Global Packaging, Industry Issues & Vision

This issue of the FPA Update focuses on the Global Packaging, and Industry Issues and Vision sections of the 2011 State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Report, which is produced by the Flexible Packaging Association. Information available in the Report is gathered through the FPA members State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Survey, and the non-members Flexible Packaging Industry-Wide Survey.  The 2011 FPA State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Report is a benefit of membership and is available in the Members Only section of the FPA Web site, The Report is also available to FPA non-members for $3,500. For more information, contact Bob Zaborowski, Director, Business & Economic Research at (410) 694-0800.


The global packaging industry is estimated to be about $490 billion. Western Europe, the United States, and Asia Pacific (including Japan) account for the largest demand of packaging products in the world, each accounting for 27 percent of the global packaging industry. The two largest segments in the global packaging industry are plastics and paper, each representing 36 percent of the industry.


The cost and availability of raw materials continues to be a key issue for flexible packaging converters and suppliers. Flexible packaging companies also identified the economy, consolidation, growth/new products, and sustainability among their top ten issues for 2011. A two to three year outlook of industry opportunities, challenges, and trends, as stated by survey participants, is also provided in the Report.

Recurring Themes Regarding Raw Material (Costs & Availability)
  • Major impact on margins and overall profitability levels

  • Uncertain/Volatility in resin and films costs

  • Problems with raw material availability, particularly PET

  • Crude oil and natural gas price volatility