Protective Packaging Demand in E-Commerce to Grow 9.6% Annually

Global demand for protective packaging in e-commerce applications is projected to increase 9.6% per year to $7.8 billion in 2021.  This is the fastest growing market for protective packaging.  Flexible products such as air pillows, paper fill, bubble packaging, and mailers are expected to be the main product beneficiaries of rapid growth in the e-commerce market.  According to analyst Mike Richardson, “E-commerce is becoming a more important outlet for protective packaging in nearly all parts of the world.” These and other trends are presented in Global Protective Packaging Market, 4th Edition, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Growth for e-commerce is expected to be fastest in developing regions, including Asia, parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America.  China has very quickly become one of the largest e-commerce markets in the world, and growth will continue as income levels rise and Internet access and smartphone ownership expand.  These same factors are driving growth throughout much of the developing world. However, e-commerce will remain a relatively insignificant part of the retail sector in the world’s poorer areas, such as South Asia and much of Africa. 

Many businesses are finding that the appearance of a shipping package is of equal importance to the consumer as the aesthetic appeal of labels or in-store display packaging.  “Unboxing” videos, featuring an individual opening and displaying package contents, have become an indirect marketing tool for consumer electronics firms as well as luxury goods providers.

Global Protective Packaging Market, 4th Edition (published 05/2017, 232 pages) is available for $6300 from The Freedonia Group.  For further details or to arrange an interview with the analyst, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600 or email

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