By 2055, over half of the German population will be aged 65 or over. This aging population will result in demand for easy-to-use, easy-to-handle packaging, with clearer and bolder labeling.

An older population will see an increase in the number of smaller households and manufacturers will need to focus on smaller packaging in order to reduce waste and conserve space. With this in mind, Nestlé has introduced a space-saving cup-shaped flexible pouch for its instant soups, which offers convenience for on-the-go consumption, as well as a storage solution.

Rigid plastics will continue to strengthen its stronghold over the German packaging industry over the next five years, as glass loses share

Cost concerns will hinder the ability of packaging manufacturers to meet all of these requirements. For example the rising costs of raw materials meant sales of plastic film across both consumer and non-consumer markets as sales fell by 0.4% in 2012.

Despite this, plastics are still the most popular packaging material in Germany, with rigid plastics holding the highest share of the sector in 2012, thanks to its malleability, versatility and lightweight nature, making it convenient, flexible, and easy to use. This can be seen in Sealpac GmbH’s introduction of the Tenderpac, a flexible plastic system ideal for storing red meats in ambient conditions. In addition, the light weight lowers transportation and storage costs, benefitting both manufacturer and consumer.

Overall growth will be moderately strong over the next five years

The German Packaging industry will grow at an annual rate of 1.05% (by volume in million units) up to 2017. The need for lightweight, protective packaging in the food and personal care sectors will push rigid plastics to display the highest value growth of the sector over the next five years, at an annual rate of 1.88%.

Generally heavier and more fragile glass will decline at an annual rate of -0.36% for the same period.

 This information is based on findings from Canadean’s ( report: “Latest Trends and Key Issues in the German Retail Packaging Market.”