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Molded Fiber Packaging Market

Molded Fiber Packaging Market: Information by Product Type (Trays, Drink Carriers, Boxes), Molded Pulp Type (Thick Wall, Transfer Molded), Application (Primary Packaging), End-User (Consumer Durables), and Region—Forecast Till 2031

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Market Overview

The global molded fiber packaging market size was valued at USD 5.1 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 8 billion by 2031, registering a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period (2023-2031).

Molded fiber is a paper-based packaging made entirely of recyclable materials like newspaper, cardboard, water, and other natural fibers. It is sometimes called molded pulp since it is used to build objects with round corners and intricate three-dimensional shapes. Egg cartons, for example, are used as protective packing. Molded fiber pulp packaging is also used for electronic, automotive, household, and medical packaging. Molded paper pulp decomposes quickly in the soil.

One of the primary factors driving the market is the growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions for food and drinks. Furthermore, one of the key factors boosting demand for molded fiber packaging is using recycled paper and pulp. The expanding packaging sector is expected to boost market growth. However, procuring raw materials for this form of packaging is inefficient. This makes managing the sourcing and production of packaging material complex. This will slow the growth of the molded fiber packaging market share.


  • Drink Carriers hold the major share in the market based on product type.
  • Transfer molded type is most preferred among molded type segment.
  • Primary packaging influenced the market based on application.
  • The food and beverage industry is the leading end-user in the market.
  • Asia-pacific is the dominating Region.

Market Snapshot

market snapshot
Base Year
: 2022
Study Period
: 2021-2031
: 5.2 %
Fastest Growing Market
: Europe
Largest Market
: Asia-Pacific
Market Size
: USD 8 billion by 2031
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Market Dynamics

Global Molded Fiber Packaging Market Drivers

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Packaging Solutions

Sustainability and environmental friendliness are major factors driving the increased popularity of molded fiber packaging. Consumers increasingly seek items with little environmental effect, and firms are adopting greener techniques to suit these needs. Many fast-food restaurants are switching to molded fiber packaging instead of traditional plastic and foam-based packaging. McDonald's, one of the world's major fast-food corporations, has vowed to switch to 100% sustainable packaging by 2025. As part of this commitment, they have begun to use molded fiber containers for salads and other takeout goods.

According to a study conducted by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, molded fiber packaging has a much smaller carbon footprint than typical plastic and foam-based packaging. The life cycle assessment of molded fiber packaging found that it uses less energy and emits fewer greenhouse gases. Furthermore, according to an Ipsos consumer poll, 74% of consumers are willing to pay more for ecological packaging. This demonstrates a strong customer desire for environmentally friendly packaging solutions like molded fiber and a willingness to support companies that promote sustainability.

Global Molded Fiber Packaging Market Restraints:

Fluctuation in the Cost of Wood Pulp

Wood pulp is the major raw material used to make molded fiber products, and its price might fluctuate due to variations in demand and supply, weather, transportation costs, and government restrictions. These changes can cause cost uncertainty for businesses, altering their profitability and pricing strategies and influencing demand for molded fiber packaging. The worldwide pulp and paper market dynamics also impact the molded fiber packaging business. Changes in worldwide demand for paper products, for example, or fluctuations in the availability of wood resources, can cause price volatility for wood pulp, affecting the molded fiber packaging market growth.

Global Molded Fiber Packaging Market Opportunities:

Rise in e-Commerce Packaging

E-commerce companies like Amazon ship products in molded fiber wrapping. Molded fiber protective packaging for cellphones and tablets is an example. Molded fiber packing cushions and protects delicate things during transit. "Frustration-Free Packaging" from Amazon promotes ecological packaging. The company requires vendors to utilize recyclable, eco-friendly packaging such as molded fiber solutions to save waste and improve the consumer experience. Amazon's usage of molded fiber packaging has reduced environmental impact, boosted package handling efficiency, and reduced costs. Lockdowns and social isolation caused consumers to buy online during the COVID-19 epidemic. According to IBM research, the epidemic accelerated the shift from physical to digital trade by roughly five years. As e-commerce grows, so will demand for eco-friendly packaging like molded fiber.

Segmental Analysis

The global molded fiber packaging market is segmented based on product type, molded pulp type, application, end-user, and Region.

For better understanding, the type is further segmented into Trays, Drink Carriers, Boxes, End Caps, Plates, Bowls, Cups, and Clamshell Containers.

Drink Carriers hold the major share of the market. 

Drink Carriers

Drink carriers come in 2, 4, 6, and 8-cup sizes. Four cups occupy the market. Molded fiber drink carriers securely hold many coffees, soft drinks, or smoothie cups. To accommodate various cup sizes and quantities, they come in various layouts. Restaurants, cafes, and fast-food chains seeking sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging for takeout beverages are turning to molded fiber drink carriers.


Molded fiber trays are versatile and used in packaging to protect and showcase a variety of objects. Food and beverage companies package fruits, vegetables, eggs, bread, and meat in these trays. 

Molded fiber trays are biodegradable and compostable.

The market is sub-segmented into Thick wall, Transfer Molded, Thermoformed Fiber, and Processed Pulp based on molded pulp type.

Transfer molded type is most preferred among molded type segment.

Transfer molded

Molded fiber trays are versatile and used in packaging to protect and showcase a variety of objects. Food and beverage companies package fruits, vegetables, eggs, bread, and meat in these trays. 

Molded fiber trays are biodegradable and compostable.

Thick wall

Thick wall pulp products are sturdy. They protect fragile and large items during shipping. Thick wall molded pulp products can cushion electronics, glassware, and automotive parts.

The segment can be bifurcated by application into Primary Packaging, Secondary Packaging, and Edge Protectors.

Primary packaging influenced the market

Primary packaging

"Primary packaging" refers to the package that directly contacts the product. It protects the product from outside influences like moisture, light, and contamination. Molded fiber packaging is widely used for various consumer products, including electronics, cosmetics, food, and pharmaceuticals.

Secondary packaging

Secondary packaging protects and groups several primary packages during distribution and retail display. It consists of boxes, trays, and cartons that keep together several primary products. Molded fiber secondary packaging solutions are extensively used to bundle and distribute individual products in bulk in retail, electronics, and automobiles.

End-user segment can be bifurcated into Consumer Durables, Food and Beverage, Cosmetics, Food Services, Healthcare, Automotive, Logistics, and Others.

The food and beverage industry is the leading end-user in the market

Food and beverages

Molded fiber packaging is widely used in the food and beverage industry for various applications, such as egg cartons, fruit trays, cup carriers, and takeout containers. Food beverage is again segmented into egg packaging, wine packaging, fruit packaging, and others; among these, egg packaging is leading the market.

Consumer durable

Molded fiber packaging is widely used to preserve and package a wide range of consumer durable products, including electronics, appliances, home decor items, and more.

Regional Analysis

Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market

The global molded fiber packaging market research is analyzed in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

Asia-Pacific holds a sizeable global market share and is expected to boost at a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period. China's Molded Fiber Packaging Market has Asia's largest food and beverage market, accounting for more than half of the Region's total sales, owing to its massive population and rising disposable income levels. According to statistics from the China Chain Store and Franchise Association, the country's food and beverage business will rise drastically in 2019 to USD 595 billion, up 7.8% from 2018. The nation's increasing food and beverage business is causing an increase in single-use plastic packaging difficulties.

In contrast, the Japanese government has implemented various measures to promote eco-friendly packaging, most notably the Plastic Resources Recycling Promotion Act, which aims to reduce plastic waste and increase the use of eco-friendly materials such as molded fiber pulp. The Ministry of the Environment implemented a new law named 'The Plastic Resource Circulation Act' in April 2022. Its fundamental concept is to leverage financial incentives to drive businesses to produce less single-use plastic and to develop and implement more circular systems and product designs.

Furthermore, the Indian market is anticipated to account for roughly a quarter of the value share in Asia Pacific. The Region's second-leading market will remain during the forecast period, excluding Japan. As major food and beverage brands expand their operations in the country, there is a high need for convenient packaging solutions. As a result, environmentally friendly packaging choices such as molded pulp packets are in high demand in the Asia Pacific market.

Europe is predicted to rise at a substantial CAGR of 7.1% throughout the forecast period. The E.U. has one million restaurants and mobile food services, which is expected to grow. Restaurants and other food outlets will increase, necessitating sustainable packaging options. Molded pulp packing benefits from the E.U.'s rigorous garbage disposal regulations, especially for plastics. Germany has the highest market share and the U.K. the fastest-growing. The U.K. food and beverage business is significant. This packaging keeps food fresh and quality during travel and storage. Due to changing consumer preferences toward healthy eating, food and beverage consumption is predicted to rise, benefiting the molded fiber pulp packaging market. The government's focus on reducing plastic waste and encouraging sustainable packaging will boost the sector.

The European Commission promotes packaging waste reuse. European Directive 94/62/E.C. for Packaging and Packaging Waste consider products having E.U. composability certificate EN13432 biodegradable. Thus, sustainability has driven demand for molded fiber pulp packaging in numerous European countries, including the U.K. Germany's sustainable packaging initiatives are growing the molded fiber pulp packaging market. The German Packaging Act regulates the packaging industry. In January 2019, the German Packaging Act (VerpackG) took effect. Based on the 2018 E.U. Packaging Waste Directive update. The packaging law's recycling fee applies to consumer and home trash packaging. This national regulation is driving market demand.

North America ranks third. Due to increased online meal delivery, the U.S. controls the North American market for transfer molds. Recent trends reveal that the U.S. is catching up to Europe and Asia in molded fiber pulp packaging. Eco-friendly packaging has boosted the U.S. molded fiber pulp packaging sector. Companies and customers choose eco-friendly packaging over standard packaging. Canada will contribute 12% of North American sales in the projected year. Several manufacturers want good prospects for commercial growth. Hartmann Canada Inc., a renowned egg packaging manufacturer, committed USD 15.8 million from 2019 to 2020 to boost manufacturing capacity at its Missouri factory. According to the company, this investment would boost Hartmann's position in the North American market and help it satisfy strong demand driven by the ongoing transition from polystyrene and plastic packaging to molded fiber pulp packaging.

Molded Fiber Packaging Market Regional Analysis
Regional Growth Insights Download Free Sample

Top Key Players of Molded Fiber Packaging Market

  1. UFP Technologies
  2. Huhtamaki Oyj
  3. Brodrene Hartmann A/S
  4. Henry Molded Products
  5. ProtoPak Engineering Corporation
  6. ESCO Technologies Inc.
  7. EnviroPAK Corporation
  8. Keiding
  9. FiberCel PackagingLLC
  10. Guangxi Qiaowang Pulp Packing Products Co
  11. Pacific Pulp MoldingLLC
  12. Guangzhou NANYA Pulp Molding Equipment Co.Ltd.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
CAGR 5.2%
Forecast Period 2023-2031
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
Segments Covered
  1. By Product Type
    1. Trays
    2. Drink Carriers
      1. 2 Cups
      2. 4 Cups
      3. 6 Cups
      4. More than 8 cups
    3. Boxes
    4. End Caps
    5. Plates
    6. Bowls
    7. Cups
    8. Clamshell Containers
  2. By Molded Pulp Type:
    1. Thick wall
    2. Transfer Molded
    3. Thermoformed Fiber
    4. Processed Pulp
  3. By Application:
    1. Primary Packaging
    2. Secondary Packaging
    3. Edge Protectors
  4. By End Use:
    1. Consumer Durables
      1. Mobile Phone
      2. Television
      3. Laptops
      4. Tubelight and Bulbs
      5. Other
    2. Food and Beverage
      1. Egg Packaging
        1. 4 Eggs
        2. 6 Eggs
        3. 12 Eggs
        4. 24 Eggs
      2. More than 30 Eggs
        1. Wine Packaging
        2. 375 ml
        3. 750 ml
        4. 1.5 liters
        5. More than 3 liters
      3. Fruit Packaging
      4. Others
    3. Cosmetics
    4. Food Services
    5. Healthcare
    6. Automotive
    7. Logistics
    8. Others
Geographies Covered
  • North America
  • Europe
  • APAC
  • Middle East and Africa

Recent Developments

  • June 2023- Huhtamaki closed its Prague factory to consolidate its flexible packaging footprint across Europe.
  • March 2023- UFP Technologies acquired Advant Medical Ltd. UK-based Advant Medical makes medical device molded fiber packaging. UFP Technologies will gain new markets and products with this acquisition.

Molded Fiber Packaging Market Segmentations

By Product Type

  • Trays
  • Drink Carriers
    • 2 Cups
    • 4 Cups
    • 6 Cups
    • More than 8 cups
  • Boxes
  • End Caps
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cups
  • Clamshell Containers

By Molded Pulp Type:

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

By Application:

  • Primary Packaging
  • Secondary Packaging
  • Edge Protectors

By End Use:

  • Consumer Durables
    • Mobile Phone
    • Television
    • Laptops
    • Tubelight and Bulbs
    • Other
  • Food and Beverage
    • Egg Packaging
    • More than 30 Eggs
    • Fruit Packaging
    • Others
  • Cosmetics
  • Food Services
  • Healthcare
  • Automotive
  • Logistics
  • Others

By Regions

  • North America
  • Europe
  • APAC
  • Middle East and Africa

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the estimated growth rate (CAGR) of the global molded fiber packaging market?
The global molded fiber packaging market size is growing at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2023 to 2031.
Asia-Pacific has the largest share of the molded fiber packaging market.
Sustainable and eco-friendly packaging solutions are the key driver for the growth of the molded fiber packaging market.
Rise in e-Commerce packaging is one of the upcoming trend in the molded fiber packaging market.
The key players in the global molded fiber packaging market include UFP Technologies, Inc., Huhtamaki Oyj, Brodrene Hartmann A/S, Henry Molded Products, Inc., ProtoPak Engineering Corporation, ESCO Technologies Inc., EnviroPAK Corporation, Keiding, Inc., FiberCel Packaging, LLC.
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