Over the past few decades, global glass packaging industry has provided the pharmaceutical and food & beverage sectors with remarkable innovations in their packaging solutions. Glass is a 100% recyclable product that can be reused without any deprivation in the quality or the purity of the material. Owing to its negligible chemical interaction rate, glass has for long been a favorite material category used in packaging of medicines and other beverages. The worldwide glass packaging market stood at USD 45 billion in 2016 and is anticipated to exceed a valuation of USD 65 billion by 2024, growing at an annual rate of 4.5% over 2017-2024.
The very recent collaboration between Merck, Pfizer, and Corning Inc., has significantly accelerated the innovation trends in the pharmaceutical glass packaging market. Once such breakthrough by Corning in glass container & packaging is Valor Glass engineered for the storage and conveyance of advanced injectable drugs. Valor Glass packaging exhibits superior strength, damage resistance, chemical durability, and higher levels of quality assurance which is fueling its demand in the medical fraternity. With regards to the aforementioned factors, healthcare sector can rightly be termed as one of the leading drivers for the expansion of glass packaging industry. As per estimates, glass packaging market share from pharmaceutical applications is anticipated to record a CAGR of more than 4% over 2017-2024.
U.S. glass packaging market size, by application, 2013 – 2024 (USD Million)
Alcoholic beverages & beer packaging to drive glass packaging market growth
Alcoholic beverage is set to emerge as a key sector generating lucrative avenues for the global glass packaging industry, having procured a major chunk of the total demand over the past few years. Another chief factor stimulating the glass packaging demand is the rise in global consumption of beer. As dark shade glass helps in deflecting the UV rays and keeps the beer from being ‘skunky’, glass bottles are most commonly used in the packaging of beer. Easy availability, cost effectiveness, and influence of western lifestyle have increased the consumption of beer particularly in Mexico and Vietnam recording the highest increase of 6.5% and 7.5% respectively form 2014-2015.
Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific are the two prominent regions spectating a significant rise in the consumption of alcoholic beverages and pharmaceuticals. Subject to this fact, glass packaging industry is expected to show robust growth in these regions over the coming years. As stated by the report on glass packaging market, Asia Pacific represented the largest market worldwide, closely followed by Europe. Asia Pacific accounted for more than 40% of the overall glass packaging market in 2016, subject to huge customer base and growing hospitality sector in China, India, Thailand, and other countries.
Impacts of plastic packaging on the industry demand
One of the largest threats faced by glass packaging industry is the growth of plastic pouch packaging. Factors such as less brittleness, light weight, and easy handling & transport of plastics pouches is likely to make a dent in glass packaging market share. However, proliferation of various technological breakthroughs in the glass packaging industry has allowed the products to become much lighter in weight and easy for transportation. Moreover, despite the increasing popularity of plastic packaging materials, customers are preferring highly sustainable products with high grade of recyclability, on account of which glass is still the most preferred packaging material.
According to a 2006 national consumer survey report, by Glass Packaging Institute, consumers prefer glass over variety of packaging materials, in terms of purity, quality, taste, shelf life, and product protection.
Taking into consideration the competitive landscape, prominent glass packaging industry players are emphasizing on strategic collaborations and acquisitions to gain a competitive edge in the fiercely competitive scenario. Being a highly-fragmented industry, many companies are also expanding their production capabilities and portfolios incorporating novel & customized shapes and sizes to enhance their customer base. In 2013, Saxco International, LLC., a prominent market leader delivering rigid packaging solutions for liquor, craft beer, and wine acquired Synergy Glass & Packaging to customize its glass packaging solutions and expand its customer base. Other prominent industry players include Saint-Gobain, Gerresheimer AG, Owens-Illinois Inc, Vetropack Holding AG, Ardagh Group S.A., Hindustan National Glass (HNG), Piramal, Stölzle-Oberglas GmbH and Nihon Yamamura Glass Co., Ltd.