Future Market Insights’ analyst view: Building a sustainable future: Innovations in MENA industrial packaging


The global MENA industrial packaging market size is expected to be valued at US$ 4.8 billion in 2023. Advancements in packaging automation, bolsters the overall scope for MENA industrial packaging market, which is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% between 2023 and 2033, totaling around US$ 9.4 billion by 2033.

The focus on sustainable packaging practices in the MENA region is driven by the rising awareness of environmental issues and the need to reduce the ecological footprint of packaging materials. Consumers and businesses are increasingly recognising the importance of adopting sustainable packaging solutions to minimize waste generation, conserve resources, and mitigate environmental pollution.

One major trend in sustainable packaging is the demand for recyclable materials. Biodegradable plastics, which can be broken down by natural processes, are gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional plastics. The plastics are designed to degrade over time, reducing their impact on the environment. Future Market Insights says, there is a growing interest in reusable packaging solutions, such as containers and pallets, which can be used multiple times before reaching the end of their lifecycle. The reusable options help reduce packaging waste and promote a circular economy approach.

Another aspect of sustainable packaging in the MENA region is the focus on reducing the overall packaging footprint, which includes minimising packaging material usage and optimizing packaging designs to ensure the efficient use of resources. Light weighting, which involves reducing the weight of packaging materials while maintaining their strength and functionality, is a common strategy in sustainable packaging. Companies can lower transportation costs, decrease carbon emissions, and minimize waste generation, by reducing material consumption.

The MENA region is also witnessing initiatives aimed at promoting the use of renewable and bio-based packaging materials. For instance, plant-based materials derived from renewable sources, such as corn-starch, sugarcane, and bamboo, are being explored as alternatives to conventional packaging materials. The materials offer the advantage of being renewable, biodegradable, and compostable, further contributing to sustainability goals.

Sustainable packaging practices involve considering the entire life cycle of packaging materials, which includes evaluating the environmental impact from raw material extraction and manufacturing to transportation, use, and disposal. Life cycle assessments help identify areas for improvement and guide the development of more sustainable packaging solutions.

What is Primarily Driving the Market for MENA Industrial Packaging?

The MENA region is witnessing a rapid expansion of the e-commerce sector, fuelled by factors such as increasing internet penetration, widespread smartphone usage, and changing consumer behaviour. Consumers are increasingly turning to online platforms for their shopping needs, seeking convenience, a wide product selection, and competitive prices. The surge in e-commerce activities has significant implications for the industrial packaging market.

One of the key drivers for the industrial packaging market in the context of e-commerce is the need for efficient and secure packaging solutions. E-commerce companies are faced with the challenge of ensuring that products are adequately protected during transit, as they pass through various stages of the supply chain, including warehousing, sorting, and last-mile delivery. Industrial packaging plays a crucial role in safeguarding products from damage, preventing breakage, and minimising the risk of theft or tampering.

Customized packaging solutions tailored to the specific requirements of e-commerce fulfilment have emerged as a major trend. The solutions focus on optimising packaging dimensions to reduce shipping costs and improve operational efficiency. Companies can achieve cost savings and environmental sustainability, by developing packaging designs that maximize space utilization and minimize void fill materials. Customized packaging solutions also enhance branding opportunities, allowing e-commerce companies to create a positive unboxing experience for customers and build brand loyalty.

The growth of the e-commerce sector necessitates the development of packaging solutions that are compatible with automated sorting and fulfilment processes. Automated systems in e-commerce warehouses and fulfilment centres require packaging that is easily handled, processed, and sorted. Industrial packaging companies are responding to this demand by offering solutions such as pre-printed barcodes, integrated labelling systems, and packaging designs optimized for automated handling. The advancements contribute to improved operational efficiency and reduce the risk of errors or delays in order processing.

Customisation & Branding Opportunities to Fuel the Market Growth

Customisation and branding have become critical aspects of industrial packaging as businesses recognize the value of using packaging as a marketing tool. In today's competitive market, where consumers are inundated with various products and choices, creating a unique and memorable brand identity is essential for businesses to stand out and capture customer attention. Customisation and branding in industrial packaging enable companies to achieve this differentiation and effectively communicate their brand values.

One of the key elements of customisation in industrial packaging is the ability to print logos, branding elements, and product information on packaging materials, which allows businesses to create a visual representation of their brand that is consistent across all their packaging. Companies can reinforce brand recognition and build brand recall among consumers, by incorporating brand elements such as logos, colours, and taglines. Printing essential product information, such as instructions, warnings, and ingredient lists, directly on the packaging helps consumers make informed purchasing decisions and enhances product transparency.

Customization offers businesses the flexibility to design packaging that aligns with their brand aesthetics and target audience. Packaging design plays a crucial role in shaping consumer perception and influencing purchasing decisions. Businesses can create a cohesive brand experience that resonates with their target customers, by customizing packaging materials, which can be achieved through various customization options, including choosing specific packaging shapes, sizes, and materials that reflect the brand's values, personality, and product positioning.

Branding through industrial packaging goes beyond visual elements. It extends to the overall customer experience and the emotions associated with a brand. Packaging can evoke positive feelings, such as excitement, anticipation, and trust, which can enhance the perceived value of the product and create a connection between the brand and the consumer. For instance, packaging that is thoughtfully designed, innovative, or eco-friendly can leave a lasting impression and foster a sense of loyalty and affinity towards the brand.

Country-wise Insights

How will South Africa Drive the Market for MENA Industrial Packaging?

The South African industrial packaging market is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period. The demand for MENA industrial packaging is anticipated to propel during the forecast period, with the penetration of the various industrial sector.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), upstream oil and gas operations lead to more than three-quarters of total emissions, with the downstream segment accounting for the remaining share. In 2020, the crude oil production was 448.0 TJ units in South Africa, which indicated that the growing oil industry in South Africa increases the demand for MENA industrial packaging.

How will Saudi Arabia Generate Market Growth Opportunities for MENA Industrial Packaging Market?

Saudi Arabia is estimated to hold a market share of 42% in the MENA industrial packaging market by 2023. Saudi Arabia holds a major part of the GCC country's industrial packaging market which accounts for the largest share of the market.

According to the Saudi Arabian General Authority for Investment (SAGIA) forecasts, the spending on food services is expected to grow by 6% per annum over the next five years, with food consumption reaching US$ 58.85 billion by the end of 2023. Saudi Arabian consumers are increasingly becoming savvy regarding food and beverages as their demand for new products with a stronger health focus is growing.

Online shopping of food combined with the growing proliferation of food delivery services is expected to accelerate the demand for sacks, folding cartons, and liquid cartons. The country is expected to hold a CAGR of 6.9% over the analysis period.

Competitive Landscape

Key players in the MENA industrial packaging market are strongly focusing on profit generation from their existing product portfolios along while exploring potential new applications. The players are emphasizing on increasing their MENA industrial packaging production capacities, to cater to the demand from numerous end use industries. Prominent players are also pushing for geographical expansion to decrease the dependency on imported MENA industrial packaging.

Recent Developments:

  • In 2023, Mauser Packaging Solutions, a leading global provider of industrial packaging solutions, expanded its operations in the Middle East by opening a new facility in the Turkey. The facility aims to meet the growing demand for industrial packaging solutions in the region and provide localized support to customers.
  • In 2022, Middle East Packaging Factory, a Saudi Arabia-based packaging company, invested in a state-of-the-art corrugated packaging plant in Riyadh. The facility is equipped with advanced technology and automation to enhance production efficiency and expand the company's packaging offerings in the region.
  • In 2021, Arabian Packaging, a leading packaging manufacturer in the MENA region, announced the opening of a new facility in Egypt. The facility is designed to produce high-quality corrugated packaging solutions for various industries, catering to the growing demand in the local market.

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