The Future of the Packaging Industry in Malaysia: Trends and Opportunities

According to the Malaysia Packaging Industry – Market Assessment, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2025 report, the packaging market in Malaysia is expected to rise from 17.6 billion units in 2020 to 20.2 billion units by 2025, with a CAGR of 2.9%.

In 2020 alone, rigid plastics and flexible packaging had the two largest market shares in the packaging sector.

Image source: GlobalData 

In 2021, there were 18.4 billion packaging units sold in Malaysia. Throughout the course of the forecast, the market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of over 3%. Glass had the lowest volume share of all pack materials whereas flexible packaging had the highest market consumption.

Key segments in Food Packaging Industry 

1. Rigid Plastics

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The demand for bottled water is driven by rising customer preference for “better-for-you” beverages, which also increases the use of PET bottles in packaging. The use of rigid plastics in the food business continues to be heavily influenced by consumer preferences for convenience and portability.

2. Rigid Metal

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Food items are packaged in cans to enable busy consumers to enjoy them on the go. Many firms are also looking for prospects in metal packaging as a result of rising worries over plastic packaging. The growth was supported by a rising e-commerce trend and consumers who were eager to buy superior pet food.

3. Paper & Board 

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Packaging made of paper and board such as packaging box, paper bags, corrugated boxes and more are well-liked for its portability and practicality. The main advantages of this packaging are its long shelf life without refrigeration and its eco-friendliness. Paper-based packaging is more environmentally friendly than other types of packaging since it is recyclable and decomposable.

4. Flexible Packaging

Flexible packaging is also strongly influenced by convenience and portability. According to the report, soft drinks will have a significant impact on how this packaging material is used over the forecasted period.

5. Glass 

Image source: The Packaging School

The beer and cider industry is anticipated to make the largest growth contributions for this packaging material. With strong demand from industries including seasonings, dressings & sauces, and oils & fats, glass packaging in the food industry is anticipated to increase.

Market Growth Drivers of Food Packaging in Malaysia 

The main attributes promoting the use of rigid plastics in many industries are portability, affordability, durability, and lightweight. Cans are increasingly popular because of their sturdy construction, portability, and ability to contain gases and vapours.

The expansion of paper and board is primarily driven by factors other than sustainability, such as light weight and practical characteristics, long shelf life, and eco-friendliness. Flexible packaging is expanding because of its affordability and adaptability. Glass is a great material for packaging since it keeps goods fresher for longer in many different sectors.

Future Trends 

The future trend of the food packaging industry in Malaysia is likely to be shaped by several factors, including changing consumer preferences, technological advancements, and government regulations. Here are some possible trends that may emerge:

1. Increased use of eco-friendly packaging

With growing concerns over the environment and sustainability, the food packaging industry in Malaysia is likely to shift towards using more eco-friendly materials such as bioplastics, paper-based packaging, and recyclable materials in order to reduce carbon footprint. This trend may be driven by consumers who are increasingly conscious of the impact of their choices on the environment.

2. Adoption of smart packaging

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With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), the food packaging industry in Malaysia may adopt smart packaging solutions that provide real-time information on product freshness, quality, and safety. This can help improve food safety and reduce waste by enabling consumers to make informed decisions about the products they buy.

3. Emphasis on convenience

Convenience is a key factor driving consumer behavior, and the food packaging industry in Malaysia is likely to respond by developing packaging solutions that are more convenient to use and handle. This may include easy-to-open packaging, portion-controlled packaging, and packaging that is microwave or oven-safe.

4. Focus on food safety

The food packaging industry in Malaysia may place greater emphasis on food safety, particularly in light of recent foodborne illness outbreaks. This may involve the adoption of stricter regulations and the use of advanced technologies such as blockchain to improve traceability and transparency in the supply chain.

Opportunities for Food Packaging Malaysia

1. Growing demand for packaged food 

The increasing urbanization and busy lifestyles in Malaysia have led to a growing demand for packaged food products. This presents an opportunity for food packaging companies to cater to this demand and develop innovative packaging solutions that meet the needs of consumers.

2. Adoption of new technologies

The food packaging industry in Malaysia has the opportunity to adopt new technologies such as biodegradable and smart packaging, which can provide benefits such as improved sustainability, reduced waste, and enhanced consumer convenience.

3. Export potential

Malaysia is strategically located in Southeast Asia, which presents an opportunity for food packaging companies to expand their market beyond the country’s borders.

The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) provides a platform for Malaysia to export its products to other countries in the region, and the country’s membership in other trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) further expands the potential market for Malaysian food packaging products.

Quality Packaging Solutions

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Food packaging is not something to take lightly, after all, it stores the food that we will eat. With QPack, customers can expect cost effective and perfect packaging for your business. From digital printing on all types of gift boxes, dry food packaging and more, QPack aims to continuously improve their quality products.

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