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Folding Cartons Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Material (Paper, Plastic), By End-use Industry (Food & Beverages, Pharmaceutical, Personal Care & Cosmetics, Electrical & Electronics, Tobacco, Others), and Regional Forecasts, 2022-2029

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI104898



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The global folding cartons market size was valued at USD 156.14 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 162.50 billion in 2022 to USD 226.10 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with folding cartons experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -2.8% in 2020 as compared to 2019.

Folding cartons are one of the most popular types of product packaging and are used extensively to ship anything. They are utilized in packaging foods, cosmetics, electronics, pharmaceutical products, and many others. They are boxes or box sleeves made of either corrugated cardboard or single-ply paperboard and are designed with a particular machine that cuts, creases, glues, and scores the box material to produce the desired size and shape. They offer several advantages over other types of packaging, which drives the overall market growth. As they are available in almost every size and shape and are highly customizable, they are gaining huge demand among various end-use industries. Moreover, the cost-effective and environment-friendly nature offered by the packaging is likely to boost the market growth of folding cartons over the forecast period.


Supply Chain Disruption Amid the Pandemic Hindered Market Proliferation

With the outbreak of COVID-19, market growth was negatively impacted. The market faced slow growth as various governments imposed lockdowns and shutdowns. Disruptions in the supply chain caused declining growth in the initial stage of the pandemic. However, along with the growing cases, customers were observed to increase their focus on purchasing groceries in stocks, increasing the demand. The stockpiling from customers will further boost the folding cartons market growth. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic also led to a change in consumer eating and purchasing habits. Many consumers have increased their spending on convenience food items and Ready-to-Eat (RTE) foods, which led to increased demand around the world.


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The introduction of Anti-counterfeit Technologies & Advancements in Smart Packaging Solutions is Emerging as a Key Trend

The introduction of anti-counterfeit technologies that can be very effective for packaging is gaining popularity and is anticipated to propel market growth. Anti-counterfeit technologies, such as embedded barcodes, RFID, and many more, can be easily incorporated as they offer excellent printability and rigidity. Rapid growth in the usage and awareness of anti-counterfeit measures owing to rising counterfeiting is expected to emerge as a critical trend for the market. Moreover, along with the growing coronavirus outbreak, packaging companies have increased their usage as they are an intelligent system for storing or transporting rapid PCR-based COVID-19 tests. Companies manufacturing such packaging solutions are taking advantage of this opportunity, which can thus foster market growth. Additionally, advancements in smart packaging solutions are also emerging as a trend worldwide.


Potential Benefits Offered by Folding Cartons Generate Demand in Various Industries

Folding carton offers various benefits such as excellent printability, flexibility, and rigidity, which have thus created a demand in many end-use industries. The end-user industries are majorly incorporating such packaging solutions for packaging small and medium-sized consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, or food & beverage products. They are engineered and designed in such a manner that they can be created into a variety of different styles. Each style is tailored to meet certain specifications and the customers' requirements, thus gaining popularity among the end-use industries.

Moreover, as they are environment-friendly, the market will witness immense growth in the coming years. Moreover, an effective ban on single-use plastic packaging by regulatory bodies worldwide and rising sustainability awareness among consumers have created a demand for eco-friendly and non-plastic packaging. Such potential benefits are thus driving the market.

Massive Growth in the Food & Beverages Industry Fosters the Global Demand for Folding Cartons

The market is growing along with the growing food and beverages industry. Widespread awareness regarding food safety has led to the utilization of folding cartons with several coatings to absorb unwanted contaminants into food and prevent ingress. The growth in the market can also be attributed to the constant demand for frozen/chilled foods, cigarettes, ready-to-eat, and dry foods, especially in emerging economies. They are considered the best option for packaging various dry foods. They are widely used in dry foods such as nuts, pasta, dry fruits, dried beans, peas, potatoes in a box, powdered milk, dried fruits and vegetables, rice, and several others.

Moreover, the changing consumer preferences and dietary and eating patterns also drive the overall market growth. Furthermore, the need for barrier coating will also propel the market growth. The increasing usage of curtain coating technology in paper mills, the development of water-based coatings for converters, and the development of nanotechnology to create thinner barriers have generated the need for barrier coatings, thus driving the market.


The volatility of Wood Pulp Prices to Hinder Market Growth

Wood pulp prices are continuously fluctuating due to the demand-supply gap. The volatility in these prices negatively impacts the market expansion and thus leads to a substantial decrease in the profit margin of the folding carton manufacturers. The pulp market has been observed to be down for many years, which thus results in price fluctuations and impedes market growth. However, in many countries, the prices have sharply increased, and their production capacity has been reduced. It has thus led to an increase in paper prices, further hampering the growth of the market. For instance, raw material shortage in India has caused a rise in the price of domestic wastepaper. Henceforth, instability in the prices of wood pulp results in high paper prices, thus hindering demand.


By Material Analysis

The paper Segment Dominates the Market Due to Several Potential Benefits of the Material

Based on material, the market is segmented into paper and plastic. Paper material is gaining immense demand. The segment is expected to dominate the market over the forecast period as paper packaging allows consumers to see and understand the product easily on the retail shelf itself. They also provide easy-to-open and re-close designs, positively impacting the global market. Moreover, as recycling is easy, it is an effective alternative to many packaging methods. Additionally, the large printable area also acts as a significant factor for the growth of this segment.

By End-use Industry Analysis

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The food & Beverages Segment Accounted for the Largest Segment Owing to its Increased Consumption Worldwide

Based on the end-use industry, the market is segmented into food & beverages, pharmaceutical, personal care & cosmetics, electrical & electronics, tobacco, and others. Food & beverages are the leading segments. The steady expansion of packaged food is considered the leading factor in the growth of the food and beverage industry. Further, the massive change in lifestyle trends and consumer buying behavior has led to positive growth in the food and beverages industry. The increased consumption of convenient food products has created a demand, thus boosting the growth of the food & beverages segment. In addition, the growing consumption of ready-to-eat food products and the rise in the working women population are also boosting the food & beverages sector, thus driving the market.


Europe Folding Cartons Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)

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The global market is analyzed across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Europe has the largest folding cartons market share and is anticipated to witness significant growth due to the demand from the personal care and food & beverages industries. The increasing adoption of multisensory packaging of such products in the region will also lead to fast growth. Asia Pacific is expected to increase with the rapid expansion of food and beverage, cosmetics, and other industries. China and India contribute the highest to the market growth owing to a large number of consumers eating out and opting for food delivery. North America is projected to show substantial growth in the market due to the augmenting demand for sustainable packaging solutions. The significant growth in the personal care and cosmetic sector also aids regional growth. Latin America and the Middle East & Africa regions are expected to exhibit steady growth owing to the wide adoption of folding cartons due to their widespread advantages, growing cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, and changing consumer buying behaviors.


Key Market Players Witness Significant Growth Opportunities

The global market is highly fragmented and competitive. A few major players dominate the market share by offering advanced packaging in the packaging industry. These folding types of cartons players are constantly focusing on expanding their customer base in several regions.

Other key players operating in the market include Westrock Company, Amcor Limited, Huhtamaki Oyj, Graphic Packaging International, and Smurfit Kappa Group. Numerous players operating in the market are focused on delivering advanced packaging solutions.


  • Westrock Company (Australia)

  • Amcor Limited (Australia)

  • Huhtamaki Oyj (Finland)

  • Graphic Packaging International (U.S.)

  • Mayr-MelnhofKarton AG (Austria)

  • Stora Enso Oyj (Finland)

  • Rengo Co., Ltd. (Japan)

  • Oji Holdings Corporation (Japan)

  • Smurfit Kappa Group (Ireland)

  • Seaboard Folding Box Company Inc. (U.S.)

  • Bell Incorporated (U.S.)

  • Schur Pack Germany GmbH (Germany)

  • Georgia-Pacific LLC (U.S.)

  • DS Smith Plc (U.K.)


  • April 2022: WestRock has teamed up with Recipe Unlimited to introduce a range of paperboard packaging that can be recycled. The aim of the partnership is to prevent 31 million plastic containers from ending up in landfills in Canada.

  • May 2022: Bengaluru-based SSA Amrutha Folder Tech announced the launch of a new carton-folding machine with updated features. The SSA 0088+ machine is highly capable of producing cartons similar to those produced in imported machines. The machine is also updated with 70% new features such as belts, rollers, and pressure systems.

  • September 2021: Sappi declared a strategic partnership agreement with a German packaging manufacturer, Rovema, to manufacture packaging materials. The collaboration will have a key focus on providing packaging solutions that are both sustainable as well as reliable for customers.

  • July 2021: Graphic Packaging International has acquired Americraft Carton Inc., a leading folding carton converter in North America. The acquisition included seven converting plants in the U.S. and will be included in the Americas Paperboard Packaging reportable segment.

  • November 2019: HLP Klearfold, a U.S.-based plastic packaging manufacturer, expanded its Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (RPET) offerings by launching a 100% Postconsumer Recycled (PCR) content plastic folding carton, Klearfold RPET100. The new Klearfold RPET100 carton is developed to allow significant consumer product marketers and retailers to realize the merchandising or marketing benefits of Klearfold plastic cartons.


An Infographic Representation of Folding Cartons Market

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The global folding cartons market research report presents a comprehensive industry assessment by offering valuable insights, facts, industry-related information, and historical data. Several methodologies and approaches are adopted to make meaningful assumptions and views to formulate the report. Furthermore, the report covers a detailed analysis of market segments and market trends, including material, size, end-use industry, competition landscape, and regions, helping our readers get a comprehensive global industry overview.




Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


By Material, End-use Industry, and Region


By Material

  • Paper

  • Plastic


By End-use Industry

  • Food & Beverages

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Personal Care & Cosmetics

  • Electrical & Electronics

  • Tobacco

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Material, End-use Industry, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Material)

    • Canada (By Material)

  • Europe (By Material, End-use Industry, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Material)

    • Germany (By Material)

    • France (By Material)

    • Spain (By Material)

    • Italy (By Material)

    • Russia (By Material)

    • Rest of Europe (By Material)

  • Asia Pacific (By Material, End-use Industry, and Country)

    • China (By Material)

    • India (By Material)

    • Japan (By Material)

    • Australia (By Material)

    • Southeast Asia (By Material)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Material)

  • Latin America (By Material, End-use Industry, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Material)

    • Mexico (By Material)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Material)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Material, End-use Industry, and Country)

    • GCC (By Material)

    • South Africa (By Material)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Material)

Frequently Asked Questions

The Fortune Business Insights study shows that the global market was USD 156.14 billion in 2021.

The global market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate CAGR of 4.8% in the forecast period.

The market size of Europe stood at USD 60.43 billion in 2021.

Based on material, the paper segment holds the dominating share in the global market.

The global market size is expected to reach USD 226.10 billion by 2029.

The potential benefits of folding cartons and massive growth in the food & beverages industry are fostering the product demand.

The top players in the market are Westrock Company, Amcor Limited, Huhtamaki Oyj, Graphic Packaging International, Mayr-MelnhofKarton AG, Stora Enso Oyj, Rengo Co., Ltd., Oji Holdings Corporation, Smurfit Kappa Group, Seaboard Folding Box Company Inc., Bell Incorporated, Schur Pack Germany GmbH, and Georgia-Pacific LLC.

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