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

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

  • March 2022
  • 157 pages
  • ID: 6249232
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The North American protective packaging market (hereafter referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 8.62 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 10.44 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 3.37% during 2022-2027 (henceforth referred to as the forecast period).

Key Highlights
Protective packaging emerged as one of the most significant packaging techniques used for packaging of various ends user industry products, such as consumer electronics, pharmaceutical, and automotive, among others that safeguard and shield core products from damages during transportation or storage.
Further, the rise in e-commerce purchases is the key factor expected to boost the demand for protective packaging. The increasing trend of online purchasing by consumers and the readiness of manufacturers for direct sales augment the innovation in the product offering. Moreover, it drives the vendors for changes in product design, packaging, picking, fulfillment, and shipping, as a result of which, product protection is considered as one of the most important issues among the end-users.
The exponential growth of e-commerce, combined with the technological advancements resulting in customized packaging solution needs, availability of different packaging options, such as transparency of material to allow product visibility, adhesive films, edge protection of consumer electronics items as in TV’s, is primarily changing the way most companies choose these products.
Moreover, the emergence of automated packaging solutions in the packaging needs is also witnessing increasing adoption, as they reduce labor and waste while increasing processing speeds for high volume packaging. Also, the market is witnessing constant efforts and increased investment to develop eco-friendly and sustainable protective packaging materials, which can be recycled and reused.
Consumer confusion has arisen as a result of promises that plastic products are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. The end-of-life conditions to which plastic items are exposed have a significant impact on both the rate and extent of degradation. As a result, California and the federal government have tightened environmental marketing claims rules. California’s laws regulate selling degradable plastic products, including those claimed to be compostable or biodegradable. To avoid deceiving consumers regarding the environmental impact of degradable plastic items, such as bags, food service ware, and packaging, environmental marketing claims must be validated by competent and reliable scientific evidence and meet defined requirements.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the market for protective packaging is witnessing significant growth owing to a rise in demand from e-commerce, pharmaceutical, and other end-user industries.

Key Market Trends

Increasing Trend of E-Commerce to Augment the Market Growth

The demand for protective packaging in the e-commerce industry is set to witness unprecedented growth due to rapid strides in consumer electronics sales in e-retailing. This market segment was non-existent a decade ago. However, the pace of growth in e-commerce has picked up and given rise to this fledgling segment in the e-commerce protective packaging market.
E-commerce has emerged to be a superior choice for the consumer to purchase goods during the last decade. The rising internet penetration, growing access to the internet across most of the population in developing economies, increasing smartphone penetration, increasing technology, and rapid urbanization have created a massive opportunity for the e-commerce market.
The market’s rapid growth is primarily driven by fashion and apparel, consumer electronics, and personal care industries. Considerable investments in the consumer electronics, personal care, and fashion and clothing end-user industries are creating scope for expansion of packaging opportunities such as protective packaging.
In the United States, e-commerce continues to grow at a dramatic pace, putting pressure on traditional retail. Also, sales of consumer-packaged goods, long confined to traditional retail channels, are exploding online, with growth rates, in many cases, in excess of 50% Y-o-Y. Also, the Q4 2021 retail e-commerce sales accounted for USD 218,533 million, according to the US Census Bureau.
Moreover, when it comes to packaging for online shopping, an enjoyable unboxing experience - where the consumers experience receiving, opening, and engaging with primary and secondary packaging, is also a major factor that can help drive consumer engagement, ultimately driving brand loyalty.? Protective packaging helps e-commerce players package their products such that the unboxing experience for consumers remains good without any product damage.

United States Holds Significant Market Share

The region is witnessing significant demand from the consumer electronics segment. According to Consumer Technology Association, the consumer electronics industry in the United States is expected to grow by 4.3% Y-o-Y. With the increasing demand for consumer electronics, the demand for protective packaging is likely to increase in the forecast period.??
In October 2021, Altor Solutions acquired protective packaging firm Plymouth Foam for USD 56 million. Plymouth Foam offers custom protective packaging, cold chain packaging, and internal components made from expanded polystyrene and expanded polypropylene. The partnership enables Altor to access a range of clients across different end markets in the United States, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, recreational vehicles, and construction.
However, as supply concerns mounted, merchants such as Amazon began storing cardboard to fulfill demand, leaving smaller firms without supplies. According to the Producer Price Index and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of cardboard hit a new high in February 2021. In July 2021, International Paper, one of the country’s top suppliers of containerboard and corrugated cardboard, warned investors that the supply of cardboard boxes was "very low,"with supply chain bottlenecks continuing into the rest of the year.
In January 2022, Greif Inc., industrial packaging products and service provider, announced that it is implementing a USD 50 per ton price increase for all grades of uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) and a minimum 6.0% increase on all tube and core and protective packaging products. The company stated that protective packaging products increase is effective with shipments on and after March 2022.
Regional vendors are innovating and offering various protective packaging products in the region. Moreover, the region has been witnessing new partnerships and M&A activities to address new challenges emerging in the market and drive growth.

Competitive Landscape

The North America protective packaging market is moderately fragmented and consists of various vendors providing these products and solutions. Vendors in the market focus on product innovations and strategic initiatives such as mergers and acquisitions, partnerships to capture the market share. Some of the recent developments in the market are:

October 2021 - Smurfit Kappa launched various circular protection packaging solutions for the fast-growing eHealth and beauty market. The customizable eHealth & Beauty portfolio includes sustainable paper-based packaging solutions ideal for shipping fragile products such as fragrances, cosmetics, skincare, and hair care products, and tamper-proof designed for vitamins, supplements, and sports nutrition.
August 2021 - Huhtamaki signed an agreement to acquire Elif, a leading supplier of flexible packaging, for EUR 421 million. With this acquisition, Hutamaki hopes to strengthen its position as a leading flexible packaging company in emerging markets and strengthen its existing flexible protective packaging business in the consumer goods category, while advancing its sustainability goals. Elif also offers industrial protective packaging films.

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