Asia Pacific is the largest market globally for paper-based containers, and the region with the second-highest growth globally due to low per capita usage in the region. Paper-based containers have wide-ranging applications in industries from packaged food to home care, and despite the economic impact of COVID-19 in the region, particularly in 2020, steady demand for most such industries will drive stable growth for this pack type over the forecast period.
Folding cartons is a common secondary packaging in many industries, from staple foods such as noodles to personal care products like toothpaste. In Asia Pacific, folding cartons makes up 72% of total demand for paper-based containers.
Among the various applications, food packaging is by far the biggest contributor to paper-based containers, used in categories such as noodles and ice cream. In addition to folding cartons as secondary packaging, board tubs is another major contributor, notably for noodles. There are also emerging pack formats such as paper-based trays, although their application is still limited in Asia Pacific.
Some shift to more convenient formats has caused a decline in paper-based containers, particularly in home care and personal care, where a shift from powder detergents and bar soap to the liquid format has caused a decline in paper-based containers, particularly in more developed markets.
While some applications, such as usage as secondary packaging for spirits, have taken a hit due to COVID-19, most other applications, such as food, hot drinks and personal care products, are set to continue to grow in 2020, and this will be maintained in 2021 and beyond. While some countries are set to see a slight boost in 2020 due to stockpiling of certain staple categories, this impact is expected to normalise in the forecast period.
Despite growth of the industries in which paper-based containers are used, it is expected to remain small in the forecast period compared with total packaging. Even in some of its biggest applications, such as noodles, it accounts for a small percentage of total packaging. In many of its applications, paper-based containers is facing competition from flexible packaging, not just in Asia Pacific but also in other regions.
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