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Global Molded Pulp Packaging Market (2021 to 2026) - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts

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Dublin, March 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Molded Pulp Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)" report has been added to's offering.

The molded pulp packaging market is projected to record a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period, 2021-2026.

In general, the main raw materials used in the pulp and papermaking industry can be classified into categories, such as wood and non-wood, where non-wood fiber materials are important fiber sources in areas where forest resources are scarce.

The effective use of non-wood fiber resources, especially grasses, cereal straws, corn stalks, bamboo, and bagasse, may play a major role in optimizing the raw materials of paper. Additionally, there are non-wood fibers, such as flax, hemp, jute, kenaf, cotton, sisal, and abaca, with properties as good as or much better than softwood materials.

Consumers' preference for recyclable and eco-friendly materials drives the market. The growing importance of sustainability has helped make pulp packaging an attractive option. Not only can it be made from recycled materials but can also be easily recycled again after its useful life cycle. It is manufactured with 100% recycled materials. Furthermore, even if it does not make it to the landfill or recycling facility, the fibers in pulp packaging are biodegradable, unlike plastic and Styrofoam (EPS) packaging.

Moreover, the demand in the packaging industry to avoid the use of Styrofoam, plastics, and other petroleum-based packaging has contributed to the upward surge of pulp packaging. Also, in a recent study conducted by HC Companies, 88% of respondents demanded companies to provide more sustainable product offerings. Such demands may benefit the application of molded pulp packaging in many businesses and industries across the world.

The benefit of cost savings with regard to molded pulp packaging compares to plastic. EPS packaging drives the market. Most plastic and foam packaging are manufactured from petroleum; hence, the prices constantly fluctuate with regard to the price of oil. Molded pulp packaging is widely made from available and inexpensive natural fibers and post-consumer paper products. It is less expensive and much more efficient to store and transport than EPS.

Further, one of the widest advantages of molded pulp packaging is the ability to stack or "nest" the units for significant space saving. In a commonly referenced comparison, a stack of 40 molded pulp end caps can facilitate 70% space saving to the same number of EPS (Styrofoam) end caps. The exact space saving may vary for different products.

Stringent government rules and regulations are challenging the market growth. According to the US government's figures, pulp and paper manufacturers are the fourth-largest industrial emitters of greenhouse gases. Further, the pulp and paper industry releases about 212 million metric ton of hazardous substances into the air and water, and it is ranked as the third-largest industrial user of water. The EPA's figures indicate that the pulp and paper industry ranks in the top-four among the US manufacturing industries in the release of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds.

When compared to EPS, molded pulp packaging consumes between 70% and 115% more energy, resulting in around 9-31% more air pollution levels, and emits between 323% and 348% more greenhouse gases. Due to such issues, the adoption of EPS packaging in some end-user applications challenges the growth of the molded pulp packaging market.

Key Market Trends

Consumption of Eggs Accounts for a Significant Market Share of Trays

Due to the expected increase in the consumption of eggs and fruits in the near future, along with their features, such as low weight and recyclability, the market for trays is expected to grow. Trays are witnessing a high demand for egg packaging.

Further, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the retail price of eggs (grade A) in the United States has been decreasing since 2017. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, the prices of eggs in USD per dozen were USD 1.82, USD 1.6, and USD 1.54, respectively. Due to the low price, the consumption is surging, thus, increasing the demand for molded trays.

Egg trays are protective packaging and are made using recycled newspapers. Molded fiber trays offer good air permeability and hygroscopic ability, which play an important role in egg packaging and storage.

Further, these trays have different product dimensions with different holding capacity (number of eggs per tray). For instance, Teo Seng Capital Berhad provides egg trays with different dimensions, such as Multi-K Plus with a dimension of 296 mm x 296 mm(+/- 3 mm) for large eggs and its compact product with a dimension of 273 mm x 273 mm (+/- 3 mm), especially for smaller eggs.

Also, key vendors offering egg packaging solutions are expanding through organic methods, such as launching new products or expanding their manufacturing capacities. For instance, Huhtamaki developed new egg trays for 30 eggs at its Brazilian manufacturing plant.

In the United States, according to the US Department of Agriculture, the per capita consumption of eggs is increasing on an annual basis. This indicates the significant demand for molded pulp trays.

However, the price of molded fibers is higher, when compared to plastics. In addition, plastic trays are reusable and washable. This is one of the main factors, owing to which plastic is preferred over molded fiber in egg packaging, which is challenging the market growth.

Asia-Pacific to Witness High Market Growth Rate

Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing region in the molded pulp packaging market. This is attributed to the presence of an increasing number of molded pulp packaging manufacturing units in countries, such as China, India, Australia, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, in Asia Pacific.

China, with its growing food packaging, food service, FMCG, healthcare, and electronics industries, is expected to drive the molded pulp packaging market. Food trays molded from wood or paper pulp are customarily used in most of the retail food markets, particularly for the packaging of fresh meat, poultry, and fish. According to the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, in 2019, China's beef production increased, as compared to 2018. This increases the market for trays.

Further, in China, Qingdao Xinya Molded Pulp Packaging Co. Ltd is a global supplier that produces products using molded pulp and molded fiber, such as bottle wine carriers, which have a high number of buyers, globally.

Further, in India, according to IBEF, the Indian e-commerce market is expected to reach a value of USD 200 billion in 2026, from USD 38.5 billion in 2017. This indicates the high demand for electronic appliances, in turn, increasing the production of electronics packing trays and clamshells made using molded pulp.

Also, according to the International Trade Administration, the market size of medical devices in Asia-Pacific is increasing on an annual basis; for instance, in 2019, it was valued at USD 88.6 billion, as compared to USD 82.9 billion in 2018. This provides growth opportunities for companies in Asia-Pacific to manufacture trays and packaging solutions for healthcare devices. Furthermore, players are focusing on autoclavable trays.

Competitive Landscape

The molded pulp packaging market is fragmented in nature, due to the presence of domestic and global players. The companies mainly offer customized solutions as per customers' requirements. Further, major players are using various strategies, such as product launches, agreements, and acquisitions, to increase their footprints in the market. The key players in the market are Maspack Ltd, EnviroPAK Corporation, etc. Recent developments in the market include:

  • March 2020 - PepsiCo announced its plan on focusing on recyclable molded pulp rings for its soda cans to replace the plastic ones. The company planned to use molded pulp rings and secondary paperboard packaging, for the 7.5 ounce six-units packs of Pepsi and Sierra Mist, after March 2020, in its facility in Sacramento, California. With this, the company aims to achieve its goal of making all packaging recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable by 2025.

  • November 2019 - Sonoco announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Thermoform Engineered Quality (TEQ) LLC and Plastique Holdings Limited. TEQ produces recyclable, molded-pulp-fiber packaging, and thermoformed plastic packaging for multiple consumer products, primarily sold in Europe. Sonoco also announced its plans to expand TEQ's healthcare packaging solutions.

Reasons to Purchase this report:

  • The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format

  • 3 months of analyst support

Key Topics Covered:

1.1 Study Deliverables
1.2 Study Assumptions
1.3 Scope of the Study



4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Market Drivers
4.2.1 Consumers' Preference Toward Recyclable and Eco-friendly Materials
4.2.2 Better Benefit of Cost Saving Compared to Plastic and EPS Packaging
4.3 Market Restraints
4.3.1 Stringent Government Rules and Regulations
4.4 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.5 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.5.1 Threat of New Entrants
4.5.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.5.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.5.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.5.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

5.1 Material
5.1.1 Wood Pulp
5.1.2 Non-wood Pulp
5.2 Product
5.2.1 Trays
5.2.2 Clamshells
5.2.3 Plates and Bowls
5.2.4 Cups
5.2.5 Shippers
5.2.6 Other Products
5.3 End User
5.3.1 Healthcare
5.3.2 Consumer Electronics
5.3.3 Food and Beverage
5.3.4 Personal Care
5.3.5 Other End Users
5.4 Geography
5.4.1 North America
5.4.2 Europe
5.4.3 Asia-Pacific
5.4.4 Latin America
5.4.5 Middle-East and Africa

6.1 Company Profiles
6.1.1 Maspack Ltd
6.1.2 EnviroPAK Corporation
6.1.3 Brodrene Hartmann AS
6.1.4 Huhtamaki Oyj
6.1.5 UFP Technologies Inc.
6.1.6 PrimeWare by PrimeLink Solutions LLC
6.1.7 Fabri-Kal Corporation
6.1.8 Henry Molded Products Inc.
6.1.9 Keiding Inc.
6.1.10 Sabert Corporation
6.1.11 Pacific Pulp Molding
6.1.12 ProtoPak Engineering Corporation
6.1.13 Celluloses de La Loire
6.1.14 E. Molding International
6.2 Investment Analysis


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