The global stretch and shrink wrap market size was valued at USD 14,522 million in 2021 and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 22336 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period (2022 - 2030). Stretch wrap is a thin, stretchable plastic film (typically made from polyethylene) used to lock and secure cased goods onto a pallet. When heated, shrink wrap can be used to cover products loosely. Once heated, the shrink wrap secures the goods. The key drivers of market expansion are the expanding retail and hypermarket sectors and the burgeoning e-commerce sector with its demands for product packaging and safety. The films provide advantages, including a long shelf life for various food goods, less leakage when packing products with hard or sharp edges, strong impact resistance, and puncture resistance. It also provides quality product appearance, the strength that endures below-freezing temperatures and preserved package integrity, all of which contribute to the market's expansion.
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With the outbreak of COVID, the global ecosystem has faced a hard hit, with daily and business life adversely affected. During this pandemic, the food and beverage industry experienced a colossal demand. With food packaging being the packaging industry's most significant area of activity, the USD 900 billion per year worldwide industry is on the front lines. This scenario has mandated the need for a hygienic and flexible packaging system. Apart from COVID, the need for hygienic packaging is also driven by growing consumer demand for food safety and product quality. In India and China, where there is a growing need to transport food in rural areas, the demand for such packaging methods rises, owing to the high cost involved in cold chain transportation.
Stretch and shrink films are the latest palletizing technology that offers the most comprehensive benefits compared to other pallet unitization methods. In recent years, stretch and shrink film manufacturers have improved packaging quality and technique and the quality of raw materials used to ensure better performance. Stretch and shrink film manufacturers are working on producing stretch and shrink films with reduced thickness and more elasticity. Adequate load stability and high elasticity properties of stretch and shrink films have created an opportunity to cater to end-use industries such as construction, food & beverages, textile, and logistics.
Intense Competition by Conventional Packaging
Packaging demand globally reached over USD 917.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow much further during the forecast period. With the vast growth of online and e-commerce shopping, there is simultaneous growth. Conventional packaging measures such as containers, films, corrugated packaging, and other processes will likely create tough competition for the stretch and shrink films market. There are still many products in the international markets that are not film sped up with stretch and shrink films as these films do not provide the required protection. However, further R&D with the quality of stretch and shrink films is expected to increase its demand across international markets.
Rising Sales of Retail Products and Online Shopping
Rising sales of retail products and the trend of online shopping are expected to have a positive influence on the market. Increasing consumption of snacks instead of traditional food is anticipated to drive the demand for packaged products, thus driving market growth. For instance, online shopping is growing so fast that the global online shopping market size hit more than 4 trillion in 2020. And in the U.S. alone, it is expected to have 300 million online shoppers by 2023. That's 91% of the entire country's population. This colossal demand is estimated to influence the stretch and shrink films market in a significant manner during the forecast period.
The global stretch and shrink films market is segmented by product, resin, application, and region.
Based on product, the global stretch and shrink films market is segmented into hoods, sleeves and labels, and wraps. The sleeves and labels segment accounted for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period. Sleeves and labels are polyester or plastic labels that completely encircle a product and fit the specific geometry of the packaging. Stretch labels can be pulled over the product container because they are stretchy and comprised of LDPE. Shock sleeves are applied loosely and molded to the product package when subjected to heat while transported through a heat tunnel. Due to the 360o message branding that enables the product to achieve high-impact presentation on the store shelf, stretch and shrink sleeve labels are becoming increasingly popular as a preferred method of product labeling.
The hood segment is the second largest. The stretch hood is an elastic tubular film used primarily by loading into palletizing machines, without the need for heat, unlike Shrink Film. The stretch hood is produced with the help of coextrusion technology, and it consists of 3 or more layers that ensure higher holding properties without risk of tearing or puncturing due to the heat shrinking process. Pallets and resin bag bundles are frequently combined using shrink hoods in various industries. Additional packaging uses for shrink hoods include packing glass, ceramic tiles, cement sacks, and other items.
Based on resin, the global stretch and shrink films market is segmented into LLDPE, LDPE, PVC, and other resins. The LDPE segment accounted for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period. Demand for LDPE has risen, with COVID playing a significant role in creating the demand for food packaging as more people order food for home delivery. The price for LDPE has risen by USD 45/t to USD 930-950/t in India. Such factors propel the segment's growth.
The LLDPE segment is the second largest. Linear low-density polyethylene occupied 34% of total polyethylene production in 2020. The production capacity for linear low-density polyethylene was 35.1 million tons. China was the leading region where most of the production capacity was added in recent years. The linear low-density polyethylene global market is anticipated to witness stable growth in the coming years, as there has been a continuous increase in linear low-density polyethylene capacity additions planned worldwide and constantly rising demand for the product, as the demand for stretch and shrink films has increased by several folds.
Based on application, the global stretch and shrink films market is segmented into food & beverage, industrial packaging, consumer goods, and pharmaceutical. The food & beverage segment accounted for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period. In the post-COVID era, the demand for packed and easily consumed food is rising, creating a higher demand for global thin wall packaging. Coupled with this, the favorable trend of cost-adequate packagings, such as packaging for cups, jars, food and & beverages, and other fragile products, is boosting the overall stretch and shrink films market. As per the statistics, within the COVID era from February to April, there was a more than 150% increase in the number of restaurants actively using online ordering with up-serve as restaurants quickly innovated and pivoted to takeout and delivery, paired with an 840% increase in weekly sales via online ordering. All the above factors drive segment growth.
Based on region, the global stretch and shrink films market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
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Asia Pacific accounted for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period. The pharmaceutical industry in the region has been booming in recent years. It has gained significance owing to the changing lifestyle, which has resulted in an increasing number of individuals being diagnosed with various diseases, such as cancer and cardiac problems. This has resulted in increased spending on healthcare across the Asia Pacific. According to a study published by the International Trade Administration, China's total public and private healthcare expenditure reached USD 948 billion in 2019 and is expected to almost double to USD 2 trillion by 2030. Such factors are expected to drive pharmaceutical production in the country, which is expected to drive the demand for stretch and shrink films used across the supply chain and product transportation. Drug research & development and high-product quality are some of the competitive advantages of the Japanese pharmaceutical industry. Every citizen in Japan is required to enroll in the National Health Insurance (NHI) program, and the government covers the vast majority of medical expenses. The government has started numerous initiatives to control pharmaceutical spendings, such as encouraging cheap generic drugs, self-management of chronic diseases, and preventive care. Such measures are expected to drive pharmaceutical production in the country, thus, benefiting the stretch and shrink films market.
Europe is the second largest region. It is anticipated to reach an expected value of USD 5950 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 4.6%. Germany is a critical country in pharmaceutical production in Europe, with over 500 pharmaceutical companies generating a value of USD 39.2 billion in 2019. The value further pumped up in 2020 with the production of COVID-19 vaccines in the country. Some key pharmaceutical companies include Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Merck. This well-established pharmaceutical industry requires large volumes of stretch and shrink films compared to other films owing to the hygiene and contamination prevention benefits. This is expected to fuel the market growth in the region over the forecast period.
Furthermore, various initiatives by the government to boost Made in Italy products have benefited the food & beverage industry in the region. For instance, in March 2020, the Italian farmers association, Coldiretti, announced a strategic plan to boost the Made in Italy agri-foods exports with an investment of USD 52.7 billion. The continuous growth of the Italian food & beverage industry is expected to improve the supply and transport of the same, which requires stretch and shrink films on a large scale. This is expected to benefit the market over the coming years.
North America is the third largest region. Increasing demand for logistics across North America from the food & beverage, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries has increased logistics spending by 8% in 2019 and 11.4% in 2018. This spending pattern in the transportation and logistics industry is expected to bolster the demand for stretch and shrink films over the forecast period. Furthermore, the growing demand for processed food in the food & beverage industry, which requires cold chain logistics in the U.S, is one of the key drivers that is expected to accelerate demand for stretch and shrink films at a grander scale. Companies have been continuously updating their technologies and enhancing logistics services to provide faster and better services to customers. For instance, in 2018, XPO Logistics, Inc. launched a mobile app named "Drive XPO" that helped truckers to book the load through the app. This has been resulting in managed and easy transportation. Players are planning to invest in advanced technology to offer better logistics services. Technology investments and innovations such as these by logistics companies are expected to result in smooth and quick logistics services, which, in turn, is expected to drive the demand for stretch and shrink films in the region.