Paper Packaging Market - Global Industry Insights, Trends, Size, Share, Outlook, and Opportunity Analysis, 2017-25

Paper packaging is a versatile way of packaging that makes use of paper for sustainable transportation and protection of goods. Paper is 100% recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable, as it is manufactured from the natural fibers of bleached and unbleached cellulose, or from recycled paper. Paper and board packaging is a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic-based packaging. Paper packaging material is light in weight, strong, and easily customizable for aesthetics, which poses as an additional advantage, inclined to customer preference.

Environment friendly nature of paper, low cost compared to alternatives and scrutiny from governments, public, NGOs, and media regarding waste generation are the major drivers fueling market growth. Companies taking an environmental stand have observed a better public profile than their counterparts, which helps in the direct translation of company health.

The major challenges faced by the market is the inability of paper in packaging of very heavy materials, resulting in the industry being overpowered by the polymers and metal packaging industries. Furthermore, deforestation to acquire raw material and the release of dioxins during paper production cause environmental concerns, in turn hindering growth of the paper packaging market.

Paper Packaging Market Taxonomy

On basis of product type

  • Corrugated Containers
  • Paperboard Cartons
  • Paper bags and Sacks
  • Flexible
  • Others

On basis of grade

  • Solid Bleached Surface
  • Coated Recycled Board
  • Uncoated Recycled Board

On basis of end-user

  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Cosmetics & Personal Care
  • Medical
  • Others

Corrugated containers are primarily used as tertiary packing, which is removed by retailers before sale. Owing to the higher degree of strength from the layered paper packaging structure, corrugated containers are used to carry heavy goods such as electronics or multiple packages in the same container. Cartons, on the other hand, are lightweight materials used for packaging single items. Paper bags are made from a single layer of paper and are used for light duty applications such as grocery packaging.

Solid bleached surface is a bleached chemical board with a mineral or synthetic coating for printing purposes. It is used in high-end packaging, pharmaceuticals, and food packaging, where aroma and flavor retention are essential. Coated recycled paperboard is produced from 100% recycled material and is coated with a kaolin layer for product description printing, these are used for cereal boxes, soaps and detergents, and paper goods packaging. Uncoated recycled paperboard is also produced from 100% recycled material and is used for shoeboxes, composite cans, and fiber drums.

Largest end-user industry of paper packaging is the food industry. Moreover, with population in emerging economies such as China and India getting richer, the demand for packaged goods increases, in turn driving growth of the packaging industry.

Market Outlook

  • Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market with increase in demand for food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and personal healthcare products. Increased consumer awareness in this region, has resulted in a shift towards paper packaging. The demand for paper pulp is also increasing in this region. Japan is the largest packaging market in Asia, however, increase in consumption tax has decelerated its growth.
  • North America is a market leader in paper packaging and recycles up to 70% of its used paper, according to the US Forest and Paper Association. Around 35% of the feed for new paper was from recycled paper. In Europe, the European Paper Recycling Council aims to achieve 74% recycling in the European Union, with Scandinavian countries particularly adept.
  • Latin America has witnessed growing investments in hardwood pulp, which is used as a feedstock for paper. Brazil is a major market, however, environmental and labor regulations are expected to restrict growth as the market matures. Moreover, the logging industry is the largest industrial employer in Latin America, with Amazon forests as the source.
  • The Middle East has one of the largest per capita incomes in the world, hence the population has high disposable incomes, which has resulted in high consumption rates, in turn driving the packaging industry growth in this region. Whereas, Africa is expected to experience growth in the near future.

Low cost and innovative solutions on a local and regional level have challenged established market leaders, creating a buyer’s market with low prices on offer. The key players in the market include Clearwater Paper Corporation, Amcor Ltd., ITC Ltd., Metsa Group, Cascades Inc., Rock-Tenn Company, Mondi Group, Packaging Corporation of America, and DS Smith Plc.

Research Methodology

Coherent Market Insights followsa comprehensive research methodology focused on providing the most precise market analysis. The company leverages a data triangulation model which helps company to gauge the market dynamics and provide accurate estimates. Key components of the research methodologies followed for all our market reports include:

  • Primary Research (Trade Surveys and Experts Interviews)
  • Desk Research
  • Proprietor Data Analytics Model

In addition to this, Coherent Market Insights has access to a wide range of the regional and global reputed paid data bases, which helps the company to figure out the regional and global market trends and dynamics. The company analyses the industry from the 360 Degree Perspective i.e. from the Supply Side and Demand Side which enables us to provide granular details of the entire ecosystem for each study. Finally, a Top-Down approach and Bottom-Up approach is followed to arrive at ultimate research findings.


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Coherent Market Insights desk research is based on a principle set of research techniques:

  • National level desk research: It Includes research analysis of regional players, regional regulatory bodies, regional trade associations, and regional organization.
  • Multinational level desk research: The research team keeps a track of multinational players, global regulatory bodies, global trade associations, and global organization.

Coherent Market Insights has a large amount of in-house repository of industry database. This is leveraged as a burner for initiating a new research study. Key secondary sources include:

  • Governmental bodies, National and international social welfare institutions, and organizations creating economic policies among others.
  • Trade association, National and international media and trade press.
  • Company Annual reports, SEC filings, Corporate Presentations, press release, news, and specification sheet of manufacturers, system integrators, brick and mortar - distributors and retailers, and third party online commerce players.
  • Scientific journals, and other technical magazines and whitepapers.
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Preliminary Data Mining

The raw data is obtained through the secondary findings, in house repositories, and trade surveys. It is then filtered to ensure that the relevant information including industry dynamics, trends, and outlook is retained for further research process.

Data Standardization:

Holistic approach is used to ensure that the granular and uncommon parameters are taken into consideration to ensure accurate results. The information from the paid databases are further combined to the raw data in order to standardize it.

Coherent Statistical model

We arrive at our final research findings through simulation models. Coherent Data Analytics Model is a statistical tool that helps company to forecast market estimates. Few of the parameters considered as a part of the statistical model include:

  • Micro-economic indicators
  • Macro-economic indicators
  • Environmental indicators
  • Socio-political indicators
  • Technology indicators

Data Processing

Once the findings are derived from the statistical model, large volume of data is process to confirm accurate research results. Data analytics and processing tools are adopted to process large chunk of collected informative data. In case, a client customizes the study during the process, the research finding till then are benchmarked, and the process for new research requirement is initiated again.

Data Validation

This is the most crucial stage of the research process. Primary Interviews are conducted to validate the data and analysis. This helps in achieving the following purposes:

  • It provides first-hand information on the market dynamics, outlook, and growth parameters.
  • Industry experts validates the estimates which helps the company to cement the on-going research study.
  • Primary research includes online surveys, face-to face interviews, and telephonic interviews.

The primary research is conducted with the ecosystem players including, but not limited to:

  • Raw Material Suppliers
  • Manufacturers
  • System Integrators
  • Distributors
  • End-users

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