COVID-19 update included
The content of this report will be updated with the latest scenarios based on the global COVID-19 Pandemic

The Canadian Flexible Packaging Market is expected to register a CAGR of 2.1%, during the forecast period (2020 - 2025). Innovative technologies, sustainability, and growing economies are boosting the growth of flexible packaging in Canada. Owing to the increasing focus on sustainability, traditional rigid packaging solutions are being substituted by innovative and more sustainable, flexible packaging. ?

Canada is anticipated to witness a higher growth rate, due to the growing adoption of flexible packaging techniques across numerous industries, such as retail, pharmaceutical, food, and beverage. Furthermore, the country is witnessing a flourish in the retail industry, which is generating an increasing demand for flexible packaging products. According to StatCan, in 2019, the sales of retail trade in Canada were CAD 615 billion, which increased from CAD 467.77 billion in 2012.

Additionally, the increased penetration of e-commerce and digital printing and cost-effectiveness of flexible packaging are driving the market growth. According to PMMI, in 2019, flexible packaging accounted for 31% of packaging materials in Canada.?

The spread of COVID-19 across Canada and other parts of North America has a negative impact on the flexible supply chain, as only manufacturing of essential goods is permitted, during lockdown in the country. This is likely to cause the supply and demand system to be suboptimal and reduce the profit margins. The overall economic slowdown may also impact the employment rates across various end-user industries in the region.

Key Market Trends

Food Industry is Expected to Witness Significant Growth

  • The food processing industry is the second-largest manufacturing industry in Canada, in terms of the value of production, with the total gross domestic product amounting to around CAD 27.53 billion in 2018, and 2.6% of the national GDP. It is the largest manufacturing employer, employing more than 2,50,000 peoples and having 2,100 food manufacturing establishments in Ontario.?
  • The demand for flexible packaging is rising, due to the increase in exports of packaged foods. Processed food products from Canada are exported to 190 countries. A significant share of the products is exported to the United States, China, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and South Korea. According to StatCan, the export value of processed food products from Canada was CAD 28 billion. ?
  • The country is also witnessing an increasing growth in its retail and food services sales, which, in turn, is boosting the market studied. According to the USDA Foreign, Agricultural Service studies 2019, the expected sales growth of packaged food in Canada, between 2017 and 2022, may be driven by sweet biscuits, snack bars, and fruit snacks with 19.8% growth, followed by spreads, edible oils, and dairy with 15.8%, 13.8%, and 12.3%, respectively.
  • With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the market may witness a significant slowdown in production, due to lockdown of the country. However, flexible packaging manufacturer is closing the gaps, by ensuring that food and medical supplies should reach the people in the time of crisis, thereby, maintaining the performance of the food industry in the flexible packaging market in the region.

Plastic is Expected to Hold a Significant Share

  • Plastic flexible packaging is durable, versatile, and approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as food-safe. It finds its application in various FMCG industries, including food, beverages, industrial packaging, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods. Its versatility enables its application even in industries, like cosmetics, multimedia, and packaging of sports goods and toys, and therefore, boosts the growth in the market.
  • According to the Canadian Packaging Association, the country may witness a significant demand for cheese packaging that is set to account for a market value of over USD 5 billion by the end of 2029, thus, driving the growth of the plastic flexible packaging market in the country.
  • According to the Recycling Council of Ontario, Canada recycles about 9% of its plastics, with rest dumped in landfills or tossed away as litter. Consumers in the country are increasingly moving toward recyclable food packaging materials and prefer brands that are responsible for their packaging that pushes the market for flexible packaging.?
  • In February 2020, major Canadian food and beverage packaging companies have collaborated to develop a circular economy for plastic in the country. The companies are also innovating and developing flexible food packaging products in the region. For instance, in July 2019, ProAmpac achieved silver PAC Canadian leadership awards, for designing the packaging for new children’s snacks and for graphics innovation in flexible packaging for premier hair care products.?

Competitive Landscape

The Canadian flexible packaging market is fragmented, however, it is dominated by major players. Hence, the market concentration is likely to be consolidated. The players in the market are adopting major strategies, like product innovations, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, in order to widen their product portfolio and expand their geographical reach.

  • October 2019 - ProAmpac showed sustainable, flexible packaging solutions at SupplySide West 2019. It demonstrated four products, such as ProActive Recyclable, ProActive PCR, ProActive Renewable, and ProActive Compostable. ?
  • June 2019 - ePac Flexible Packaging announced the expansion into the Canadian market, with its first manufacturing plant in Vancouver. ePac Vancouver is a partnership between ePac Holdings and Smartpak Holdings Ltd, and it is expected to serve the Canadian market, with a focus on the Western Canadian provinces. ?

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