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North America Paper Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

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  • 120 Pages
  • January 2022
  • Region: North America
  • Mordor Intelligence
  • ID: 5529136

North America continues to be one of the leading markets for paperboard packaging products, with a host of players operating in the country. The paper packaging consumption in North America is expected to grow at the rate of 3.8% CAGR through the forecast period 2021-2026.

Key Highlights

  • The United States dominates the folding carton packaging market in the North American region, where food is expected to continue as the primary end-user of folding cartons. For instance, according to the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the US food industry is likely to proliferate at a steady rate of 2.9% CAGR through 2022.
  • Cartons that are branded and protect products and provide consumers additional value after purchase are being invested in due to the increasing demand for reusability among consumers. For instance, WestRock, one of the major vendors of paperboard solutions, recently showcased one such carton for Asahi beer, wherein the structural design of the bottom tray enables the pack to display cans and hold ice. Multi-use designs, like the Jägermeister carton designed to illuminate parties and the paperboard Ferris wheel that can also serve as a showpiece, are some of the recent examples' indicative of this trend.
  • Another end-user that extensively relies on paperboard-based packaging is the retail industry. E-commerce as an industry has doubled in the last five years, with Amazon setting the pace with more than 50 million prime subscribers.
  • Corrugated packaging has emerged as a key driver of this market due to its evolution as a point-of-sale display in retail applications, coupled with continuous development in small flute and high-quality graphics board, which is enabling corrugated boxes to penetrate traditional folding carton applications.
  • In May 2020, US-based market vendor, International Paper, donated 2 million corrugated boxes due to the dramatic increases in demand for food assistance driven by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many industry experts also claim that food packaging will be the paper packaging industry's largest area of activity in 2020. The USD 900 billion per year worldwide industry will provide a massive opportunity to the sector.

Key Market Trends

Demand for Paper Packaging by Product Type

  • Over the decades, there has been growing awareness toward environmental hazards that are related to the disposal and recycling of packaging, with numerous government initiatives and increasingly stringent regulations.
  • For instance, Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act require FDA to ensure that packaging materials do not contaminate food and determine whether new food contact materials are safe or new uses for materials already in use. Although FDA's primary concern is food contact safety for packaging materials, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires FDA also to conduct environmental impact assessments of packaging materials.
  • Corrugated packaging has emerged as a key driver of this market due to its evolution as a point-of-sale display in retail applications, coupled with continuous development in small flute and high-quality graphics board, which is enabling corrugated boxes to penetrate traditional folding carton applications.
  • According to certain studies and estimates, nearly more than half of all paperboard packaging is used in food product segments, such as beverages and dairy products, candy and confectioneries, dry foods, and frozen foods.
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes are also the largest in the field of recycled paper, cardboard, and packaging. The corrugated cardboard treatment rate was 96.5%. After disposal, the amount of incineration of corrugated cardboard was 230,000 tons, and the amount of landfill was 940,000 tons.
  • According to U.S. Environmental Protective Agency, other papers and cardboard packaging include milk and juice boxes, aseptic boxes for liquid foods and other products packaged in gable top boxes, folding boxes (such as cereal boxes, frozen food boxes, some department store boxes), bags and sacks; wrapping paper. Other packaging materials are made of paper and cardboard (boxes for installation of shoes, cosmetics, candies, etc.).

Rise of Paper Packaging in United States

  • More than 60% of all communities in the United States collect and recycle paperboard packaging. Furthermore, companies are also focusing on introducing recyclable paper board products. The Cascades recently launched a cardboard tray made from recyclable fibers. SIG has also launched cartons made from recycled polymers using post-consumer waste.
  • As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated and accessible, more and more converters are turning to digital presses to provide customers with speed and flexibility. It has been estimated that high-quality digital printing may become the standard for short-to-medium runs going forward.
  • Since the major raw material for paperboard packaging is trees, environmental concerns, coupled with Save the Forest movements, may impact the market. Additionally, paperboard waste is also piling up because the rate of recycling is low compared to the supply and demand.
  • The Fibre Box Association, for instance, contends that while 90% of corrugated packaging gets recycled, the remaining 10% still adds up to the environmental waste, which may severely hinder the global market landscape.
  • According to the Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council, Canada, the provinces require Commercial Forest Harvesters to plant new trees and reforestation through direct sowing and natural regeneration. On average, over 1,000 new tree seedlings are planted every minute in Canada.

Competitive Landscape

The North American paper packaging market is competitive with several influential players. Some of these important players in terms of market share are currently leading the market. These influential players with significant market shares are focused on expanding their customer base abroad. Some of the key players in North America are International Paper, WestRock, Crown Holdings, Cascades Inc., and Paper Packaging Canada.

June 2021: WestRock introduced Evergrow Fiber-based packaging collection, which can be an alternative for single-use plastic packaging, especially for tomatoes and apple snacks. WestRock EverGrow packaging is recyclable when emptied or disassembled, reducing waste and supporting the company's commitment to creating a 100% recyclable, recyclable and compostable product portfolio.

May 2021: Graphic Packaging compnay completed a partnership with International Paper. This partnership helps to meet the ambitious growth and revenue targets set by Vision 2025 to serve a wide range of customers around the world with new and innovative packaging solutions. Growing arms through partnerships with International Paper's consumer packaging business and other organic products.

Feb 2021 - Packaging Corporation Of America announced the conversion of Jackson, AL Mill Paper Machine To a High-Performance Virgin Linerboard. In order to meet strong packaging demand and maintain appropriate inventory levels, the machine temporarily began producing linerboard in the fourth quarter of 2020 and continued producing linerboard in the first quarter of 2021. The mill will now begin preparations to permanently convert the 365,000 ton-per-year No. 3 UFS paper machine to a 700,000 ton-per-year high-performance, virgin kraft liner board machine, in a phased approach, over the next 36 months.

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 Assessment of the COVID-19 Impact
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 Substitutes
4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.4 Industry Value Chain Analysis
5.1 Market Drivers
5.1.1 Increased Emphasis on Convenience and Environmental Issues
5.1.2 Rise in Medicine Counterfeiting Leading to Advanced Packaging and Labeling
5.2 Market Restraints
5.2.1 Environmental Concerns Related to Raw Materials for Packaging and Price Competition
6.1 By End-user Vertical
6.1.1 Food
6.1.2 Beverage
6.1.3 Health Care
6.1.4 Personal Care
6.1.5 Household Care
6.1.6 Electrical Products
6.1.7 Other End-User Products
6.2 By Product Type
6.2.1 Folding Cartons
6.2.2 Corrugated boxes
6.2.3 Other types
6.3 By Country
6.3.1 United States
6.3.2 Canada
7.1 Company Profiles
7.1.1 International Paper Company
7.1.2 WestRock Company
7.1.3 Cascades Inc.
7.1.4 Packaging Corporation of America
7.1.5 Graphic Packaging International
7.1.6 Sonoco Productions Compnay
7.1.7 Canada Paper and Packaging Co. Ltd.
7.1.8 Paper Packaging Canada
7.1.9 Sealed Air Corp.
7.1.10 Proampac