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The global micro flute paper market size was valued at USD 66.81 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 70.53 billion in 2022 to USD 104.35 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with micro flute paper experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -3.2% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Micro flute paper is a wavy corrugated sheet covered between one or two linerboards. Types of liner boards are characterized based on thickness and number of flutes per liner foot. The paper is lightweight, cost-effective, fit-to-product, and eco-friendly, making it a great alternative to plastic packaging. Additionally, the flexibility of its design enables the corrugated panel safety with writing, flipping, and creasing capabilities of luxury panels such as SBS board. Furthermore, growing adoption of micro flute paper in various end-uses for cost reduction and providing more excellent quality products will boost the adoption of the product.
Restricted Supply Chain Activities in Packaging Industry Declined Product Consumption during the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic hit almost every country in the world. China and India were the most affected, among others. Manufacturers from both countries were deeply affected as mobility was restricted. Additionally, manpower was unavailable due to lockdown, making it impossible to transfer raw materials by the manufacturers. This factor affected product manufacturing, therefore hampering the market growth.
The post-pandemic effect has been positive for the micro flute market. Demand for corrugated boxes has grown slightly in countries, such as the U.S., the U.K., India, and China, even as the broader market has taken a hit. Rapid growth in the e-commerce sector gave an extreme boost to the product. According to the national survey by DS Smith, 85% of U.S. customers will prefer to shop online even after the pandemic winds down, which means an uptick in micro flute products during or after COVID-19. As a result, the market will likely stabilize over the next couple of years.
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Preference for Eco-friendly Solutions by the Packaging Industry to Create Growth Opportunities
Extensive use of non-degradable packaging started to impact the environment as plastic packaging didn’t degrade for many years. In addition, Denmark, China, and other countries imposed a tax on plastic packaging to discourage consumers from using them. This resulted in consumers becoming more aware regarding the packaging and adoption of eco-friendly products. Therefore, the demand for eco-friendly packaging puts pressure on packaging solutions providers to design micro flute packaging across the globe. Further, factors such as rapid expansion of the e-commerce industry and rising technological innovation will offer market growth opportunities during the forecast period.
Growth in the E-commerce Industry is Expected to Drive Market Growth
Consumers showed interest in buying goods online. This increased the sales for eco-friendly packaging and is expected to impact the demand for this packaging type. Additionally, consumers prefer packaging with instructions on the packets. According to a research by BillerudKorsnäs on corrugated packaging, there are a lot of changes in purchasing habits as most consumer’s demand information about packaging and recycling in the U.K. Furthermore, logistics service providers are looking for fit-to-product as they want to utilize the entire available area for warehousing and shipping containers, as fit-to-product technology enables the production of customized secondary packaging based on product size.
On the other hand, several countries that banned plastic packaging have created an upstanding opportunity for new and existing manufacturers in the packing industry. Furthermore, environmental issues, government regulations on the use of plastic packaging, and eco-friendly nature of flute papers will propel the end-users to adopt micro flute products. Hence, this market is expected to propel during the forecast period.
Regulations by the Government on the Use of Natural Resources to Manufacture Micro Flute Paper
Government regulations, exploitation of natural resources, and durability of the micro flute paper are some of the factors that act as concerns in the progress of the micro flute market. Moreover, the production of virgin micro flute paper exploits natural sources, mainly different trees. Further, the production process emits toxic and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. This has led to stringent regulations imposed by the governments for the cutting of trees and production of paper. Hence, the above factors may inhibit product adoption and hamper the micro flute paper market growth.
C-Flute Type Led the Market Due to High Demand for Packaging Materials from Several Industries
Based on flute type, the market is segmented into A-Flute, B-Flute, C-Flute, E-Flute, F-Flute, and others.
C-Flute held the largest micro flute paper market share in 2021 and is expected to remain the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This growth is characterized due to the adoption of shelf-ready packaging based on C-Flute type paper in the food & beverage industry. Many consumers, including supermarkets prefer this food packaging type as it allows easy handling of products. C-type paper offers 41 flutes per linear foot, making it suitable for packaging containers and creating dedicated packaging solutions. Additionally, it provides a good printing surface to print artistic labels to attract consumers. Hence, such factors will flourish the demand for C-flute in the forecast time period.
A-Flute, B-Flute, E-Flute, F-Flute, and others determine different thicknesses and strengths. Generally, more significant flute types, such as A and B, have better strength and cushioning. Smaller flute profiles, such as D, E, and F, have better printability and foldability. Additionally, these types of papers can be mixed to manipulate printability, compression, and moisture resistance. The growing product demand from the fit-to-product shipping containers will propel the segment growth during the forecast period.
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Food & Beverages Segment to Dominate Owing to Increasing Product Preference from End-users
Based on end-user, the market can be segmented into food & beverages, personal care & cosmetics, industrial, and others.
Continuous growth in the online shopping and e-commerce sector has shifted consumers’ behavior toward purchasing goods online. Additionally, digital print has become more popular over the decade, and consumers demand more information on the packaging label. Hence, the food & beverage industry is seeking to invest in primary packaging to attract consumers with decorative techniques such as etching, hot stamping, screen printing, and helping to explain the product's brand identity. Recently Munch’n, the berry fruit company from New Zealand, adopted micro flute shipping and packaging containers. The company was able to print and produce unique containers for each product type to attract consumers due to the specification offered by micro flute paper.
The others segment includes personal care & cosmetics, industrial, and others. These end-uses have high consumption due to extensive benefits, including cost-effectiveness and recyclability. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), corrugated boxes are the largest recyclable product category in the U.S. Hence, this will further fuel the overall market growth during the review period.
Asia Pacific Micro Flute Paper Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 29.14 billion in 2021. Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing economy due to rapid industrialization and technological advancements. China and India have the highest population, creating a high demand for consumer products. Furthermore, the region is adopting new technologies and partnering with advanced companies in developed regions such as Europe and North America. The increasing production of micro flute papers, rising research & development activities, and the growing food & beverage industry are some prominent factors fueling the product demand in China.
Moreover, Germany, China, the U.S., the U.K., France, Italy, Poland, and Spain have severe concerns and imposed bans or increased the tax over plastic packaging. Thus, this has led to a space for eco-friendly paper packaging from personal care & cosmetics and other industries.
North America registered substantial growth in the market due to increased usage of these flute papers in the framework of corrugated packaging. This packaging is further utilized in boxes, clamshells, and trays.
In Europe, the high product demand is associated with rapid growth in cosmetic and personal care products. Germany is one of the largest consumers of beauty and personal care products. According to the Cosmetics Europe-the Personal Care Association, this industry annually brings at least USD 28.7 billion to the European economy. This led to higher consumption of corrugated packaging. Moreover, companies in Europe are investing in beauty and personal care brands and R&D activities, supporting the market growth.
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The markets in the Middle East & Africa and Latin America will show a significant growth rate due to the rising consumer preference for packaged food and beverages.
Business Expansion to Gain Customer Base to be a Key Strategy
Key producers operating in the market are Mondi Group, WestRock Company, International Paper Company, and Smurfit Kappa Group. These companies are involved in acquisitions and collaborations in the market. Mondi Group is a producer of micro flute paper and container board with an integrated, well-invested, and cost-advantaged asset base. The company’s integrated value chain includes certified forests and raw materials, efficient production processes, sustainable packaging and paper solutions, and recycling.
LIST OF KEY COMPANIES PROFILED:
KEY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS:
August 2021: MM Group completed the acquisition of Kotkamills, Finland, which was agreed upon in December 2020 after receiving approval from all relevant competition authorities.
An Infographic Representation of Micro Flute Paper Market
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The market research report provides micro flute paper market analysis and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, types, end-uses, and products. It provides quantitative data in terms of volume and value, research methodology for market data, and insights into key market drivers, restraints, and trends. It highlights vital industry developments and the competitive landscape. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion); Volume (Million Ton)
By Flute Type, End-use, and Geography
By Flute Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 66.81 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 104.35 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the market value stood at USD 66.81 billion.
Registering a significant CAGR of 5.8%, the market will exhibit considerable growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
C-Flute segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period.
The growing food & beverage industry is driving the market.
China held the highest share of the market in 2021.
Mondi Group, WestRock Company, International Paper Company, and Smurfit Kappa Group are the leading players in the market.
The rapid growth in the e-commerce industry and increasing preference for personal care & cosmetics are driving the product adoption.
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