COVID-19 has driven demand for larger packaging formats as more consumers shop online, and reduced purchasing power supports sales in family-value, bulk pack sizes. Consumers continue to take fewer trips to store-based outlets and shop online instead, in an attempt to reduce unnecessary face-to-face contact, and bigger packs benefit from both the rise of e-commerce (through which they are conveniently deliverable) as well as from a desire to stock up.
An initial 30-day restriction on all non-essential travel across the Canada-US border was implemented on 21 March 2020, which has been subsequently extended a number of times. While international flights are still operating, air travel into the country by anyone other than Canadian residents, the immediate family members of Canadian residents, or US citizens has been prohibited since 18 March, with these restrictions further tightened on 21 March to bar any US citizen not travelling on essential business.
Flexible packaging in general has proven to be popular in food products in 2019, with plastic pouches in particular gaining ground thanks to rising demand for convenience. Stand-up pouches became more popular among producers who noted their high shelf appeal and visual impact, with consumers drawn to products presented in such packaging types as they stand out from the rest.
While PET bottles remained the most significant soft drinks packaging format in 2019 and continued to gain share, there has been increased uncertainty over plastic packaging in general for soft drinks, with growing criticism and the threat of tighter legislation. In June 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will ban single-use plastics and hold companies responsible for plastic waste management.
The weakness in volume sales of alcoholic drinks packaging in 2019 was largely attributable to a contraction in beer packaging, which accounts for the lion’s share of the total packaging units in Canada. Nevertheless, one area of beer packaging and overall alcoholic drinks packaging saw healthy growth, thanks to the continued rapid transition from glass bottles to metal beverage cans.
Small packaging sizes continued to gain ground in beauty and personal care packaging in 2019, thanks to their high convenience appeal in terms of portability and accessibility to a diverse range of consumers who can trial premium brands through smaller formats with lower unit prices. While small-sized formats have been traditionally positioned as travel items by retailers and manufacturers, towards the end of the review period there was a growing trend among consumers to seek out such formats for the purposes of experimenting with new brands, and for on-the-go usage.
SC Johnson began to introduce a new line of concentrated home care products in North America in mid-2019, which included products such as Scrubbing Bubbles, Windex and fantastic, along with refills in a nod to rising concern with plastic waste and greater demand for convenience. Concentrated refill packs also became more visible in products from Pledge and Shout.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Packaging industry in Canada with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
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This report originates from Passport, our Packaging research and analysis database.
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