A study by Smithers Pira has found that the global market for folding cartons will reach $184bn by 2018, growing at 5.1% per year.
The company's report, 'Future of Folding Cartons to 2018', suggests that growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare products, cigarettes, dry foods and frozen/chilled foods, especially in emerging economies.
Key technologies are expected to result in added value in the folding carton market between 2013 and 2018. These include retail-ready packs, anti-counterfeit systems and barrier coating.
Retail-ready packaging comes in the form of corrugated/microflute systems, rigid plastic and some rigid board products. Anti-counterfeit technology in folding carton applications is expected to almost double with a high growth in the healthcare sector. Barrier coatings are seeing growth after developments in water-based coatings, nano-materials, bio-polymers and antimicrobial compounds.
The report also claims that the personal care market has recovered from the global recession, and eco-friendly brands are gaining prominence. The demand for new printing techniques such as Fresnel lenses is also growing.
Carton board production increased by 1.3% in 2012 globally to $37.3bn, a total of 42.5 million tonnes. More than half of the volume was produced in the Asia-Pacific sector.
In 2012, the total converted folding carton volume rose by over 1% to reach 47.4 million tonnes, with 55% of this originating in the Asia-Pacific sector.