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Corrugated Board Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecast (2022 - 2027)

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  • 185 Pages
  • August 2022
  • Region: Global
  • Mordor Intelligence
  • ID: 4622591
The corrugated board packaging market was valued at USD 172.61 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 212.32 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 3.66% from 2022 to 2027.

Key Highlights

  • Corrugated board packaging is a versatile and cost-efficient method to protect, preserve, and transport various products. The corrugated board's attributes, such as lightweight, biodegradability, and recyclability, have made it an integral component in the packaging industry.
  • The e-commerce industry emerged as a significant player in recent years. Prominent e-commerce companies, such as Amazon, have been using corrugated board boxes for principal packaging, and they rely on plastic packaging for individual items. According to the Shopify report, by 2021, global e-commerce was projected to be worth USD 4.97 trillion without considering the COVID-19 impact on the market, almost a 400% increase in seven years, with North America contributing USD 552.6 billion, after Asia (USD 831.7 billion in total e-commerce sales). China was the largest (and quickest growing) single market.
  • The corrugated board is highly versatile. Thus, it can take various forms other than the box. Due to sustainability issues, it is slowly replacing flexible plastic bags. Moreover, corrugated boxes are a perfect base for several printing techniques. Thus, companies tend to prefer corrugated packaging as a marketing tool. They also act as a mobile billboard, where the companies do not have to spend additionally on marketing.
  • The demand for convenience foods is rising due to people’s busy lifestyles. As corrugated board packaging keeps moisture away and withstands long shipping times, companies are increasingly adopting this packaging type to offer better outcomes to customers. Processed foods, such as bread, meat products, and other perishable items, need these packaging materials to be used just once, thus driving the demand.
  • Moreover, corrugated board packaging benefits mainly from its biodegradable properties. Vendors who shifted to other packaging solutions have faced a major backlash from consumers. In 2019, Amazon faced severe backlash from its consumers when it shifted away from corrugated boards to bubble wraps. The survey conducted by GreenBlue in the United States found that 65% of its respondents were extremely concerned about plastic packaging.
  • However, since the major raw material for corrugated board packaging is trees, environmental concerns, coupled with the Save the Forest movements, may impact the market. Additionally, paperboard waste is piling up due to the low recycling rate compared to the supply and demand. The Fiber Box Association contends that while 90% of corrugated packaging gets recycled, the remaining 10% still adds to the environmental waste, which may severely hinder the global market landscape.
  • The growth in food packaging and ever-increasing demand for corrugated packages in growing e-commerce shipments are some of the primary drivers of the studied market, resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. In e-commerce portals, demand has sharply increased for packaging for groceries, healthcare products, and e-commerce shipments. At the same time, the demand for luxury, industrial, and some B2B-transport packaging has declined.
  • For instance, India has over 15 lakh modern retail stores that generate INR 4.74 lakh crore worth of business. Approximately 60 lakh people are employed in the retail sector, which was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a Retailers Association of India report, by the end of February 2020, the business had already dropped by 20-25%, which may impact the corrugated board packaging market as corrugated boxes are used to ship significant products in the retail stores. However, the increased usage of e-commerce to buy the essentials, especially in developing countries such as India, is expected to impact the market positively.

Key Market Trends

Processed Food Segment Expected to Occupy Significant Market Share

  • The demand for convenience foods is rising due to people’s busy lifestyles. Hence, processed food, which takes less time to cook, is attracting many consumers. The increasing population also drives the demand for processed food, which is convenient and healthy.
  • As corrugated board packaging keeps moisture away from products and can withstand long shipping times, companies are increasingly adopting this packaging to offer better customer outcomes, especially for secondary or tertiary packaging. Processed foods, such as bread, meat products, and other perishable items, need these packaging materials to be used just once, thus driving the demand.
  • Paperboard boxes are frequently manufactured entirely of paperboard. However, they occasionally include different material combinations, such as clear or colorful film windows, which allow customers to see the food within the box.
  • This rapid wave of popular interest has driven the surge in ecological packaging options. According to Food Dive, 67% of customers worldwide believe it is critical that the items they buy come in recyclable packaging, with 54% indicating it is a factor they consider when purchasing. These sentiments remain, with a whopping 83% of younger buyers prepared to spend more on products that are packed in a sustainable manner.
  • Paper and cardboard are becoming viable alternatives to plastic packaging for many different food goods. Paper packaging can be created more simply from recycled materials and recycled or composted.

China is Expected to Hold Significant Share in Asia-Pacific

  • The Chinese corrugated board packaging sector is heavily influenced by the rising per capita income, changing social atmosphere, and demographics. As a result of this shift, new packaging materials, processes, and forms are required. Over the projection period, the rise of e-commerce behemoths like Alibaba is expected to fuel the corrugated packaging market. For example, Chinese shoppers received approximately 1.9 billion shipments during Alibaba's Double 11 shopping event, which lasted 10 days. In addition, according to the e-commerce vendors like Alibaba and Rival JD.com, Chinese shoppers spend USD 139 billion during Single's day fest, thus raising the inventory and storage of various goods and driving the demand for corrugated packaging.
  • As health consciousness trends grow, the packaging industry is looking for new food and beverage packaging materials. These materials are believed to provide antibacterial qualities and mechanical robustness, allowing the product to stay fresh for longer. This factor is projected to increase packaged food consumption and the use of packaging materials in the country.
  • China is bound by its limited and degraded agricultural resources, according to Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, which has raised worries about the country's ability to fulfill the rising demand for food supply from domestic production. As a result, the government must seek alternatives, such as importing food items, which may necessitate sustainable packaging of the packed food to preserve the product from harm and degradation due to climatic changes. As a result, the corrugated packaging sector in the region may benefit.
  • The growing urban population, developing e-commerce package industry, declining pulp prices, and improving population awareness about eco-friendly packaging are expected to propel China's paper packaging market. Increased containerboard capacity and technological breakthroughs are among the industry's key trends and developments. However, some obstacles, such as tight rules and product quality, can stifle market expansions.
  • Further, factors that are contributing to the acceleration of the corrugated packaging market in the country are the growing environmental awareness by the urban population, demand for sustainable packaging, increasing demand for convenient packaging, growth in e-commerce activity, and rising demand for electronic goods and home and personal care products.

Competitive Landscape

The market for corrugated board packaging is quite fragmented, with many players providing corrugated board packaging solutions. Companies are constantly innovating to promote sustainable packaging and provide eco-friendly packaging products. Companies are releasing corrugated box designs for various end-user industries to leverage the opportunities. The market is also witnessing multiple partnerships and acquisitions every year by companies to strengthen their portfolios in the corrugated segment.
  • September 2021 - Heinz partnered with WestRock to replace shrink-wrapped multipacks of Heinz beanz, Heinz soups, and Heinz pasta varieties on supermarket shelves with recyclable paperboard developed by WestRock. The Heinz Eco-Friendly Sleeve is recyclable and comes from sustainably managed forests. The innovative wrap design uses no glue and 50% less material than a fully enclosed wraparound box and 10% less than a traditional paperboard sleeve design.
  • August 2021 - Mondi Group launched seven new sustainable corrugated packaging solutions for growing online grocery delivery services across Central Europe. Grocery retailers can deliver various goods, from perishable food to wine bottles, in these fit-for-purpose packaging. All boxes in the eGrocery portfolio are fully recyclable.

Additional Benefits:

  • The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
  • 3 months of analyst support

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Table of Contents

1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.3 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.3.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers
4.3.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.4 Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 on the Market
5.1 Market Drivers
5.1.1 Growing Adoption of Lightweight Materials and Scope for Printing Innovations Propelling the Growth in End-user Segments
5.1.2 Strong Demand from the E-commerce Sector
5.2 Market Challenges
5.2.1 Concerns over Material Availability and Durability of Corrugated Board-based Products
6.1 End-user Industry
6.1.1 Processed Foods
6.1.2 Fresh Food and Produce
6.1.3 Beverages
6.1.4 Paper Products
6.1.5 Electrical Products
6.1.6 Other End-user Industries
6.2 Geography
6.2.1 North America United States Canada
6.2.2 Europe United Kingdom Germany France Italy Spain Poland Turkey Rest of Europe
6.2.3 Asia-Pacific China India Japan Indonesia Thailand Australia Malaysia Vietnam Rest of Asia-Pacific
6.2.4 Latin America Brazil Argentina Mexico Rest of Latin America
6.2.5 Middle-East and Africa Saudi Arabia South Africa United Arab Emirates Rest of Middle-East and Africa
7.1 Company Profiles
7.1.1 International Paper Company
7.1.2 Mondi Group
7.1.3 Smurfit Kappa Group
7.1.4 DS Smith PLC
7.1.5 WestRock Company
7.1.6 Packaging Corporation of America
7.1.7 Cascades Inc.
7.1.8 Oji Holdings Corporation
7.1.9 Georgia-Pacific LLC
7.1.10 Nippon Paper Industries Ltd
7.1.11 Rengo Co. Ltd
7.1.12 Klingele Papierwerke GmbH & Co. KG
7.1.13 Klabin SA
7.1.14 Sealed Air Corporation

Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • International Paper Company
  • Mondi Group
  • Smurfit Kappa Group
  • DS Smith PLC
  • WestRock Company
  • Packaging Corporation of America
  • Cascades Inc.
  • Oji Holdings Corporation
  • Georgia-Pacific LLC
  • Nippon Paper Industries Ltd
  • Rengo Co. Ltd
  • Klingele Papierwerke GmbH & Co. KG
  • Klabin SA
  • Sealed Air Corporation