Packaging tubes can be made from a number of raw materials such as single layer plastic, aluminum, paperboard, or a combination of multiple materials. Shaped to be hollow and cylindrical, packaging tubes are increasingly being used to pack products such as adhesives, ointments, toothpastes, and more.
While one side of the tube is closed with the use of caps or closure mechanisms, the other end makes use of permanent sealing process, preceded by the filling of the contents, which is developed for controlled extraction of the product from the tube. Packaging tubes comprise barrier materials, and are witnessing increased rates of adoption by home and personal care, commercial, and food applications, which is expected to play an important role in the activity of the global packaging tubes market. Some of the other influencers that may affect developments for players in the market can include factors such as:
- Laminated tubes have been well established as the preferred method of packaging especially for oral care products. This can be attributed to characteristics such as light weight and superlative barrier safeguards owing to the use of materials such as aluminum, EVOH or polyamide. These materials provide packaging solutions at economic prices. This allows a higher rate of growth for packaging tubes on a global scale.
- Aluminum tubes coupled with fez cap designs are highly popular for the packaging process of pharmaceutical ointment products, attributable to the biodegradable and high barrier nature of the material. This will be supported by the easy availability of aluminum and its favorable characteristics of weight, and cost. On the other hand, aluminum is not preferred in terms of aesthetics, which is a key challenge that manufacturers will face for the foreseeable future.
- Multilayer packaging tube variants are also expected to witness strong growth in the near future. This can be attributed to the high preference for packaging solutions that prevent any possibility of contamination. On the other hand, the rising demand for sustainable packaging products coupled with low emission and energy consumption rates will define the future of the market.
The US$ 2.5 billion packaging tubes market is slated to exhibit promising performance over the next decade. As indicated by a recent outlook published by Future Market Insights, the global market for packaging tubes will possibly thrive at 5.4% over 2018-1028, attaining a value of around US$ 4.5 Bn by 2028 end. During the course of assessment period, packaging giants are expected to concentrate on improvisation of existing formats of packaging tubes, which have been limiting the use of packaging tubes to pharmaceuticals, oral care products, and cosmetics.
Laminated Tubes Are Most Likely to Outperform Aluminum Tubes in Terms of Adoption & Growth Rate
Immense ease of use, convenience, and portability will collectively enable laminated tubes to witness healthy traction in near future. As consumers are moving away from rigid packaging formats such as plastic and aluminium-based packaging tubes, they are more inclined towards laminated tube packaging, which is expected to push the performance of laminated tubes in the packaging tubes market in next few years. However, the substitutes such as stick packs, pouches, and sachets may limit this growth, with an advantage in terms of price and convenience. Aluminum tubes, though account for the maximum revenue share, are expected to witness a heavy decline in near future.
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‘Premium’ Personal & Beauty Care Products Come in Laminated Tubes
Laminated tubes, which were only considered for packaging of hand lotion, toothpaste, and a series of similar products till a decade ago, are increasingly being embraced by a number of beauty and personal care brands. To harness the most of structural, functional, and design flexibility of laminated packaging tubes, brands are using them for packaging almost every beauty and personal care product on retail shelves. ‘Premiumization’ has been a big trend in personal and beauty care industries, which manifests in a wide range of decorating possibilities and a number of material attributes such as texture. Moreover, it also enables manufacturers to include metallics on tubes and closures, and create virtually seamless, 360 degree decorated packaging tubes.
Technological Intervention to Benefit Laminated Tube Sales
Recently, a beauty care brand introduced a range of products packaged in fully decorated plastic tubes, which are manufactured using the innovative digital print technology in mass scale. The tubes look vibrant and are include seamless structure, tactile embossing, photorealistic images, and cap-to-tube printing. These packaging tubes are likely to attract an exceptionally large female consumer base in near future. Brand owners are foreseen to innovate their existing product offerings with innovative digital print – direct-to-print technology. Also, growing adoption of flexographic printing technology by tube manufacturers is anticipated to contribute to the market growth through 2028.
The shift of a growing number of pharmaceutical players to laminated tube packaging from plastic and Aluminum-based packaging, is conscious and marked, and has been attributed to several noteworthy anti-contamination properties possessed by this packaging tube type. The global market for packaging tubes is witnessing rapid uptake of laminated tubes in the pharmaceutical industry, especially for packaging of OTC products, which is expected to boost the market performance in near future.
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Innovation Rides the Sustainable Future of Packaging Tubes
Nevertheless, the packaging industry has been striving to diminish its environmental footprint, by adopting bio-based plastics in manufacturing packaging materials. However, the availability of such sustainable materials is limited, which directly translates into the high price point. Manufacturers are thus investing more in research and development of cheaper sustainable materials for using in packaging tubes, which are also environment-friendly. One of the not-so-popular and accepted sustainable solutions, includes using PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic materials. This and more such innovations are likely to benefit the market for packaging tubes in the next few years.
Moreover, the market is also trending with tubes made up of plastic barrier laminates with EVOH and polyamide, which impart them the see-through functionality in multilayer structures. Industry experts reveal that the see though packaging solutions, including transparent plastic packaging tubes, tend to gather higher consumer value on retail shelves, helping marketers to stand apart from other traditional packaging counterparts. Product visibility will continue to influence the buying decision of consumers, which is poised to continue fuelling market growth through the next decade.