Growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 17%, the Indian flexible packaging market is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing in the country as per a report by Frost&Sullivan. As the advantages of flexible packaging of ease of handling and lesser storage space become increasingly appreciated, traditional rigid packaging will take a backseat. Flexible packaging scores over traditional packaging for reasons such as keeping the product from adulteration and moisture, convenience of disposal and cost savings on transportation.
'For a company to be successful in the Indian flexible packaging market, it needs to understand the end-user requirements and provide packaging materials that offer better barrier properties,' says the analyst of this research. 'Flexible packaging offers the advantage of packing smaller quantities compared to traditional packaging and hence, middle class consumers, who comprise a major section of the Indian society, have the choice of purchasing just the required amount of products.'
The flexible packaging market has been boosted by growth in the processed food, personal care, and hygiene industries as well as the boom in the retail sector. The demand for smaller packaging and increasing consumerism due to higher purchasing power also bodes well for the market. However, there is a certain lack of quality consciousness among end users and they tend to gravitate toward low-grade products, hampering the sales of flexible packaging. Additionally, the existence of more than 800 processors in the Indian market creates a fiercely competitive marketplace, fostering price wars. Processors can dig deep into this fragmented market by making consumers more aware of the advantages of flexible packaging, offering superior-quality product lines, and pricing their products more attractively. 'The use of new polymers, which enhance the packaging requirements as well as facilitate innovative techniques for faster packaging, will help companies grow in the Indian flexible packaging market,' notes the analyst. 'With the advent of metalized films and other novel materials, the industry will be looking at increasing the quality of the products and thereby, unit sales.' In fact, consumption is expected to increase three fold in the next seven years from 1000,000 tons in 2007 to 3100,000 tons in 2014 owing to the greater demand from the processed food, pan masala and retail.