Bubble wrap is a plastic based transparent and malleable material that is commonly used in the packaging process for fragile items. These products are designed to have evenly spaced air filled bubbles, which provide substantial protection to the item from small to medium intensity impacts. Bubble wrap is a highly flexible variant in packaging material and forms the air bubbles, by entrapping it in between two layers of polyethylene film.
In addition to being flexible and effective in safeguarding contents of a package, bubble wrap is also very affordable, making it a favorite among the businesses operating in the global packaging industry. Recent years have seen exponential growth in the trend of internet based shopping. This is a major influencer in the growth of the global bubble wrap packaging market. Other key factors that are expected to affect the development in the current and future scenarios can include:
- The bubble wrap packaging market is largely fragmented in nature owing to presence of numerous small and medium scale producers and suppliers in the market. These regional players actively contribute to the market with business strategies that focus on product innovations, without raising prices with the aim of posing a stiff challenge to established international players in the market. On the other hand, poor product quality, smaller product range, and effectiveness of features will restrain such players.
- While bubble wrap can be produced from a wide variety of plastic based compounds, polyethylene is projected to be the most popular raw material among manufacturers, and will hold major market share in the near future. On the other hand, bubble wrap variants produced from polyamide materials are expected to witness relatively higher rates of growth. Also, while standard grade bubble wrap is expected to dominate the market in terms of revenue, high grade and temperature controlled variants are expected to display greater growth rates.
- Strong activity levels in the well-established ecommerce industry will display a moderate but steady rate of growth in terms of bubble wrap adoption. This is especially true of the Asia Pacific, with the increased spending power of people in India and China.
A new report by Future Market Insights (FMI) has projected the global market for bubble wrap packaging to ride on an impressive CAGR over the forecast period, 2017 to 2026. Revenues from sales of bubble wrap packaging across the globe is poised to reach nearly US$ 3,500 Mn by 2026-end.
Biodegradable Bubble Wraps – A Key Trend Observed in the Market
As sustainability has gained increased momentum in the packaging industry, vendors in the market are making huge investments in research & development activities for developing environment friendly and sustainable packaging solutions. Increasing concerns about impact of plastics on the environment has further led toward development of eco-friendly flexible protective packaging, such as biodegradable bubble wraps for packaging. This is a key trend being observed in the bubble wrap packaging market.
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The booming e-commerce sector has spurred the demand for bubble wrap packaging since the recent past. Robust expansion of retail industries is expected to pave significant opportunities for vendors in the global bubble wrap packaging market. These vendors mainly compete in terms of factors such as distribution network, innovation, market responsiveness, and product pricing. In addition, international players in the market are eyeing on acquisition of regional players, in a bid to enhance their product portfolio and increase their market presence.
Bubble wraps tend to catch fire more easily than other forms of flexible protective packaging, mainly because the plastic and air mixture. This factor might curb the adoption of bubble wraps as packaging solutions. In addition, several eco-friendly and less expensive alternatives to bubble wraps are gaining prevalence in the market, such as recycled paper and foam packaging, which in turn is expected to inhibit the market expansion of bubble wrap packaging.
PE- & PET-based Bubble Wrap Packaging to Collectively Surpass US$ 2,500 Mn by 2026-end
Based on material, bubble wraps manufactured by using polyethylene (PE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are expected to remain dominant in the market, in terms of revenues. Revenues from sales of PE- and PET-based bubble wrap packaging are collectively estimated to exceed US$ 2,500 Mn by 2026-end. In contrast, revenues from bubble wraps manufactured by using polyamide (PA) will remain relatively lower over the forecast period.
Bubble wrap packaging is expected to witness the fastest expansion for end-use in healthcare, electrical & electronics, and home care products respectively. In addition, sales of bubble wrap packaging in shipping & logistics, and personal care and cosmetics end-use sectors are expected to register nearly similar CAGRs through 2026. Bubble wrap packaging is also expected to witness a robust demand for end use in automotive and allied industries throughout the forecast period.
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Bubble Wrap Market in MEA & Europe to Witness a Parallel Expansion
Demographic Trends such as rapid urbanisation, industrialisation, and increasing population have been complementing expansion of the manufacturing sector in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ). APEJ will continue to be the largest contributor to the global bubble wrap packaging market, in terms of revenues. Europe and North America are also expected to remain lucrative for growth of the bubble wrap packaging market. In addition, the market in Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Europe are expected to witness a parallel expansion through 2026. However, following Japan, MEA will remain less lucrative for the market expansion.
General grade bubble wraps and high grade bubble wraps are anticipated to remain the top-selling products in the market, with their sales collectively estimated to exceed US$ 2,000 Mn by 2026-end. However, sales of temperature-controlled bubble wraps will reflect the highest CAGR through 2026.
Key players identified by FMI’s report on the global market for bubble wrap packaging include Omniverse Foster Packaging Group, Inflatable Packaging, Inc., Free-Flow Packaging International, Inc., Polyair Inter Pack Inc., Automated Packaging Systems, Inc., FROMM Packaging Systems Inc., Storopack Hans Reichenecker GmbH, Pregis Corporation, Smurfit Kappa Group, and Sealed Air Corporation.