New comprehensive packaging study from NPES and VDMA now available

NPES (the Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies) and VDMA (the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association of Germany) have announced the availability for purchase of their joint comprehensive study Worldwide Market for Print 2.0: Global Opportunities in Packaging. A team of consultants from The Economist Intelligence Unit worked closely with a joint task force of NPES and VDMA member companies to conduct “the most comprehensive research and analysis to date on the global print packaging market” for this first ever co-produced study by global association leaders NPES and VDMA. According to the new study, total world packaging revenues grew from $231 billion (U.S.) in 2011 to $245 billion in 2016 – and between 2016 and 2020, print packaging global revenues are projected to grow by 17% or $41 billion to $286 billion in 2020.

Notably in 2016, 79% of total global print packaging revenues were concentrated in the top five markets comprised of the U.S., China, Japan, Germany and the U.K. However, the largest share and fastest pace of future growth will be recognized in emerging nations, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region. The accelerated growth of emerging markets remains the dominant trend and driving force behind the print packaging industry outlook, due to rising middle classes and fast-growing incomes and urbanization. Regionally, Asia-Pacific is the largest market – projected to grow to $130 billion by 2020, compared to North America which is projected to reach $90 billion, and Western Europe forecast to reach $52 billion.

All sub-categories of print packaging will grow at rates of 3%-5% CAGR, with corrugated print packaging enjoying the highest share of the global packaging market at $101 billion in 2020, though demonstrating the slowest rate of growth at 3.5% in 2016-2020. Flexible print packaging will be the fastest growing segment at a 5.7% average annual pace, to post revenues of $73 billion in 2020. Specific country markets across developed and emerging economies will experience varying rates of growth in all sub-categories – that also include folding cartons, labels and tags, and other segments such as direct print on metal and rigid plastics.

Thayer Long.
Thayer Long.

NPES President Thayer Long added: “We’re tremendously pleased with the ongoing partnership forged with VDMA to continue to expand the Worldwide Market for Print study series, and to concentrate on the global growth potential existing in all packaging categories for the benefit of our respective members.” Long added that  NPES will not only expand its research relationship with VDMA this year, but has also begun two new 2017 studies that will provide significant insights and findings for its members in both OEM services, to printers and worldwide projections for consumables – “key areas important to further drive value-chain alignment and universal industry growth,” he said. To purchase the Worldwide Market for Print 2.0: Global Opportunities in Packaging” available at $3,000 (U.S.), or for more information, please contact Rekha Ratnam at


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.