The global glass packaging market was estimated at USD 75.82 billion in 2021, and it is expected to register a CAGR of 4.39%, to reach USD 97.78 billion by 2027. Glass packaging is considered one of the most trusted forms of packaging for health, taste, and environmental safety. Glass packaging, which is considered premium, maintains the freshness and safety of the product. This can ensure its continuous usage worldwide, across a range of end-user industries, despite the heavy competition from plastic packaging.
Rising consumer demand for safe and healthier packaging is helping glass packaging grow in different categories. Also, innovative technologies for embossing, shaping, and adding artistic finishes to glass are making glass packaging more desirable among end-users. Furthermore, factors such as the increasing demand for eco-friendly products and the rising demand from the food and beverage market are stimulating the growth of the market.
Also, the recyclable nature of glass makes it environmentally the most desired packaging type. The lightweight glass has been significant innovation in recent times, offering the same resistance as the older glass materials and higher stability, reducing the volume of raw materials used and CO2 emitted.
According to European Container Glass Federations (FEVE), 162 manufacturing plants are distributed all over Europe, and container glass is an important contributor to Europe’s real economy and provides employment to about 50,000 people while creating many job opportunities along the total supply chain.
From a regional point of view, emerging markets like India and China are witnessing high demand for beer, soft drinks, and ciders due to the increasing per capita spending of the consumers and changing lifestyles. However, the increasing operational costs and growing usage of substitute products, such as plastics and tin, are restraining the market growth.
One of the main challenges for the market is the increased competition from alternative forms of packaging, such as aluminum cans and plastic containers. As these items are lighter in weight than the bulky glass, they are gaining popularity among both manufacturers and customers because of the lower cost involved in their carriage and transportation.
Glass packaging was considered an essential industry by most countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry is witnessing increased demand from the food & beverage and pharmaceutical sectors. There has been increased demand for glass packaging from the F&B sector as well as the pharmaceutical sector, as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to greater demand for medicine bottles, food jars, and beverage bottles.
Moreover, during the pandemic, consumers essentially recognize the sustainable benefits of glass packaging. In a survey of over 10,000 consumers from 10 countries by industry experts, glass and paper-based cartons were seen as the most sustainable, and multi-substrate packaging was viewed as the least sustainable.
Key Market Trends
Beverage Industry to Hold the Highest Market Share
Premiumization trends have played a role in the selection of glass packaging for various beverage categories, including soft drinks. Soft drinks hold a significant share of the market studied, owing to the popularity of such drinks across the world. Soft drinks offer a wide variety of flavors and formats, with something to suit every drinking occasion.
The market for glass packaging in the alcoholic beverage industry is facing intense competition from the metal packaging segment in the form of cans. However, it is expected to maintain its share during the forecast period due to its usage of premium products. The growth is expected to be witnessed across different beverage products, like juices, coffee, tea, soups, non-dairy beverages, and others.
Among alcoholic beverages, beer witnessed tremendous growth in the past few years. The majority of beer volume is sold in glass bottles and is driving the need for increased production rates in the glass packaging industry. The increasing demand for premium variants in alcoholic drinks is driving the growth of glass bottles. Developing nations, like India, are also showing a much higher quality perception of beer.
Returnable glass bottles are a cost-effective option for companies to deliver their products. This form of packaging is largely used in the non-alcoholic beverage industry. Currently, about 70% of the bottles used for natural mineral water are made of plastic. The choice for bottled-water packaging material is increasing, taking into account environmental considerations.
Beverage companies, such as Coke and PepsiCo, are trying to avoid plastic packaging. For instance, PepsiCo is looking to prevent the use of 67 billion plastic bottles through 2025, and the alternative for that is expected to be glass bottles.
The global dairy industry has been witnessing a shift from plastic to glass bottles. Driven by consumer demand for environmentally friendly milk. Diary companies such as Milk & More and Parker Dairies have found a substantial increase in the demand for glass bottles as consumers are willing to pay a little extra for the service rather than the plastic in their efforts to help the environment.
The introduction of growlers and sustainable glasses/ mugs has enabled taprooms and microbreweries also to increase their sales from delivery and takeaway. It helps connect with the audience through unique and quirky packaging.
Asia Pacific Holds Largest Market Share
The increasing consumption of alcoholic beverages is driving market growth in the Asia Pacific region. The beer packaging industry in the Asia Pacific region is mainly driven by changing cultural trends, growing populations, urbanization, and the growing popularity of beer among the younger lot. Owing to various investments and the increasing diffusion of beer in different regions, changing trends are expected to continue in this region, which in turn can stimulate the glass bottles and containers market.
China is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical markets. In comparison to many industrialized countries, its overall healthcare spending is still modest. The country is steadily improving its domestic drug research and development skills, as well as its domestic medication production, allowing the government to provide affordable health care to an increasing number of Chinese people.
Additionally, the alcohol consumption in China is significantly increasing over the years. As per Brazil-based bank Banco do Nordeste, consumption of alcoholic beverages in China is expected to reach 54.12 billion liters in 2021. Also, many alcoholic beverage companies are seeking to expand in the country to seize the opportunity.
Furthermore, Japan has been emphasizing recycling glass containers and bottles to reduce its carbon footprint and has built multiple glass recycling plants across the country. Currently, it has over 18 glass recycling plants accepting glass bottles and containers to form glass culets and powder. The strong recycling infrastructure, in a way, promotes the use of glass packaging due to its functional property advantages.?
Also, developing countries such as India in the APAC region have been witnessing a significant increase in beer consumption. Re-usage of glass packaging solutions, especially bottles, is increasing in India as the Indian consumers are emphasizing health; they are showing preference toward glass packaging over other options, as it prevents leaching from its surface.
The global glass packaging market is highly competitive due to the strong presence of major players worldwide. The competition is also intense due to the presence of substitutes, as many companies in the industry are trying to innovate consistently to retain the market share.
March 2022 - HEINZ-GLAS GmbH & Co. KGaA commissioned a new glass melting furnace at its Kleintettau location. The project involved investments of around EUR 15 million.
August 2021 - Owens-Illinois partnered with James City County to bring Glass recycling to the county, which will benefit local charities. Under the program, the glass will be collected at designated sites in James City County.
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