The global liquid packaging cartons market size was valued at USD 11.05 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 16.00 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.20% during the forecast period (2022-2030). A liquid packing board is called a multi-ply paperboard with muscular wet sizing, high rigidity, and a high barrier coating. The barrier layer needs to keep the liquid in place and keep air and flavors from leaking through the paperboard. A multi-ply paper machine is used to manufacture a board for liquid packaging that may have up to five plies. The foundation or middle ply is typically constructed of CTMP or broken pulp that has been bleached or not (waste paper from a paper machine), which increases rigidity and bulk. Chemical pulp that has been bleached makes up the top ply. Depending on the application, the barrier coating may be applied to both sides. One of the main factors pushing the market expansion is the increasing use of liquid packaging cartons in the food and beverage (F&B) industry for tracking, conserving, and guaranteeing the secure transportation and storage of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).
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Rising Demand for Eco-friendly Packaging
The demand for sustainable products from both customers and brands is causing an increase in the use of liquid packing cartons. This is because people are becoming more aware of the environmental effects and the need to minimize their reliance on fossil fuels. New materials are constantly being developed and enhanced with better qualities and new capabilities. As consumers' attention turns more and more to sustainability issues in product packaging, firms are being compelled to employ these kinds of liquid packing cartons in their line of business. For instance, Elopak provides pure Pak containers that are low carbon and 100% renewable. The Pure-Pak carton is a consumer-favored, naturally sustainable, practical alternative to a plastic bottle. To match the shifting consumer preference for environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging solutions, vendors are also constantly inventing and introducing eco-friendly liquid packaging cartons to the market.
Competition from Substitutes, such as Glass and Plastic Packaging
Substitute goods like glass and plastic severely threaten liquid carton packing. Flexible pouches and glass bottles are frequently used in nations like India, the Middle East, and Africa for packaging liquids like milk. Additionally, the Middle East is a crucial region for the beverage business. The Chairman of the Arab Beverage Association claims that the nation's non-alcoholic beverage market is currently one of the fastest-growing in the world, contributing significantly to the nation's economy and serving many consumers. In the UAE, more than 10 billion liters are generated annually. Furthermore, the global liquid packaging cartons market expansion is being hampered by the widespread use of glass bottles for packaging organic juices. For example, Italy's organic fruit juices and drinks are typically packaged in glass bottles.
Growing Use in the Food and Beverages (F&B) Sector
One of the main reasons influencing the market growth is the growing use of liquid packaging cartons in the food and beverage (F&B) industry for tracking, conserving, and assuring the safe transit and storage of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). As a result of growing health awareness and busy schedules, consumers' shifting preferences for healthy ready-to-eat (RTE), on-the-go drinks, and dietary supplements are functioning as another growth-inducing element. Additionally, the emergence of environmentally friendly liquid packaging cartons due to rising environmental concerns fosters market expansion.
Adopting supportive policies by governments from different countries to encourage using recyclable and sustainable packaging solutions, accelerating market growth, provides additional support. Top competitors also implement cutting-edge marketing techniques, like customized packaging with improved visual appeal, impacting the market's expansion. For instance, marketing strategies that emphasize product visual presentation and strategic partnerships between major players and producers to develop recyclable cartons are helping to propel the market's expansion.
The global liquid packaging cartons market is segmented by liquid type.
Based on liquid type, the global liquid packaging cartons market is bifurcated into milk and other dairy products, juices, energy drinks, and other liquid types.
The milk and other dairy products segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period. Milk is one of the main staple foods and a crucial component of a balanced diet because it contains a high percentage of calcium and other essential nutrients. Milk has traditionally been packaged in cartons because they protect food and are environmentally friendly. One of the materials that are regularly utilized to create milk packing cartons is paperboard. Milk cartons, commonly referred to as gable-top cartons, are another typical type of poly-coated paper packaging.
In the 1950s, paper milk cartons replaced refillable glass bottles, giving customers a quick and easy replacement. Plastic containers have been quickly taking the place of paper milk cartons. The demand for milk in aseptic packaging has increased due to the dairy beverage market's consistent expansion, particularly in Asia-Pacific. Carton use is increasing in preference to more conventional packing techniques due to benefits like long shelf life and no refrigeration requirement. Carton packaging is anticipated to be a severe competitor to plastic packaging with the introduction of biodegradable solutions. Demand for the global liquid packaging cartons market is anticipated to rise with the development of composite packaging technologies.
The desire for nutritious beverages from a consumer base that is becoming more health-conscious has increased fruit and vegetable juice consumption. Additionally, cold-pressed juices, which retain the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes lost during conventional juice-making methods' heating and oxidizing stages, are becoming more and more well-liked. The usage of beverages with increased sugar content, artificial coloring, phosphoric acid, and artificial sweeteners, which have adverse effects on the human body, has decreased in society. The demand for juice has expanded due to changing lifestyles, evolving eating patterns, dietary restrictions, and intermittent fasting practices, which has fueled the global expansion of juice cartons. The market can grow because different fruit juices have different health benefits, such as avocado juice for supporting the body's natural vitality, watermelon juice for improving digestion and keeping the body hydrated, papaya juice for sound assimilation, lemon juice for fighting viral infections, and pineapple juice for lowering cholesterol.
The global liquid packaging cartons market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Europe Dominates the Global Market
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Europe is the most significant shareholder in the global liquid packaging cartons market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.5% during the forecast period. In France, several businesses employ liquid carton packaging to support the circular economy and sustainable business practices. As an illustration, one of the significant French milk producers, Danone, produced Dugro in carton packaging to make milk portable for young children and toddlers. Furthermore, the government changed its tax regulations, which led to a 10% price rise in products, to stop and minimize the use of non-recyclable packaging. The use of carton packaging for liquid products like milk and juices is the result of all such actions. Most UK citizens, according to several studies and studies, are aware of the value of recycled products. This awareness is projected to increase over the following years as attempts are made to switch to more environmentally friendly packaging options, like liquid cartons.
Additionally, Tesco collaborated for a five-month pilot with Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) to collect beverage cartons at in-store recycling stations. Eleven Tesco stores will install carton recycling stations to see how ready customers are to bring packaging back to the stores for recycling. Fruit juice, liquids that fit in a lunchbox, soups, passata, and custard are all frequently packaged in cartons. However, only 68% of councils collect the packing at the curb. In addition, most European nations support the circular economy movement. The Alliance for Beverage Carton and the Environment (ACE) is urging its member nations to look at beverage cartons as a low-carbon, recyclable packaging option that supports the objectives of the European Green Deal.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.80%, generating USD 4.38 billion during the forecast period. Dairy goods are typically packaged in liquid cartons because they provide longer shelf life for the product, reduce wastage, and offer convenience. Carton milk and other dairy products are in higher demand in the United States due to their taste options, nutritional benefits, and secure packaging. Due to Americans' rising health consciousness and increased desire for products with little processing, organic, and natural components, cold-pressed juices are becoming increasingly popular in the country. Brand owners have created juice cartons because they provide good long-term shelf life at room temperature, high protection, and are environmentally beneficial. The aging of the Canadian population has had a significant role in the sharp decline in soft drink consumption over the previous five years. Statistics Canada noted age-related declines in adult soft drink consumption. Since adult obesity rates in Canada have risen over the past decade and obesity is linked to various medical illnesses, including diabetes, high blood pressure, bone and joint issues, and others, many consumers have recently focused on living healthier by consuming fewer soft drinks.
Asia-Pacific is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period. Concerns about sustainability, technological advancement, and alluring economics are a few factors that have contributed to the spectacular expansion of liquid packaging in China. Sustainability is becoming more of a focus for vendors, and across the country, innovative and environmentally friendly paperboard carton packaging is taking the place of more rigid packaging solutions. Liquid packaging is anticipated to become a more practical and affordable alternative due to the market's growing desire for consumer-friendly packaging and enhanced product protection.
One of the oldest food companies in China, Shou Quan Zhai (SQZ), recently entered the beverage sector with a new range of ready-to-drink goods. The first non-dairy beverages in China are plum juice and ginger tea drinks. The need for paperboard packaging in China rises due to the end-user vendors' ongoing investments in new beverages for the market's consumers. Aseptic packaging, which sterilizes the items away from the packaging and then adds them into the containers in a sterile environment, is widely used in Japan. The Nippon Paper Group provides NASTOM SEPTIC, an aseptic filling system for paper packaging that can fill liquids with particles, long fibers, and high-viscosity products like smoothies, soups, vegetable juice, and milk with coconut flakes, among others. Government rules governing environmental contamination are changing in India as well. As a result, market vendors are developing innovative and environmentally friendly packaging.
Brazil is one of South America's most significant markets for long-life beverages packed in aseptic carton packs because of enhanced promotional and advertisement techniques. Carton packing is used because milk and other liquid dairy products, such as soy milk, flavored milk, etc., are susceptible to contamination with prolonged exposure to the atmosphere and can degrade, becoming unfit for human consumption. Additionally, recycled materials are used for carton packaging due to government initiatives and consumer awareness. These trends have a favorable impact on Brazil. According to UN Comtrade, fruit juices are imported from the Philippines, USA, Indonesia, and Mexico into the region.
Many businesses have developed various eco-friendly methods for producing carton packaging goods for liquids to address the demand for carton packing in the area. They have also been establishing carton recycling facilities. Due to the trend toward healthier beverages and the requirement for effective packaging solutions that provide advantages, including simplicity of use, disability, and improved user experience, fruit juice cartons and energy drinks have seen an increase in demand in Argentina. Juice and energy drink consumption has dramatically expanded over the last few years due to the region's growing economy and population.