What the Packaging Industry Will Look Like in 2025

With steady growth rates, the packaging industry is looking optimistically to the future. At the same time, the packaging market is undergoing change. A current packaging study by Horváth AG sheds light on trends and prospects for the industry.

The packaging industry has weathered the Corona crisis very well economically and better than most industries. Packaging has become an important commodity in everyday life. But what will the situation be like in Europe in a few years’ time? This is the question addressed by the Horváth AG study. A brief summary of the results:

As expected, sustainability remains a trend topic. The increasing importance of the circular economy, but also increased regulation on the part of politicians as well as the requirements for climate neutrality will significantly influence further developments. “Material competence will become even more important and in order to become a decisive competitive advantage,” is one tenor of the study. Consumers will also expect more and more sustainable products, for example smaller packaging.

The profit margin pressure among the strong competitors will increase. The factors of margin pressure combined with pressure to invest, increasing need for regional to global delivery capability, and a fragmented corporate landscape with many small and local players, combined with limited opportunities for organic growth, suggest further consolidation in the industry.

Keyword Smart Packaging: the expansion of the classic functions of packaging to include additional intelligent features will offer opportunities for differentiation from competitors in the future.

Digital printing will increase in importance, “but will remain in the niche for highly individualized, small batch sizes, at least in the medium term, and will not make flexo and rotogravure printing obsolete.”

The study is based on the company’s experience from a large number of projects and numerous interviews with top managers.

According to Horváth, it is characterized by its comprehensive recommendations for action. The team of experts led by study director Christoph Kopp uses tried-and-tested approaches to show how packaging companies can concretely tackle and implement the necessary transformations. Examples include the implementation of a holistic understanding of sustainability, the strengthening and further development of purchasing to become a strategic gatekeeper on the way to greater sustainability, the professionalization of sales, the effective promotion of innovation and the restructuring of the production network. In addition, the study provides an up-to-date overview of the distribution and development of the market – worldwide and in Europe.

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