Thriving Food and Beverage Industry in Asia Pacific to Drive Demand for Flexible Packaging

The enhanced shelf life offered for various food products and the lightweight property are two most important factors that has made flexible packaging so popular among manufacturers recently. The ease of use and a shift towards convenient packaging are also some of the reasons behind the high adoption rates of flexible packaging. The food and beverage industry as well as the retail sector are witnessing a stupendous growth in Asia Pacific and this is aiding the growth of the flexible packaging market. According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), the ASEAN flexible packaging market will rise from US$4.32 bn in 2015 to be worth US$6.71 bn by 2024, expanding at 5.7% a CAGR from 2016 to 2024.

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Given below are some of the important questions regarding this market, answered by expert market analysts from TMR:

Q. What are the factors driving manufactures to adopt flexible packaging?

The lower utilization of crude materials is one of the factors encouraging manufacturers to adopt flexible packaging. In addition to this, flexible packaging requires less storage space and is easy to transport. This form of packaging provides enhanced barrier against moisture and appropriate heat insulation and sealing, which are other factors encouraging manufacturers to use flexible packaging. Technological advancements and new development by key players such as thin elastic materials or high-speed filling equipment are driving the demand further among manufacturers and retailers.

Q. Which trend is expected to take over and remain for the coming few years?

The growing demand for plastic based flexible packaging is anticipated to be a trend that is catching up and is likely to remain so for the coming few years. The main reason behind the preference for plastic is the versatility of this material. Plastic can be molded into various shapes and sizes as per requirement, making it an ideal material for packaging. Plastic is lightweight and is inexpensive when compared to other packaging materials. This also leads to reduced transportation and handling costs, thereby making plastic a preferred packaging material over glass or metal.

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Q. What is the downside of flexible packaging, which is affecting growth of market?

Many of the packaging materials used in flexible packaging are not recyclable, which is expected to heavily damage the growth prospects of this industry as regulations toughen and the demand for green packaging increases. Tightening legislations are threatening the use of flexible packaging in tobacco industry. This will also pose a challenge for the growth of the market in the coming years. The extended storage and shelving capabilities of this form of packaging is going against the growth targets of the flexible packaging market, thereby hampering demand. Another factor posing a challenge to the growth of the market is the inability to provide physical protection by thin films used in flexible packaging. Moreover, the suppleness of flexible packaging makes it easier to distort their shape and may cause difficulty in handling, and is another key challenge for the market players.

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