flexible packaging market is growing. The major reason for the growth is the conversion from rigid to flexible packing.


The consumer flexible packaging segment comprises a major share in the Europe flexible packaging market. The segment is increasing at a moderate pace with the increase in consumption rate and per capita income in Europe. Also, the beauty and personal care sector has an important role to play in building momentum toward a more circular economy for plastic packaging. Food and beverages, pet food, healthcare, and personal care are the major end-user of the segment.

Stretch and shrink films and FIBCs are the major industrial packaging products. Since the threat of new entrants is low, the market has witnessed the entry of several new vendors with a new technology, which focuses on protection and performance. The European market is likely to offer USP for those vendors, which offer recycled content. Industrial packaging is largely driven by bulk packaging demand from several end-users. FIBCs, shrink and stretch films, bubble wraps, air pillows, and other flexible protective products are the major products. Chemical and pharmaceutical industries accounted for more than 40% of the applications in 2019. The growth of FIBC usage during the forecast period is expected to increase on account of multiple industries adopting lightweight, sustainable, and convenient products.


Europe is mainly dependent on flexographic printing. Flexographic printing is associated with low-labor costs, low-press footprint, and less energy requirements. Flexographic is one of Europe's main printing methods and is also a growing industry. Flexographic printing growth is also driven by the growth in e-commerce, which has increased the volume of goods. Due to its wide range of applications, water-based inks hold a substantial share in the flexographic printing inks market.

Rotogravure printing is extensively used for printing on packaging items such as polythene packs, soap wrappers, bread wrappers, milk pouches, and other materials. Several new opportunities are expected from Eastern Europe, such as Ukraine. It is expected that the agricultural industry in Ukraine will provide the major impetus for packaging. With the growing number of rotogravure printing plants, there will be an increase in the production of printing products in the coming years.


The F&B industry dominates the Europe flexible packaging market. The packaging cost in the food industry accounts for 7−11% of the total product cost in Europe. The increasing number of quick-service restaurants and retail outlets has fueled food consumption, thereby driving packaging. However, the market growth rate was offset by high taxes and labor costs as a result of the economic slowdown in some European countries. The demand for packing is high as well as complex in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry in Europe. Several flexible packaging formats for solid dosages (pills) and powders are present in paper and plastic flexible formats. The foil material for lidding in blister packaging is used extensively in Europe.

The personal care industry is a high-volume industry with the high growth being witnessed in several European regions. The growth of the e-commerce sector has scaled up the option for several vendors in Europe. The European cosmetics market offers promising opportunities for flexible packaging since the new natural ingredient-based cosmetics demand is on the rise. There is a growing consumer awareness for natural cosmetics and the desire of cosmetics companies to replace synthetic ingredients with natural variants. In Europe, skincare and toiletries are the most important product categories, followed by hair care and fragrances.


All market segments are experiencing notable growth in the European flexible packaging market. The general trend from rigid to flexible, which provides greater convenience and fits in better with current lifestyle needs is likely to affect the market across Europe. Innovative, flexible packing styles are increasing convenience and offer a higher variety of formats. The products in Europe that are less than 100 gm are packaged mainly with flexible pouches. The growth forecast for packages weighing 50−100 gm is expected to be higher (over 10%) than packages weighing less than 50 gm, which is expected to boost the growth in Europe. The price of the pouches is lower and provides high convenience; hence the demand for pouches is expected to increase across the region. The diversity in flexible packing enables the industry to withstand the pressure of sourcing raw materials, the price pressure, operating costs, and availability of resources. Regulations with respect to disposal and recycling are becoming stringent in several European countries. The high-volume trade countries such as Germany and France are expected to face challenges with Brexit. The Brexit deal is expected to be disruptive during the forecast period. The competition in Europe is high on account of the highly fragmented market.

Key Profiled Countries

  • Germany
  • France
  • UK
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Benelux
  • Austria
  • Scandinavia
  • Switzerland


Small and medium enterprises dominate a vast segment of the Europe flexible packaging market. Large players have been aggressively adopting an inorganic growth strategy to expand their operations in many regions. They have technological strength and high-volume product lines that have helped offset the cost variations. The smaller companies focus on customization, as the competition in the market is mainly based on two aspects – features and price. The market has witnessed many M&A transactions in the last few years; the consolidation is expected to grow, especially in Europe further.

Key Vendors

  • Amcor
  • Mondi
  • Sonoco
  • Berry Global
  • Sealed Air
  • Constantia Flexibles
  • Huhtamaki

Other Prominent Vendors RPC Group, Ahlstrom, Greif, Westrock, Smurfit Kappa, Alu Flex Pack, ProAmpac, Wipak Group, Saica, Etapak, Bischof+klein, Innovia Films, Uflex, Coveris, Alinvest, Danaflex, Eurofoil, WZ Packaging, WIPF – Innovative Packaging Solutions, Walki, Symetal, Krajcar pack, ITP, Gascogne Flexible, Schur Flexibles, Schmid and Folien, RKW, Pouch Partners, Perlen Packaging, Aran Group, Goglio packaging, Aluberg, Kleiner flexible packaging, and Carcano.

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The analysis of the Europe flexible packaging market provides sizing and growth opportunities for the period 2020–2025.

  • Offers sizing and growth prospects of the market for the forecast period 2020–2025.
  • Provides comprehensive insights on the latest industry trends, forecast, and growth drivers in the market.
  • Includes a detailed analysis of growth drivers, challenges, and investment opportunities.
  • Delivers a complete overview of segments and the regional outlook of the market.
  • Offers an exhaustive summary of the vendor landscape, competitive analysis, and key strategies to gain competitive advantage.




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