The packaging sector in Italy has emerged from the shadows of economic turmoil, exhibiting remarkable resilience compared to other major industries. Over the past years, it has not only bounced back but surged ahead, driven by the prowess of companies specialising in food packaging and luxury goods.

GlobalData finds that the Italian packaging market size was valued at 82.5bn units in 2022. The market is anticipated to register a CAGR of more than 1% during 2022-2027. 

Brands have come to realise that packaging isn’t just a mere casing; it’s a tool to forge customer loyalty. This “first impression” speaks volumes about the product it holds, and the Italian packaging industry, is capitalising on this pivotal concept.

The industry’s worth is split between two key sectors: equipment and technology. Forging a harmonious partnership, these sectors harmonise to create a symphony of innovation and efficiency.

However, it’s the packaging sector that has truly come to the forefront. This industry has seen its fair share of transformation over the years, acknowledging that packaging isn’t just a means of transportation; it’s an experience, a tactile and visual embrace that resonates with consumers.

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Much like a business card, the initial interaction between the consumer and the packaging can determine the success of the product within.

Italy and Germany forge a global packaging machinery empire

With the production of packaging machinery soaring to an impressive turnover of 6.3bn euros, the export market has taken centre stage, accounting for a staggering 81% of revenues.

Italy and Germany, the formidable duo, share an even 50% of the global export pie. Meanwhile, imports cater to 24% of the domestic demand, revealing the delicate balance between local production and global integration.

It’s important to note that the reported figures don’t tell the whole story. When one considers the entire spectrum, including materials, conversion, and the ripple effects of the industry, the total turnover exceeds a monumental 29bn euros, contributing a solid 2% to the nation’s GDP.

On the global stage, Italy proudly holds the title of the second-largest machinery supplier worldwide, trailing only behind Germany. This underscores the nation’s commitment to innovation and technology, as Italian-made packaging machinery earns a spot of honour on international production lines.

But it’s not just about numbers; it’s about people. The packaging industry in Italy provides gainful employment to a staggering 139,167 individuals, a testament to the sector’s crucial role in shaping the nation’s workforce.

Within this fold, a considerable 105,000 individuals are dedicated to the packaging sector, while over 34,000 are integral to the equipment and machinery niche.

A tale of adaptation in changing times

Behind these figures lies a story of resilience and evolution. Italy’s packaging industry has not only survived but thrived, proving its adaptability in the face of changing consumer dynamics and global challenges.

This industry encapsulates the Italian spirit – a fusion of tradition and innovation, where craftsmanship meets cutting-edge technology.

In an era where sustainability and environmental consciousness are paramount, the packaging sector hasn’t lagged behind. Italy’s packaging companies have embraced sustainable practices, integrating eco-friendly materials and processes into their production.

Additionally, earlier this year Italy-based non-profit National Aluminium Packaging Consortium reported that the country recycled 73.6% of its aluminium packaging waste in 2022 and is on track to beat its national recycling targets of 50% in 2025 and 60% in 2030.

This dual commitment to quality and the planet solidifies Italy’s packaging industry as a global leader, where aesthetics, functionality, and environmental responsibility dance in harmony.

As the Italian packaging industry continues to grow, its journey serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for other sectors. It showcases that with the right blend of innovation, dedication, and consumer-centric approach, even during the most challenging times, industries can not only survive but thrive, leaving an indelible mark on the global economy.