The global folding carton packaging market size was valued at USD 141.43 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 208.73 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.42% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
There has been a surge in medicine counterfeiting over the last few years, increasing the demand for proper monitoring and assessment of patient medication with a focus on traceability and anti-counterfeiting, thus boosting market growth. The benefits of folding cartons also boost the global folding carton packaging market. Folding cartons are made of paperboard that has been cut, laminated, folded, and printed to package various products. The cartons are delivered flat to a packager, whose machinery folds the carton into its final shape as a product container. Cereal boxes serve as a prime illustration of such packaging. Certain varieties of folding cartons can be fabricated using corrugated fiberboard that incorporates E- or micro-flutes.
Folding cartons often have a tall and wide profile but a narrow depth. Typically, a cylinder board made from recycled paper scrap pulp is used for packaging. A coated solid sulfate board of a higher quality and lighter weight is used to construct food packaging cartons. The thickness of the board is confined to 0.81 mm due to the limitations of cutting machinery, and folding cartons can typically only hold a few pounds or kilograms of material. These are highly favored due to their availability in various sizes and shapes, as many brand owners make extra efforts to differentiate the appearance of their products at the point of sale.
|Market Size||USD 208.73 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Inadequate medication adherence is a widespread issue contributing to rising chronic disease complications and healthcare costs. Packaging interventions involving pillboxes and blister packs have been widely recommended to address the medication adherence issue, further driving the global market. Blister packs provide the correct medications in containers because professionals fill them. Overall, the demand for monitoring and assisting patients with medication stimulates the demand for folding cartons as secondary packaging solutions for various dosage-based medications.
Counterfeiting is a high-volume, high-profit business that causes the infringement of intellectual property rights, medicine legislation, and other criminal law aspects. Medicines counterfeiting (or falsification) presents a global risk that requires effective preventive responses. Embedding anti-counterfeit and security measures into the folding carton process will continue to be a growing area of need. The rising global prevalence of medicine counterfeiting is a key factor driving market demand. The subsequent anti-counterfeiting measures will show healthy demand growth for printable folded-carton packaging solutions during the forecast period.
The utilization of folding cartons has a multitude of benefits, such as superior print quality, structural strength, and adaptability. As a result, several industries heavily rely on folding cartons for packaging consumer items of small to medium sizes, as well as food and beverage products. The global implementation of stricter regulations by governing authorities aimed at reducing the usage of single-use plastic packaging, along with the growing consciousness among consumers regarding sustainability, has prompted industries to choose environmentally friendly and non-plastic packaging solutions. This trend is anticipated to increase demand for folding cartons in the future.
Based on an analysis of market dynamics, it can be observed that the pulp market has had a sustained downward trend over a significant period. There has been a significant surge in pulp pricing, accompanied by a notable decrease in production capacity. As a result, paper prices have increased. The raw material shortage in India has resulted in domestic wastepaper prices rising from INR 20/kg to INR 28/kg.
According to Suzanne SA, Russia is an essential source of wood for Europe, but this trade has been entirely blocked since the invasion of Ukraine. Russian wood also lost global certifications, curbing the production capacity of pulp producers in Europe, especially Scandinavia. All these factors contribute to changes in raw material prices and availability, likely hamper the market's growth.
The advancements in the folding cartons industry that provide enhanced aesthetic value and protection at an affordable price point, in addition to a variety of advantageous qualities, present lucrative opportunities for the folding cartons industry's overall growth. For instance, ROTOPAK LLC launched a new line of takeaway and delivery-ready packaging solutions, owing to the expansion of e-commerce in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Its new line offers a complete solution for the small to medium-sized takeaway industry, with ready-printed and plain packaging with customized labels. The new offering is food-contact safe and ready to use for food products on the go, including sandwich boxes, pizza boxes, fish boxes, etc.
Moreover, various acquisitions, expansions, and innovations are the major strategies for growth, which are expected to cater to the higher demand. For instance, in April 2021, Graphic Packaging announced plans to acquire Americraft Carton for a deal of USD 280 million. The plan includes acquiring seven Americraft Carton converting facilities and the company's employees. This is expected to serve more end users, like the food service, pet food, and pharmaceutical sectors.
Based on region, the global folding carton packaging market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most global folding carton packaging market shareholder and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.87% during the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific region contains several emerging economies, such as China, India, and Indonesia. Changing consumer lifestyles, rising disposable incomes, and soaring demand for packaged foods like ready-to-eat meals are anticipated to increase demand for folding cartons over the forecast period. In addition, the expanding presence of organized retail chains in the Asia-Pacific region has fueled the demand for packaged food products, benefiting the market. Due to its rigidity and durability, most e-commerce companies favor folding cartons for shipping products to consumers. Therefore, the accelerating e-commerce market in the region is anticipated to bolster market expansion in the coming years. For instance, Chinese shoppers received approximately 1.9 billion shipments during Alibaba's Double 11 shopping event, which lasted ten days. Similarly, according to e-commerce vendors like Alibaba and Rival JD.com, Chinese shoppers spend USD 139 billion during Single's Day fest. This raises the inventory and storage of various goods and drives demand for carton packaging.
Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.59% over the forecast period. The European packaging industry is poised to improve its goods through the use of diverse technologies aimed at augmenting and improving production, given the fast-evolving technological landscape in the region. For instance, in September 2021, Cerm, a global software provider for the label and packaging market, expanded its MIS to include a comprehensive and expandable end-to-end option for converters in the folding carton and rigid boxes space. Cerm's MIS increases packaging converters' productivity due to its emphasis on the technical packaging production process and its specific interfaces to partners in this printing industry segment.
Moreover, with the increasing demand for folding cartons, the company has expanded its regional presence. For instance, in January 2021, Sweden-based AR Packaging acquired UK-based folding carton manufacturer Firstan Holdings, including its subsidiary Firstan Limited. Firstan Limited designs and manufactures printed cartons for customers in the food, pharmaceutical, healthcare, and cosmetic sectors. All these factors boost the regional market growth.
North America is growing significantly in the global market over the forecast period. This can be attributed to changing lifestyle preferences and a preference for packaged products with aesthetic appeal and attractive branding. Rising demand for eco-friendly packaging materials and stringent government regulations on using Plastics for packaging are anticipated to drive revenue growth in the region. In addition, technological advancements and rising research and development activities for producing sustainable and recyclable packaging are anticipated to foster revenue growth in the North American folding carton packaging market during the forecast period. The companies also indulge in various strategic activities to enhance their regional presence. For instance, in December 2021, Huhtamaki acquired the assets and business of Ample Industries, Inc., a folding carton converter in the United States. Such acquisitions are boosting the global market growth.
The Middle East and Africa region is expected to experience a significant growth rate over the forecast period. Due to infrastructure development and urbanization, the demand for foods and beverages in the Middle East and Africa has increased in recent years. Moreover, the growing demand for milk and milk-based products is augmenting the growth of the studied market as most of them are packaged in cartons. For example, according to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada report, the value of annual per capita expenditure on milk, cheese, and eggs in the United Arab Emirates is expected to reach USD 302 in 2023. In addition, shifting consumer lifestyles and a growing government emphasis on eco-friendly packaging are expected to stimulate regional market expansion.
The global folding carton packaging market is segmented by end-user industry.
Based on the end-user industry, the global folding carton packaging market is bifurcated into food and beverage, household, personal care and cosmetics, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, tobacco, electrical and electronics, and other end-user industries. The food and beverage segment owns the highest market share and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.19% over the forecast period.
The food and beverage sector is further divided into dry food, frozen food, chilled food, dairy products, and confectionery. The dry food segment owns the market and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.25% over the forecast period. In the packaged dry food market, folding carton packaging is preferred. It is used in various dry foods, like dry fruits, nuts, powdered milk, dried beans and peas, potatoes in a box, dried fruits and vegetables, pasta, and rice. Changing food habits and the impact of Western culture on the dietary habits of consumers, as it offers an efficient solution to readily available food that optimizes the ease of consumption without additional preparation, are driving the market's growth. In addition, consumers' preference for nutritious and healthy food is driving the market. The robust growth of convenience stores that promote brand visibility drives the growth of breakfast cereals, pushing the demand for folding carton packaging.
Household products are among the major consumers of folding cartons. These cartons are used for packaging products such as soaps, laundry powders, cleaning and disinfectant products, domestic and craft beer, snacking, and club store packaging. Owing to recent advancements in digital printing technology, several retailers, brands, and their supply chain partners of household products are experiencing a rise in demand for folding cartons that may offer appealing graphics to help them attract more consumers. For instance, K1 Packaging Group has used the Landa S10 press for the last few years to address the ever-rising number of short-run folding carton jobs. In 2021, the company announced that its package printer had recently completed a 185,000-piece run of folding cartons for an essential oil product. In addition, the global fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector saw consistent expansion due to rising disposable income and awareness, shifting consumer preferences, and improved accessibility, all of which had a major impact on the demand for folding cartons. For instance, with household and personal care accounting for 50% of FMCG sales, the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector is India's fourth-largest sector in India, according to IBEF's 2022 report.
Package design for cosmetics and personal care products requires a clean and attractive design. Complete care in design and printing allows the package to be set apart in its category and consumers to understand the cosmetic claims immediately. Folding cartons are a flexible packaging option for the personal care and cosmetics industry, as they are cost-effective while still providing a high-end appearance. Hence, their demand is increasing in applications ranging from fragrances, antiperspirants, soaps, sunscreens, and toothpaste to make-up and shampoos across the personal care and cosmetics industry.
The healthcare sector is defined by regulatory requirements for quality and flexibility in packaging various drugs and client requirements aligned to these products. For instance, according to the FDA guidelines on Tamper-Resistant Packaging Requirements for Certain Over-the-Counter Human Drug Products, most OTC pharma products must be packaged in tamper-resistant packaging. In addition, the packaging of unique drug products and the delivery systems require specialized packaging to meet multiple applications. The healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors demand easy-to-carry, biodegradable, and recyclable packaging solutions for medicines and associated products, thus positively impacting the demand for folding cartons.