Market Dynamics The global market for thin wall packaging reached a valuation of USD 40.82 billion in 2021 and is projected to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% during the forecast period. Key drivers of market revenue growth include the increasing demand for packaged food, especially among the working population, and the rising preference for consumer-friendly packaging solutions. This trend has led to a surge in demand for thin wall packaging among working professionals and has been further amplified by the growth of e-commerce in the food and beverages (F&B) sector, which has resulted in an increased consumption of packaged goods necessitating effective packaging solutions.
Thin wall packaging, characterized by plastic packaging or components with a wall thickness of less than 0.8 mm, is widely utilized in various sectors, including dairy products (such as yogurt cups), yellow fats, frozen goods, fruits and vegetables, bakeries, ready meals, juices, soups, and meats. These diverse applications are contributing to the market's revenue growth.
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Additionally, thin wall packaging is increasingly being adopted as a substitute for glass and cans in packaging various products like meat and preserves. This substitution reduces weight and offers creative design possibilities, further fueling market growth. The market also benefits from the use of thin wall packaging for storing a wide range of products such as frozen and fresh food, paint, glue, cosmetics, and medications in open-top plastic containers.
Furthermore, the growing demand for different types of packaging, including plastic clamshell trays, blisters, and lidding film produced through thin-gauge thermoforming, is another driver of market revenue growth. Thermoforming is known for its strength, durability, and tamper-proof qualities, offering packaging manufacturers opportunities for unique branding to stand out in the retail environment. Additionally, thermoform packaging helps safeguard against contamination, further boosting market revenue.
These containers are typically made from materials such as polypropylene, polystyrene, white polypropylene, and others, which can be made translucent or colored. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is another material used in thin wall packaging due to its ability to resist acid damage from fruits and vegetables, scratches, and abrasions. These containers are not only lightweight but also offer portability, contributing to market revenue growth.
Restraint: Stringent Government Regulations Government regulations restricting the use of non-biodegradable plastics and other food packaging materials are significant impediments to market revenue growth. Organizations like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have enforced food safety regulations that have, to some extent, slowed the expansion of the market. Additionally, growing public awareness of the negative environmental impact of plastics has led to increased demand for environmentally friendly packaging materials, further hindering revenue growth in the thin wall packaging market.
Key Takeaways Product Type Outlook: The thin wall packaging market is segmented by product type, including tubs, cups, trays, jars, clamshells, pots, and lids. The jars segment is anticipated to exhibit significant revenue growth during the forecast period. Jars are widely used for storing dry and wet food products and are favored for their lightweight and user-friendly design. The segment benefits from high demand in the food packaging industry, including confectionaries, bakery items, ketchup, mayonnaise, and personal care and cosmetics packaging products. Additionally, jars offer ample space for storing larger medications, making them suitable for pharmaceutical applications.
Production Process Outlook: The market is segmented based on production processes, namely injection molding and thermoforming. The injection molding segment is expected to witness substantial revenue growth. Injection molding involves injecting melted plastic into precisely crafted molds, resulting in the production of a large volume of identical plastic components with acceptable tolerances at a reasonable cost per item. This technique is highly repeatable and can produce complex and homogeneous pieces, contributing to its popularity. Additionally, injection molding molds are known for their longevity, with steel molds lasting over 100,000 cycles.
In contrast, aluminum molds typically last between 5,000 and 10,000 cycles. The thermoforming segment is projected to achieve moderate revenue growth. Thermoforming involves heating a thermoplastic sheet to a malleable state and then shaping it into a three-dimensional form using pressure, heat, and vacuum. This method is favored for the production of thin-walled containers, rigid plastics, closed-cell foams, and specialty materials. It is known for producing unique thermoformed products such as trays, blisters, and clamshells.
Application Outlook: The market's application segment includes Food & Beverage (F&B), cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and others. In 2021, the F&B segment accounted for the largest share of revenue. This can be attributed to the increasing demand for easily consumable and pre-packaged food items, driving the need for effective packaging solutions. Thin wall packaging is particularly valuable for protecting products from external contamination in the F&B sector. Additionally, there is growing demand for single-serve and portion-control products, heightened environmental awareness, and an increased consumption of packaged food, all of which contribute to the segment's revenue growth.
Material Outlook: Thin wall packaging materials are categorized into polypropylene, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and others. The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) segment is expected to experience significant revenue growth during the forecast period. PET is highly regarded as a packaging material due to its durability, lightweight nature, non-reactivity, affordability, and shatterproof properties. It is widely used in various sectors, including food and beverages, personal care, pharmaceuticals, and medical applications. PET containers are commonly used for products such as carbonated soft drinks, water, salad dressings, cooking oil, and peanut butter, among others. They are also suitable for carry-home prepared food containers that can be reheated in a microwave. PET bottles approved by the FDA are safe for both single use and repurposing.
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