Flexible packaging refers to packaging that can take various shapes and forms. Most commonly used flexible packaging products include chips packets, milk packets, shampoo and medicine sachets and different types of pouches.
Flexible packaging is a large industry world over, with a size of over $ 200 bn. The Indian market contributes over $ 5 bn and is growing in double digits. The key end user industries are food products, beverages, personal products and pharmaceuticals (see pic-1).
Picture 1: Indian Flexible Packaging Market
- * Others includes pharmaceuticals.
- Source: Investor presentation of Uflex
What is the Technology?
The technology related innovations in flexible packaging industry have focused on increasing the shelf life and safety of the packaged product and protecting it from counterfeiting.
Flexible packaging is made of layers of polymers (LDPE, BOPP, BOPET, CPP), aluminium foil, paper and other material. The topmost layer (most commonly BOPP or BOPET) is printed. The printed layer is laminated along with other packaging material, and then slit into different sheets. These sheets are converted into different forms as per the client requirements. The choice of material depends on the end use; for example in food applications where the shelf life has to be extended, different types of polyethylene and poly propylene films are used.
The printing technology varies depending on the material to be printed, and has been explained in the figure below.
Picture 2: Printing technology
How is the Competitive Landscape?
The industry has two types of players, large players who manufacture packaging films as well as packaging products and SMES who mostly purchase the films and convert it into packaging products. Further, some of the SMEs are manufacturers of machinery or inks.
Table 1: Flexible packaging-competitive landscape
What are the Prerequisites to start a Flexible Packaging Industry?
The must haves would include a strong technical team that can meet client’s quality expectations, create innovative products and minimize wastage. Other requirements include land/area (minimum 5000 sqft for Rotogravure printing) and a budget of Rs. 5 crs upwards.
How can we help you?
We can help you start a flexible packaging business through a number of services including business viability assessment, market landscaping and expert consultation.
Phone:800 888 4932
 Source for international and domestic market size is Uflex investor presentation -November 2016