Technavio’s ( latest report on the global stick packaging market provides an analysis of the key trends expected to impact the market through 2015-2019. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.

Stick packaging products are made of flexible or easy-yielding materials that can easily change shape based on the nature of the product being packaged. These materials include plastic, aluminum, and paper. Aluminum is the major raw material used in the manufacture of stick packaging products.

“The global stick packaging market is expected to grow moderately at a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period. In 2014, North America led the market, accounting for a share of over 41%,” says Sharan Raj, lead analyst at Technavio for packaging research.

The top four emerging trends influencing the global stick packaging market according to Technavio’s transportation and logistics research analysts are:

1.     Increased demand for sustainable packaging

With climate changes, concerns over the environment are growing. Many consumer product manufacturers prefer using eco-friendly packaging material as it provides an opportunity to promote environmental sustainability and attract eco-conscious consumers. Vendors are coming up with various sustainable packaging solutions. For instance, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), a project of GreenBlue, provides sustainable packaging.

Manufacturers are increasingly using recyclable materials in packaging and resins derived from renewable resources because of increased environmental concerns. Stick packaging products are more sustainable than other forms of packaging as they consume less energy and natural resources. They are lightweight and emit less carbon dioxide. In addition, they enable consumer goods manufacturing companies to improve their brand image and reduce their carbon footprint.

2.     Demand for high-barrier flexible packaging

A recent trend we have noticed in the global stick packaging market is that there is more demand for high-barrier packaging products. This type of packaging contains high-barrier resins that provide better product protection from factors such as moisture and oxygen. Typically, this packaging provides a longer shelf life for the products.

High-barrier stick packaging has higher performance than other packaging products as specialized coatings and laminated structures, along with resins, are used. Some of the high-barrier plastics used in the development of this type of stick packaging include polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene (PE). In addition, high-barrier plastics are considered as convenient packaging materials and are increasingly being used by food and beverage companies.

3.     Growth in online retailing

Quick delivery services and competitive selling prices are the major factors contributing to the growth of Internet retailing worldwide. In terms of food distribution, online retailing will be one of the fastest growing channels between 2014 and 2019. The market for online retailing in the US is expected to grow at the rate of 10% during the forecast period.

Increased Internet penetration and growth in e-commerce sales will play a significant role in the growth of online retailing. Faster shipping services and the growing fragmentation of consumer choice will also help in the growth of online retailing. There will be an increase in the demand for stick packaging as online retailing has led to a wide diversity of products. Technavio expects a major upsurge in the demand for packaged dairy products through online channels.

4.     Rise in demand from Middle East

Aluminum constitutes more than 60% of the global stick packaging market. Production of this material is expected to increase at a rapid pace in the Middle East during the forecast period. This region accounted for a share of around 15% in the global aluminum foil market in 2014. In terms of packaging, the aluminum foil packaging market in the Middle East is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 9% during the forecast period.

“Government initiatives are mandating a reduction in the use of plastics. This has forced vendors to use aluminum foil as the main material for stick packaging. The key leading export destinations of aluminum packaging products are India, Belgium, Romania and Indonesia,” says Sharan.