The Middle East and Africa flexible packaging market is expected to grow from USD 8.55 billion in 2016 to USD 12.12 billion by the end of 2021 at a CAGR of 5.99%. The UAE leads the market in terms of revenue followed by South Africa. This growth is attributed to the growing economies of the region and the relatively low inflation. This gives the consumer more money in hand to spend on products thereby improving the overall lifestyle of the population.
As sanctions against Iran are being lifted gradually this region will grow and prosper. Africa is on the rise. Economy, for the most part, is booming given the relatively stable political scenario in the region. Countries across Africa, from mineral-rich Sierra Leone and Congo to agrarian economies like Ethiopia and Rwanda, have shown growth across multiple macro-economic parameters.
Retail, from e-commerce to mom and pop stores, has racked up the biggest gains. Packaging in Africa is fast catching up to meet the growing needs of a continent that is booming with investment from a vast number of foreign players. Given the relative lack of proper infrastructure, the vast distances that goods need to be transported over land from a few international ports make flexible packaging a necessity.
Food and industrial goods imports into Africa make up a significant share of the flexible packaging market in the region. Rising demand for packaged foods, a need to keep costs down and investments in food processing are propelling the growth of flexible packaging in the region. Nigeria is expected to have the highest growth in terms of adoption and investment of flexible packaging, with the rest of Africa showing single-digit growth for the market. While missing and underdeveloped supply chains remain an obstacle for rapid growth in demand for flexible packaging in the region, the opportunities for vertical growth in manufacturing and food processing are tremendous.
• Longer shelf life and changing lifestyle of people
• New innovative products
• Increasing disposable income across different geographies
The Future of Rigid Plastic Packaging to 2022 forecasts that global rigid plastic packaging consumption will exceed $200bn at the end of 2022. Volume consumption of rigid plastics globally will reach 52.9 million tonnes in 2017, and is projected to grow over the next five years at an annual rate of 3.7% to 63.4 million tonnes.
Rigid plastics in Middle East form the largest packaging product group accounting for a projected market value share of 28.2% for 2014. Board packaging is the second most important category with 25.6% of consumption, followed by flexible plastics with a 12.9% share. Rigid plastics and flexible plastic packaging have increased their market share during the review period. Food represents the largest end use sector for packaging products accounting for a projected 33.8% market value share in 2014. Industrial/bulk is the second largest sector with 26.4%, followed by beverage markets with 25.2%.
Rigid plastic packaging market expansion will continue to profit from the drive to replace traditional materials – principally glass and metal – with lighter weight, more cost-effective and higher performance plastic materials in various markets.
The importance of sustainability
Sustainable packaging is an overarching megatrend with particular implications for the rigid plastic packaging industry. There is mounting public pressure on brand owners and retailers to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging. The response has been to address package via:
• Light-weighting – reducing material usage without impairing pack performance
• Increased use of recycled plastic feedstocks
• Investigating the use of bioplastic packaging.