The corrugated boxes market size is forecast to reach US$248.3 billion by 2027 after growing at a CAGR of 5.4% during 2022-2027. Corrugated boxes are used in a wide range of end-use industries as it offers better sustainability and provide excellent protection. The food and beverage industry is one of the largest consumers of corrugated boxes which uses these boxes for the packaging and transportation of various food items. The food and beverage sector expansion globally with increasing investments and production will drive the growth of the market in the forecast period. For instance, as per the report by Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency, India’s food processing sector is anticipated to be over a half a trillion dollars market by 2025. Furthermore, corrugated boxes find their extensive usage in the personal care and cosmetic industries too as these are biodegradable. The personal care and cosmetics industry is booming globally and this will contribute to the growth of the market in the forecast period. For instance, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), the personal care and cosmetics market in Japan became the world’s third-largest market in 2019 with a market value of US$ 35 billion. Slotted boxes will witness the highest demand in the forecast period. Rigid boxes, telescope boxes, and folder boxes will witness significant demand in the forecast period. The fluctuation in the price of raw materials might affect the growth of the market in the forecast period.
The corrugated boxes market globally was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenges such as supply chain disruption and the idling of factories surfaced amid the pandemic. Market players adopted new work strategies to maintain a stable business operation during the pandemic. As per the April 2020 news by Smurfit Kappa, the company closely monitored the impact of COVID-19 on its business during the challenging operating environment. Furthermore, the growth of the market witnessed a drop owing to the stagnant growth of end-use industries such as electrical and electronics, chemical, and automobile during the pandemic. However, the demand for corrugated packaging bolstered due to the massive expansion in industries such as food and beverage, personal care and cosmetics, and retail. Going forward the market is projected to witness robust demand in the forecast period.
Corrugated Boxes Market – By Type
The slotted boxes segment dominated the corrugated boxes market in 2021 and is growing at a CAGR of 5.8% in the forecast period. This type of corrugated box provides better resistance to rough handling and offers extra product cushioning and stacking strength. Slotted boxes are sub-divided into regular slotted container (RSC), half slotted container (HSC), over a slotted container (OSC), full overlap slotted container (FOL), and central special slotted container (CSSC). Owing to the diverse properties offered by slotted boxes, manufacturers and research organizations are engaging in the higher implementation of this type of corrugated boxes. For instance, as per the July 2019 journal by the International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering (IJRTE), the effect of environmental conditions on the performance of corrugated boxes was studied with the help of regular slotted containers. The study result showed that the moisture content level obtained was the ideal moisture content for corrugated packaging. Such high implementation of slotted boxes will increase their demand in the forecast period. Rigid boxes, telescope boxes, and folder boxes will witness significant demand in the forecast period.
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Corrugated Boxes Market – By Material Type
The recycled corrugates segment is growing with the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. This type of material is more environmentally friendly and requires less energy for manufacturing compared to virgin corrugates. The growing awareness among consumers about eco-friendly packaging is propelling the demand for the recycled corrugates in the market. Accordingly, market players are focusing on the expansion of recycled corrugates segment in the market. For instance, as per the August 2021 report by Resource Recycling, Inc., two major producers of recycled corrugates, Pratt Industries and Atlantic Packaging are working on the expansion of their recycled corrugates portfolio in the US. Such initiatives regarding the expansion of recycled corrugates will increase the demand in the corrugated boxes market during the forecast period.
Corrugated Boxes Market – By Printing Technology
Flexography printing dominated the corrugated boxes market in 2021. This type of printing technology offers less printing cost per unit and lower tool cost compared to its counterparts. Moreover, printing can be done by using both water and oil-based inks. Owing to these superior properties, flexography printing is used extensively in the corrugated boxes market. For instance, according to the May 2019 data by DS Smith, flexographic pre-printing and flexographic post-printing provide excellent print results on corrugated boxes efficiently and quickly. Flexography printing has become an attractive alternative to other forms of printing technologies. Such high qualities of this technology will increase its uses in the corrugated boxes market during the forecast period.
Corrugated Boxes Market – By End Use Industry
The food and beverage industry dominated the corrugated boxes market in 2021 and is growing at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period. Corrugated boxes such as folder boxes, rigid boxes, and slotted boxes are broadly used in this industry for the packaging of various food items such as fruits & vegetables, confectionery products, liquid bottles, and many more. The food and beverage industry expanding globally and this will contribute to the market’s growth in the forecast period. For instance, according to the Fresh Trends 2021 survey report by The Packer, the US online source that covers the fresh produce industry, consumption of vegetables grew upward during the pandemic and 73% of consumers mentioned they purchase a large number of fresh vegetables. Similarly, according to the report by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian govt. announced a PLI scheme amounting to US$ 1484 million for the food processing sector for six years starting from FY2022. This expansion in the food and beverage industry globally will increase the higher uses of corrugated boxes for packaging application in the forecast period. The personal care and cosmetics industry will witness significant demand for corrugated boxes in the forecast period.
Corrugated Boxes Market – By Geography
The Asia-Pacific region held the largest market share in the corrugated boxes market in 2021 with a market share of up to 34%. The high demand for corrugated boxes is attributed to the region’s expanding food and beverage industry. For instance, in March 2021, The World Bank has approved a loan amount of US$ 400 million to China for the China Food Safety Improvement Project. Similarly, according to the report by Invest India, food services and food grocery segments in India are growing at a CAGR of 15% and 25% respectively. The February 2020 report by India Brand Equity Foundation states the Indian government has plans to facilitate the doubling of milk processing capacity from 53.5 million MT to 108 million MT by 2025. Such massive expansion in the regions’ food and beverage sector will increase the requirement for corrugated boxes in the packaging application of the various food items. The European region is projected to witness significant demand for corrugated boxes in the forecast period due to the growing personal care and cosmetic industry in the region.
Corrugated Boxes Market Drivers
Booming personal care and cosmetics market will drive the market’s growth
Corrugated boxes such as slotted boxes and rigid boxes find their high uses in the personal care and cosmetic industry owing to their wide range of robust properties. These boxes are biodegradable and keep bacteria and moisture away, making them a suitable choice in the personal care and cosmetic industry. The personal care and cosmetic industry booming globally with increasing demand for various personal care products and this will drive the growth of the market in the forecast period. For instance, as per the February 2021 report by India Brand Equity Foundation, India’s personal care and cosmetics market is anticipated to touch US$ 15.17 billion by 2024, which stood at US$ 9.98 billion in 2019. Similarly, according to the report by the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA), in 2020, the European region witnessed the highest demand for cosmetics globally with Germany (US$ 16.25 billion) dominating the region, followed by France (US$ 13.35 billion) and the UK (US$ 11.37 billion). This massive growth in the personal care and cosmetics industry globally will increase the higher uses of corrugated boxes in the sector and this will drive the growth of the market in the forecast period.
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Corrugated Boxes Market Challenges
Raw material price fluctuation might affect the market’s growth
The corrugated boxes market involves kraft paper as a key raw material in the production of corrugated boxes and the fluctuation in its price might hamper the growth of the market in the forecast period. The price fluctuation of kraft paper has been a key challenge for many years in the market. Many market players and organizations highlighted the fluctuation of kraft paper prices. For instance, as per the August 2019 half-yearly report by Mondi Group, prices of kraft paper increased around 8% in the first half of 2019 but dropped in the second half. According to the December 2020 news by Eastern India Corrugated Box Manufacturers’ Association (EICMA), the prices of kraft paper again increased relentlessly in 2020. Such fluctuation in the price of kraft paper might hinder the growth of the corrugated boxes market in the forecast period.
Corrugated Boxes Market Industry Outlook
Investment in R&D activities, acquisitions, product and technology launches are key strategies adopted by players in this market. Corrugated Boxes top 10 companies include:
Smurfit Kappa Group
International Paper Company
Georgia-Pacific Packaging LLC
Nelson Container Corporation
In June 2021, Europe’s leading corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa Group announced a new eCommerce packaging laboratory in the UK. This laboratory will allow the company to expand its corrugated packaging portfolio for eCommerce at minimal risk and with reliable implementation. Such initiatives by market players will contribute to the growth of the market in the forecast period.
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