The increasing demand for lightweight packaging from food, pharmaceuticals, and other end-users is a major driver for the growth of the North America flexible packaging market. Also, the adoption of advanced packaging, which removes dispensing errors is expected to drive the market. Anti-counterfeiting with the use of barcodes is an important factor driving the use of blister packs in North America flexible packaging market.
The increased pressure on F&B, consumers good, and pharmaceutical companies to reduce dependency on plastic is increasing on a regular basis, and the same has been passed on to packaging vendors. Sustainability is not limited to material, but also extends to the production process, logistics, functionality, and end-user of the product. The need to positively impact the environment is high among both buyers and suppliers. Sustainable flexible packaging is currently more dependent on recovering plastic products and recycling them.
Bags, pouches, and films are the major products in demand in North America, with the PE, PET, paper, Tyvek, and PA being the materials of choice in healthcare packaging in North America. The wide adoption of blister packaging, replacing the glass and rigid plastics, has resulted in the increased usage of lidding films. Flexible packaging is a solution that has successfully replaced rigid packaging products at many levels. Cost and environmental impact are the major factors for the high demand for lightweight, flexible packaging material.
Challenges related to regulatory compliance are influencing the dynamics of the North America flexible packaging market. The market witnessed consolidation with leading vendors opting for inorganic growth in 2017. The North America flexible packaging market is expected to witness moderate growth. The North American economy has performed well over the years, thereby increasing the per capita consumer spend. The flexible packaging market in US reported a total pack sale of more than 142 billion units in 2018. The demand scenario in Canada is similar to the US, with the F&B industry dominating the flexible packaging market.
With the presence of a few vendors, the flexible-packaging market has breached the $1 billion mark in revenue. SMEs dominate the majority of segments of the market. Major players have been aggressively adopting inorganic growth strategies to expand their operations. The industry has witnessed several M&A transactions in the last few years; the consolidation is expected to further grow during 2020-2024. Regulatory policies for recycling and reusing packaging materials will be favorable to vendors. Currently, the market lacks advanced infrastructure for recycling. However, many vendors are expected to shift completely to green packaging materials by 2025. The penetration of bio-based plastics in several end-user categories is expected to increase and favorably influence early movers in the industry.