Global Packaging Adhesives & Sealants

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Adhesives and Sealants

Global demand for packaging adhesives and sealants is forecast to grow 1.7% per year to 4.5 million metric tons with a value of $11.6 billion in 2025. More efficient adhesives continue to be adopted in packaging, which limits volume growth, particularly in the large markets of the US, Western Europe, and Japan. However, the relatively higher cost of these higher performance products will boost gains in value terms.

Opportunities do remain within the global packaging adhesives and sealants market, with gains will be supported by:

  • rising personal incomes and growing urbanization in developing economies, which will increase the availability and affordability of packaged consumer goods
  • gains in e-commerce, even in the more mature markets of North America and Western Europe
  • a worldwide rebound in manufacturing activity, especially in the smaller economies of Southeast Asia that are facing increasing demand from export partners for a wide variety of goods

Hot Melt Formulations Will Offer Good Opportunities for Suppliers of Packaging Adhesives

Of all adhesives and sealants used in packaging applications, hot melts are expected to have the best opportunities. Hot melts are stronger compared to water-based and natural formulations, and they are not as likely to dissolve when exposed to moisture. They will benefit from continued strong growth in e-commerce, particularly as more heavy and perishable goods (such as those requiring inclusion of ice or dry ice) are shipped.

Sustainability Concerns Will Support Renewed Demand for Natural Adhesives

Natural adhesives have long been the most widely used type in packaging applications, though the market for these products softened following the initial boom in e-commerce, as they do not offer all of the performance advantages of chemically formulated products.

However, strong pushes for sustainable packaging have led to renewed interest in natural adhesives, as starch-based products are environmentally sustainable and easily recyclable. Additionally, they are relatively low cost, easy to use, and have low emissions of natural-adhesives, all of which make them favorable solutions for packaging suppliers.

Sustainability in packaging is a complicated topic, and manufacturers will need to continue to balance sustainability with performance, as adhesives that are not strong enough to withstand the weight of a packaged product can lead to product damage, waste, and negative consumer sentiment.

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