The consumer packaging sector in India has grown rapidly over the last two decades with significant investments in modern technology, capacity enhancement and the introduction of new products. While the packaging sector in India continues to be highly fragmented with thousands of small converters, there is some evidence of consolidation taking place amongst the medium-sized and larger units. In the recent years, this sector is also attracting the attention of the global packaging players and a few have commenced operations through setting up of wholly owned subsidiaries or JVs while a few others have taken the acquisition route.
The growth in the packaging sector in India has been ahead of the nation’s GDP growth. The Indian consumer packaging market is estimated at around INR 472 billion in 2012-13 and is forecast to reach INR 814 billion by 2017-18.
Rigid plastics packaging accounted for 26% of the consumer applications in India. Growth in this sector is influenced by the beverage and personal care applications. PET is the material of choice for beverage packaging while HDPE bottles are preferred for non-food applications including hair care and skin care products. PP bottles and jars are used for malted milk food, talcum powder and pharmaceutical products.
Paperboard packaging including liquid packaging cartons market in India is estimated at about INR 100 billion in 2012-13. Pharmaceutical, personal care, food and alcoholic beverage sectors are key users of paperboard cartons in India. Liquid packaging cartons usage is expected to grow at a healthy space in the next few years driven by increasing applications and differentiated pack-sizes. Currently the fruit juice and fruit drinks account for bulk of the liquid packaging cartons market.
Glass packaging is still the preferred medium for select packaging categories and the market for the same is estimated at INR 45.5 billion in 2012-13. In the metal packaging sector, demand for aluminium beverage cans and aerosols will increase significantly in the next few years, largely driven by carbonated soft drinks & beer and deodorants markets, respectively.
The Indian demographic and economic trends are conducive to the rapid growth of the packaging industry. Some of the factors driving the demand include rapid growth in organised retail, new product launches, urbanisation, young population and the explosive growth of media and communications. Packaging converters and brand owners are under pressure to meet consumer demand for convenience, aesthetics, innovation and sustainable packaging solutions. Many Indian converters have upgraded their facilities to offer packaging solutions to international standards.