Health and wellness, environmental awareness and recycling, and a growing middle class are worldwide trends and worldwide packaging drivers. That’s according to “Global Packaging Trends — Global Growth Markets for Packaging 2015,” released this fall by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. The PMMI report, produced by Euromonitor, examines and forecasts packaging data through 2019 in six regions: Asia Pacific, Western Europe, North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Middle East/Africa.

Regional Growth

Middle East/African packaging markets are anticipating 5.3% CAGR growth in volume, but forecasts for Western Europe and North America land at the other end of the spectrum, with 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively. However, Middle East/Africa is starting from a much lower base —167 billion units — than Europe (798) and North America (589).

The expansion in the Middle East/Africa is the result of increasing exposure to modern lifestyles, and is manifesting in growth opportunities available for packaging of carbonates, biscuits, and yogurt and sour milk products.

Disposable Incomes at Work

As disposable incomes increase throughout Asia Pacific, consumers there are purchasing more products in the packaged food, beverage, home care, and beauty and personal care sectors. They’re also trading up to products that they perceive as being of higher quality. That perception often stems from packaging choices. Similarly, Latin America’s middle class is growing and turning to modern retailers for packaged goods. This will impact continuing growth in flexible plastic as well as newer, less traditional formats, such as pouches.

Choosing Health

North American consumers are particularly tuned in to health claims. Labels like “gluten free” and “all-natural” are key selling points, products that effectively positioned themselves in this category have seen large increases in volume sales. Across categories, however, smaller pack sizes and smaller average sizes have emerged. The trend reflected is that growing desire among consumers to purchase products with lower calorie counts, that are easier to store, or that make convenient, on-the-go consumption an option.

Consumers’ penchant for products that enhance health and wellness is driving packaging choices as well. Bottled water, for example, showed the greatest forecast growth of the product categories reviewed (7.8% CAGR). That growth goes hand in hand with the growth in PET bottles. The healthiness of the product and the recyclability of the pack type are credited with its continued popularity. Looking at it from the reverse angle, bottled water accounts for 54% of the predicted volume growth in PET bottles.

Reuse and Recycle

Environmental concerns as an issue or trend are firmly in place throughout the world’s market. While it’s a nascent, growing trend in China, other Asian governments have introduced waste management regulations for packaging, and manufacturers in countries including India, Indonesia and Taiwan are investing in consumer education initiatives. Conservation efforts are more than good for the environment; they’re good for business too. The report predicts returnable packaging will see major strides through 2019, particularly in Latin America.

For more information, download PMMI’s Global Packaging Trends report at


PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, represents the voice of more than 700 North American manufacturers of equipment, components and materials for processing and packaging. We work to advance a variety of industries by connecting consumer goods companies with manufacturing solutions through the world class PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows, leading trade media and a wide range of resources to empower our members. The PACK EXPO trade shows unite the world of processing and packaging to advance the industries they serve: PACK EXPO International, PACK EXPO Las Vegas, Pharma EXPO, PACK EXPO East, EXPO PACK México, EXPO PACK Guadalajara and ProFood Tech, launching in April 2017. PMMI Media Group connects manufacturers to the latest solutions, trends and innovations in processing and packaging year-round through brands including Packaging World, Automation World, Healthcare Packaging, Contract Packaging and Packaging + Processing OEM. PMMI Business Drivers assist members in pursuing operational excellence through workforce development initiatives, deliver actionable business intelligence on economic, market and industry trends to support members’ growth strategies, and actively connect the supply chain throughout the year.

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