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Corrugated Packaging Market Trends

ID: MRFR//0698-CR | 109 Pages | Author: Snehal Singh| February 2020

Global Corrugated Packaging Market Overview

Corrugated packaging Market Size was valued at USD 342.94 billion in 2023. The corrugated packaging industry is projected to grow from USD 356.85 Billion in 2024 to USD 512.99 billion by 2032, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.06% during the forecast period (2024 - 2032). Growing environmental concerns and rising demand for corrugated boxes from various end-use industries for packaging are driving revenue growth in the corrugated packaging market.  Corrugated Packaging Market OverviewSource: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review

Corrugated Packaging Market Trends

  • Increasing demand from the food and beverage sector coupled with technological advancements and innovations

Corrugated packaging is strong and durable, and it protects food and beverage products when they are shipped over long distances and handled by a variety of laborers. Corrugated boxes can also be customized so that they are "right-sized" to fit the product. Customers are often impressed by customized branding because it looks professional and implies in business, and customized branding is an excellent way to impress consumers. Companies also personalize boxes, which is important for gaining client loyalty and encouraging repeat purchases. Corrugated packaging is also very affordable and completely biodegradable, and it can be recycled and reused multiple times. Corrugated stands out as the best solution to the desire to eliminate single-use plastics, as the environmentally conscious population is rapidly increasing and people are willing to prefer such companies that make an effort toward sustainability. Corrugated packaging solutions have been adopted by the food and beverage industry to increase future sales and revenue growth.

AI and Machine Learning (ML) are emerging trends extensively used by corrugated packaging companies. 3D printing is increasingly being utilized in industrial applications. AI has the potential to visualize an algorithmically produced package that is ideal for certain products. By lowering labor expenses and improving output, businesses can increase profits. When it comes to data processing quickly and efficiently, AI-enabled machines are also more accurate than people.

Further, AI-enabled machines only take about 20% as long as their human counterparts to learn new things. AI will assist the packaging industry in driving its shift to sustainable practices by improving supply chain and inventory management, optimizing distribution routes, and tracking items throughout transportation. Artificial intelligence can forecast demand and consumption as well as automate the manufacturing process. This reduces waste in the manufacturing process. AI can also generate alternative packaging options, reducing complexity and resource requirements. As immersive VR devices like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive become more cost-effective, virtual reality will become a standard feature of many companies' customer experiences and packaging design processes.

Additionally, according to The European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO), The role of the Federation is to investigate economic, financial, technical and marketing issues of interest to the corrugated packaging Industry, to analyse all factors which may influence the industry, and to promote and develop its image. The Federation also promotes Corrugated Board as a fantastic packaging material; its objective is to spread the word about the intrinsic properties of Corrugated Packaging: its recyclability, its sustainability, its renewability and its printability. Similarly, as per the International Corrugated Case Association (ICCA) insights, to provide member services and activities that can be most effectively conducted by an international organization. The services support and enhance the work of the association members and contribute to the well-being of the worldwide corrugated packaging industry. The term Corrugated Recycles is both a statement of fact and a way to promote recycling. By printing the symbol on corrugated products, the corrugated customer and ultimate consumer are aware of corrugated’s inherent recyclability. Placing the symbol on a corrugated container does not indicate that “this container is made from recycled material.” Rather, it simply means that “this container can and should be recycled.”

However, to cater the demand there has been significant advances in the technology innovations. For instance, there has been a number of introductions of corrugated packaging plants is another factor driving the growth of the corrugated packaging market revenue.

Corrugated Packaging Market Segment Insights

Corrugated Packaging Type Insights

The corrugated packaging market segmentation, based on type, includes Rigid Boxes, Self-Erecting Boxes, Telescope Boxes, Slotted Boxes, and others. The Slotted Boxes corrugated packaging segment held the majority share in 2021 contribution to around ~60% in respect to the corrugated packaging market revenue. They are generally made from one piece of corrugated board which is usually stitched, taped, or glued. The blank, or tray, is scored and fitted to allow folding after which the boxes are dispatched flat to the user. To make a box, the user needs to square it up, place the product in the box, and shut the flaps. The flute is placed parallel to the depth to provide enough loading strength. The slotted box is a very efficiently designed product, as it generates minimal waste during its manufacturing process. It is ideal for shipping a variety of products such as cups, mugs, and books among others.,

The slotted boxes segment led the market in terms of both value and volume.

June 2022: Bobst launched a new suite of solutions and services aimed at assisting converters and brand owners with digitization and sustainability. The printing and packaging machinery behemoth has been promoting its "four main pillars" of connectivity, digitalization, automation, and sustainability. The new version, according to Bobst, has features and functionality that will assist clients to optimize their packaging by digitizing and connecting all aspects of the process. Furthermore, the new Bobst Helpline Essential for non-connectable equipment is a remote help solution that provides consumers with video streaming and a prioritized contact with Bobst Technical Services specialists for faster troubleshooting.

Corrugated Packaging Wall Construction Insights

The corrugated packaging market segmentation, based on Wall Construction, includes Single-Wall, Double-Wall and Triple-Wall. The single-wall segment dominated the market in 2021 and is projected to be the faster-growing segment during the forecast period, 2022-2030. This is due to the lowers transportation expenses by reducing the weight of the package. As a result, during the projection period, the segment is expected to have the highest CAGR. Single-Wall can be used as an extra layer of protection, a separator, a pad, or a barrier inside an outer package. These board styles allow for easy printing and the application of various coatings to the surface. Hence, rising wall construction of single-wall implants for corrugated packaging positively impacts the market growth.

Corrugated Packaging Material Insights

The corrugated packaging market data, On the basis of material, the market is segmented into linerboard, medium, and others. The linerboard material segment led the market in terms of both value and volume. Kraft liner contains at least 80% virgin kraft pulp fibers. Due to its high strength and moisture resistance, kraft liner is used as an outer and intermediate ply in corrugated boxes. The kraft linerboard is primarily used for the manufacture of high-grade color-printed corrugated boxes for the food & beverages, home & personal care, and other industries. Recycled linerboard, also known as a test liner, contains less than 80% virgin kraft pulp fibers. It is also used for the outer and intermediate plies of corrugated board. However, it is not as strong as kraft liner as it has a higher recycled fiber content. Recycled linerboard is less expensive than kraft liner. The recycled materials used for manufacturing recycled board include double line kraft clippings and old corrugated containers.

February 2022: Menasha Packaging Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Menasha Corporation, announced the signing of an agreement to acquire the assets of Color-Box, a business unit of Georgia-Pacific, LLC. The acquisition is expected to complete in early summer 2022. Like Menasha Packaging, Color-Box is a corrugated packaging manufacturer that specializes in high-graphic boxes, which will help expand the company's geographic footprint and provide additional graphics, design, and structural packaging options for Menasha's customers. This approval has further broadened the growth opportunity for the corrugated industry.

Figure 2:  Corrugated Packaging Market, by Type, 2021 & 2030Corrugated Packaging Market, by TypeSource: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review

Additionally, to keep the various components separated in the outer packaging and provide additional protection to the packaged goods, single-face boards are also utilized as an interior packaging material. Because there is just one medium linked to the liner board, single-face boards are less durable than other types. However, they provide an environment-friendly alternative to bubble wrap or loose-fill containers made of plastic.

Corrugated Packaging Application Insights

Based on Application, the corrugated packaging industry has been segmented into Food & Beverages, Electronic Goods, Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care, and others. Food and beverage held the largest segment share in 2021, Food and beverage are perishable products with limited shelf life. Hence there arises a strong need to protect the product from bacterial decay, germs, and outside disturbances. To gain consumers' attention at the point of sale, both brand owners and merchants seek to keep up with the competition. As a result, they're putting an emphasis on branding, marketing, innovation in product and packaging, and pricing. Secondary packaging is becoming increasingly important as it prompts increased investments in high-quality printing and distinctive designs.

The third fastest growing segment in the corrugated packaging industry is pharmaceuticals. Factors such as durability, customization, biodegradable property, along with less manufacturing and operational costs result in a significant rise in demand for corrugated packages in this segment.

Corrugated Packaging Regional Insights

By Region, the study segments the market into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World. Asia-Pacific Corrugated packaging market accounted for USD 153.226 billion in 2021 and is expected to exhibit an 6.1% CAGR during the study period. The packaging market in Asia Pacific is expanding at a rapid pace. China, along with India, South Korea, and Australia, has regularly been among the top 15 countries in terms of corrugated output. Factors such as increasing urban population, rising environmental consciousness, need for sustainable and convenient packaging, growing e-commerce activities, and adoption of electronic goods, home, and personal care products are driving revenue growth of this region.

Further, the major countries studied are: The U.S, Canada, Germany, UK, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea.

Figure 3:  CORRUGATED PACKAGING MARKET SHARE BY REGION 2021 (%)CORRUGATED PACKAGING MARKET SHARE BY REGIONSource: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review

Europe corrugated packaging market for a moderate revenue share in 2021. Increasing demand for sustainable packaging from various end-use industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and automotive sectors is driving revenue growth of the corrugated packaging market in this region. Presence of key companies, along with various startups working on product innovations and developments in this field by incorporating better technologies is another major factor driving revenue growth of the corrugated packaging market in Europe. Further, the Germany corrugated packaging market held the largest market share, and the UK corrugated packaging market was the fastest growing market in the European region. The UK has encouraged manufacturers to take responsibility for using sustainable packaging solutions. Corrugated boards have always been a popular choice of packaging due to their strength, cushioning, and protective, flexible, and recyclable properties.

The North America Corrugated Packaging Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.3% from 2022 to 2030. This is due to Increasing environmental awareness has boosted revenue growth of the corrugated packaging market. Key companies are taking measures toward attaining sustainable goals. Moreover, Canada corrugated packaging market held the largest market share, Corrugated boxes used for e-commerce are more likely to be printed with high-quality graphics and customized to fit packaged contents to save on costs and increase the aesthetic impact during unboxing. Furthermore, the corrugated board packaging manufacturers directly collaborate with e-commerce vendors to provide more agile and customizable solutions, and the US corrugated packaging market was the fastest growing market in the North America region

For instance, US corrugated packaging market the massive market for automotive spares creates an enormous opportunity for the corrugated packaging vendors. Corrugated packaging is a versatile and cost-efficient method to protect, preserve, and transport a wide range of products. The corrugated board's attributes, such as light weightiness, biodegradability, and recyclability, have made it an integral component in the packaging industry. Hence, North America is anticipated to register the highest growth rate over the forecast period from 2022–2030.

Corrugated Packaging Key Market Players & Competitive Insights

Major market players are spending a lot of money on R&D to increase their product lines, which will help the corrugated packaging market grow even more. Market participants are also taking a range of strategic initiatives to grow their worldwide footprint, including new product launches, contractual agreements, mergers and acquisitions, increased investments, and collaboration with other organizations. Competitors in the corrugated packaging industry must offer cost-effective items to expand and survive in an increasingly competitive and rising market environment.

One of the primary business strategies adopted by manufacturers in the corrugated packaging industry to benefit clients and expand the corrugated packaging market sector is to manufacture locally to reduce operating costs. In recent years, corrugated packaging has provided medicine with some of the most significant benefits.

To gain a presence in the market, competitors are working on differentiating their products to offer unique value propositions. Market suppliers are also capitalizing on current growth opportunities in fast-growing categories while protecting their positions in slower-growing segments. Certain initiatives taken by start-ups are also creating a major difference and steadily they are also expected to gain a stable market presence in the future.

Also, UFP Packaging, a subsidiary of U.S. based holding company UFP Industries, acquired corrugated packaging manufacturer Titan Corrugated and its affiliate All Boxed Up to increase their reach in the market. Other growth strategies employed by top organizations to extend their market presence include partnerships and collaborations, agreements, expansions, acquisitions and mergers, and new product launches.

Kellanova sees a day when the world flourishes in 2023. Cheez-It® Snap'd®, Cheez-It® Puff'd®, and Club® Crisps are three well-known snack brands that have decreased the quantity of plastic used in their packaging (in comparison to the same volume last year) without sacrificing the quantity of delectable food contained in each box. By optimizing the package designs, 672,000 pounds less material weight—consisting of 124,000 pounds of plastic and 548,000 pounds of corrugated cardboard used for shipping cases—were used for these three meals.

In 2023, plastic bags will no longer be the main method of packaging for frozen baked goods thanks to a new fiber-based packaging developed in collaboration with UPM Specialty Papers, Lantmännen Unibake, and Adara. Together, the firms came up with a solution that eliminated the need for plastic bags by using UPM AsendoTM barrier paper as the inner liner of a corrugated cardboard box. This layer of barrier paper maintains food safety and freshness.

One of the biggest independent integrated corrugated manufacturers in the UK, The Weedon Group, will be acquired by Zeus, an Irish packaging company, in 2024. The Weedon Group employs approximately 250 people in two UK sites and generates sales revenues exceeding £30 million (€35 million) annually. Zeus now expects to generate €560 million in annualized sales revenue after acquiring The Weedon Group.

List of the Key Companies in the corrugated packaging market includes

  • Mondi Group Plc (South Africa)

  • International Paper Company (U.S.)

  • West Rock Company (U.S.)

  • DS Smith Plc (U.K.)

  • Rengo Co. Ltd. (Japan)

  • Cascades Inc. (Canada)

  • Packaging Corporation of America (U.S.)

  • Georgia-Pacific LLC (U.S.)

  • Smurfit Kappa Group (Ireland), among others

Corrugated Packaging Industry Developments

June 2023: WestRock announced that it would acquire Sonoco Products' corrugated packaging business for $1.4 billion. The acquisition is expected to make WestRock the largest corrugated packaging company in North America.

April 2022: DS Smith, a UK-based sustainable packaging provider, developed and launched a corrugated cardboard box for e-commerce shipments of medical devices. This new corrugated cardboard box features a single-material solution in place of glued packaging with a single-use plastic insert.

July 2022: WestRock Co., a US-based containerboard and packaging manufacturer, announced that it entered into an agreement to acquire the remaining interest in Grupo Gondi for USD 970 million, plus the assumption of debt. According to the WestRock, upon completion of the transaction, the company would further enhance its position in the growing Latin American containerboard and consumer and corrugated packaging markets, as Grupo Gondi operates nine corrugated packaging plants, four paper mills, and six high graphic plants throughout Mexico.

Corrugated Packaging Market Segmentation

Corrugated packaging Type Outlook

  • Rigid Boxes

  • Self-Erecting Boxes

  • Telescope Boxes

  • Slotted Boxes

  • Others

Corrugated Packaging Wall Construction Outlook

  • Single-Wall

  • Double-Wall

  • Triple-Wall

Corrugated Packaging Material Outlook

  • Linerboard

  • Medium

  • Others

Corrugated Packaging Application Outlook

  • Food & Beverages

  • Electronic Goods

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Personal Care

  • Others

Corrugated packaging Regional Outlook

  • North America

    • US

    • Canada

  • Europe

    • Germany

    • France

    • UK

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia-Pacific

    • China

    • Japan

    • India

    • Australia

    • South Korea

    • Australia

    • Rest of Asia-Pacific

  • Rest of the World

    • Middle East

    • Africa

    • Latin America

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