Packaging Industry in the United Arab Emirates – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 – 2026)

The Packaging Industry in the United Arab Emirates was valued at USD 2813.5 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 3688.85 million by 2026, at a CAGR of 4.6% over the forecast period 2021 – 2026. The most important feature to be integrated into packaging is functionality. There is an increasing demand for secondary packaging in the country, because of the rising trend of folding cartons in categories, such as perfumes and skincare. As many consumers and companies are becoming more zero waste compliant, sustainability is becoming a key development agenda in the United Arab Emirates. Packaging manufacturers in the country are investing in innovative packaging, in terms of both design and materials used, considering the demographic and lifestyle changes.

– There is a shift to larger pack sizes in food packaging. For example, large pack sizes, like Nutella’s 750 g pack, are proving to be increasingly popular, as they offer better value, while in baby food, the rising popularity of growing-up milk formula is also supporting the sales of larger packs.
– There is slow growth in retail unit volume, due to the economic slowdown in the United Arab Emirates that hit the packaging industry, covering many packaging categories, including food, beauty and personal care, soft drinks, and home care. Companies are looking for alternative ways for offering multipacks and larger pack sizes, which are more economical, as well as smaller packs, which are more affordable. High taxation in canned packaging is a factor that impacts the demand adversely.
– Government bodies are setting packaging requirements for food companies by making changes to comply with the regulations pertaining to beauty and personal care. New rules and regulations have been introduced for milk, juices, and other beverages. Innovative pack designs are seen in beauty and personal care. There is an increasing focus on environment-friendly packaging.

Key Market Trends

Food Segment is Expected to Witness Significant Growth

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The adoption of sustainable packaging is one of the vital food packaging trends in the United Arab Emirates that may impact the growth of the packaging market in the country. Factors contributing to the growth in the country are the increasing demand for convenience by consumers, increase in disposable income, and changing consumer behavior. Disposable income and improved global flight connectivity have further augmented the regional market demand.

There is a rising demand for packaged food among consumers, owing to the changing eating habits, and the quickening pace of life is expected to have a major impact on the industry. Packaged food items offer extended and stable shelf life, high barrier properties, and safety, thereby, boosting the industry growth. Food safety is one of the primary factors driving the market, as the quality of food is a significant issue faced by the manufacturers and consumers of food products.

With the rising environmental and health concerns, due to the accumulation of non-biodegradable waste, companies are focusing on adopting sustainable packaging options. For instance, Bemis, a leading food packaging company introduced BMET metalized sealant films, having 30% less material weight than usual three-ply films that replace materials, such as metalized OPET, OPP, or foil.

Competitive Landscape

The packaging industry in the United Arab Emirates is neither fragmented nor consolidated. Owing to the presence of some of the local producers of raw materials, the market has reached such a structure. Many companies are investing in R&D activities across the country to help the industry to grow further.

– May 2019 – Amcor Limited and Bemis Company Inc. announced that they received regulatory clearance from the US Department of Justice, in relation to the combination of the two companies. A condition of this approval is the previously announced sales of certain Amcor assets located in the United States to Tekni-Plex Inc.
– February 2019 – Amcor Limited launched Genesis, a new in-store recyclable laminate solution, targeting a wide range of segments, including fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen food, dried fruits, nuts, confectionery, chilled goods, and pet food. The product is adaptable to a variety of packaging types and is appropriate for specific medical, home, and personal care markets.
– February 2019 – Gulf Printing and Packaging is paving the path for future growth, as it is looking for scope in the food packaging market and it is planning to expand further in the future.
– January 2019 – Amcor Limited and Danone partnered to develop a new package for its new all-natural spoonable yogurt sold in Argentina. The new PET jar supports the 100% natural positioning of Danone’s La Serenísima’s yogurt, with featured engraving, a finely finished base, and a body-wrap label.

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