The global liquid carton market in 2021 was valued at US$14.71 billion. The market value is expected to reach US$17.72 billion by 2027. Liquid packaging cartons are containers, which enable safe transportation and storage of liquid products. These cartons are primarily used for packaging fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). The liquid packaging cartons can be of various sizes, shapes and application types, and are easy to design and model according to the packager’s need.

The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.17% during the forecast period of 2022-2027. Due to in increased consumption of packaged beverages and growing health & wellness spending and rapid urbanization, the market would propel in the forthcoming years. The global liquid carton market volume reached 226.80 billion units in 2021.

Market Segmentation Analysis:

By Shelf Life: The report provides the bifurcation of the market into two segments based on the shelf life: Aseptic Liquid Carton and Fresh Liquid Carton. In 2021, Aseptic liquid carton segment held a major share of more than 80% in the market. On the other hand, the Fresh liquid carton segment is expected to grow at a significant CAGR in the forthcoming years owing to the growing health and fitness trend, convenience and distribution efficiency and growing use of sustainable alternative.

By Type: The report provides the bifurcation of the market into three segments based on the type: Brick liquid carton, gable top carton and shaped liquid carton. In 2021, brick liquid carton segment held a major share of more than 53% in the market. This was being followed by gable top carton and shaped liquid carton segment.

By End Use: The report provides the bifurcation of the market into three segments based on the end use: Dairy products, juice and others. In 2021, dairy products segment held a major share of more than 78% in the fresh liquid carton liquid carton market, whereas the same segment held around 60% share in the aseptic liquid carton market.

By Region: The report provides insight into the liquid carton market based on the geographical operations, namely North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & North Africa and Latin America. Asia Pacific held the major share of above 39% in the market, owing to rising demand for packaged milk and increasing consumer awareness regarding highly sustainable packaging in this region.

Within Europe, Germany is leading the market, due to increasing demand of plant based beverages. Whereas, in the North America region, the US is dominating the market due to increase in disposable income and change in lifestyles.

Market Dynamics:

Growth Drivers: One of the most important factors impacting the global liquid carton market is increased consumption of packaged beverages. The growing inclination of the general population towards packaged food and drinks is driving the liquid packaging carton market. Fast lifestyle and convenience of carton packaged drinks over other packaging means such as glass bottles has influenced the growth in the market. Furthermore, the market has been growing over the past few years, due to factors such as rapid urbanization, increased disposable income, growing health & wellness spending, convenience and distribution efficiency, sustainable alternative and many other factors.

Challenges: However, the market has been confronted with some challenges specifically, surge in usage of alternative packaging material, reduced milk consumption, etc.

Trends: The market is projected to grow at a fast pace during the forecast period, due to various latest trends such as the growing emphasis on staying healthy and in shape and rising participation in sports, health clubs, sports clubs, and gyms. Creative packaging are increasing in the ready-to-drink beverages, thus promoting the growth of liquid carton market. Besides, innovative and attractive packaging and expansion of different industries are expected to propel the liquid carton market during forecasted years.

Impact Analysis of COVID-19 and Way Forward:

In the wake of COVID-19, the food & beverage industry saw dramatic impact which affected the liquid packaging carton market negatively. During the initial phase of COVID-19 restrictions, the unprecedented lockdowns across various countries created a havoc among the consumers. This led the stockpiling of packaged beverages such as juices and dairy items thus increasing the demand for liquid packaging cartons during the initial period of COVID-19 restrictions.

In later phases of the lockdown, aluminum shortages from the closing of recycling operations and flavoring shortages affected soda companies. From the food services sector, when arenas and sporting venues were closed, demand for packaged food and beverages declined thus reducing the use of liquid packaging cartons. Though at-home consumption of packaged beverages increased, but out-of-home consumption – which historically generates the highest margin came to nearly a standstill.

Competitive Landscape:

The global liquid carton market is dominated by Tetra Pak (Tetra Laval Group), by occupying around two-third share of the market.

The key players in the global liquid carton market are:

Tetra Laval Group
Mondi plc
SIG Combibloc Group AG
Refresco Group B.V.
Pactiv Evergreen Inc.
Greatview Aseptic Packaging Company
Ferd Group
Adam Pack S.A.
Smurfit Kappa Group plc
Liqui Box
Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.
Uflex Limited

Some of the strategies among key players in the market for liquid carton market are mergers, acquisitions, and collaborations. For instance, in 2022, Mondi plc announced that the company is investing around US$5 million in a new research and development (R&D) facility at Mondi Steinfeld, in Germany. Whereas, Pactiv Evergreen Inc. announced the launch of the company’s new Tamper Evident Fry Cartons to meet the evolving needs of today’s foodservice operators.