China and India will lead the way in retail ready packaging (RRP) sales growth over the next five years, according to the latest report from Smithers Pira.
The Future of Retail Ready Packaging to 2017 claims the entire market will show growth of 6% annually in the next five years.
China will show the highest growth per year at 9%, followed by India at 8%, the report predicts.
However, it states that this will be offset by a static market in Europe, where RRP is at a more mature phase in its lifespan.
Demand from the Americas is forecast to increase at about 2.5% annually over the period under review.
According to the study, the RRP market in 2011 accounted for 20m tonnes of corrugated materials valued at almost $34bn, and more than 6.5m tonnes of plastics worth an estimated $20bn.
The balance consisted of fibreboard materials totalling less than 400,000 tonnes and worth around $800m.
RRP for foods and beverages combined represented 91% of the total market, the equivalent of $49.9bn.
In the sphere of beverages, more than a third of all RRP was used for soft drinks in 2011. Just under a quarter was used for water and 17% was used for juice and juice drinks.
The most popular type of RRP is corrugated board, which accounted for three-quarters of the total volume of materials used in 2011, the study states.
Within this, die-cut display containers were the predominant choice, making up more than half the market, with decline-wrapped trays constituting 17% of demand and modified cases the remaining 5%.
Plastic RRP contributed almost a quarter of the 2011 total, with other fibreboard materials making up just 1%.
The future looks brightest for modified cases, in terms of annual average growth with an expectation of almost an 8% increase per year between 2012 and 2017.
The highest volume increase will be seen in die cut display containers, predicts the research.
An additional 2.6m tonnes of material will be needed to meet the demand in 2017, compared to the projected 2012 market, it claims.
Plastic RRPs will generate a demand for an additional 1.1m tonnes in the next five years.