The overall value of the packaging market is set to rise at a CAGR of 3.8% from $806.3 billion in 2016 to $1 162.1 billion in 2026, says market research firm Smithers Pira. Packaging design will play a major part in facilitating this growth.

The report, “The Future of Packaging Design: Long-Term Strategic Forecasts to 2026,” states the future of the packaging industry, as any other, will be shaped by general political, economic, social and technological factors. Meanwhile, the specific future of packaging design to 2021 and 2026 is predicted to be determined by supply side technological trends and demand side consumer trends.

Factors such as convenience, consumer income, health and wellness, and single-person households on market demand, and on resulting packaging design trends were taken into account when conducting the research.

“The political environment will affect the packaging industry and packaging design via initiatives, legislation and regulation affecting environmental affairs such as sustainability, food packaging labelling and packaging safety,” said Ashley Gange, report author.

“Sustainability has become a particularly important consideration in many areas over the past decade. This is especially true in packaging where it is a major issue since packaging materials are extremely visible to the consumer.

“This is because packaging as a single-use product faces intense and growing pressures from consumers, retailers, suppliers, governments, regulators, NGOs, environmental groups and others for the development of environmentally friendly solutions.”

By end use, greatest actual growth was recorded by food packaging which increased in value at a CAGR of 3.6% from 2010 to 2015. Its share of total packaging value rose by 1.7% over this time. The rate of growth in food packaging is forecast at a CAGR of 3.8% from 2016 to 2021, resulting in an increase in total share of packaging value of 0.2% over this time.