Packaging industry in Catalonia grows after the pandemic

Submitted by Serena Rebollo… on 13 February 2023

0210 - Foto Noticia
  • According to the analysis made by the Packaging Cluster, the packaging sector is recovering and surpassing pre-covid pandemic turnover levels.
  • The European market foresees a 5.76% growth in sales until 2026.
  • The plastics and cartonboard industries stand out in terms of turnover.
  • In order to maximise the forecast figures, the cluster has identified the main macro trends for 2023, which will be structured around the axes of digitalisation, sustainability and design.

The Packaging Cluster, a reference entity of the packaging sector in Catalonia, presented a few days ago the quantification study of the Catalan packaging industry and the trends foreseen for 2023.

Pol Marin, Project Manager of Packaging Cluster, and Àlex González, Market Analyst of Packaging Cluster, highlighted the positive recovery of the Catalan packaging sector on the turnover in times of covid-19 (+4.55%) as well as the increase in the number of employees in the packaging industry (+2,288). Pol Martin states that "We must highlight the organic growth that the Catalan packaging sector is having, which has already recovered and even improved pre-covid data".

Among the 716 companies quantified in Catalonia, more than 30% of the sector dedicates its activity to plastic and 24.30% works in the field of cardboard, which represents more than 50% of the market share of the packaging industry.

Plastics generated a turnover of 3,169 million euros in 2021, 4.63% more than the previous year, with more than 11,000 workers and a profitability of 3.99%. While cardboard exceeded 2,400 million euros in turnover, with more than 7,000 workers and a profitability of 3.44%.

These figures demonstrate the strength and resilience of the ecosystem, where, as Àlex González states: "The packaging sector has a great weight in the Catalan economy, contributing €9,749 million, which represents 4% of the Autonomous Region's GDP".

The outlook is very positive in a context where the European market forecasts a growth in sales of 5.76% until 2026 and the Spanish market considers an annual increase of 1.33%.

Digitalisation, sustainability and design: the trends of 2023

The main macro trends that the sector will have to face are related to digitalisation, sustainability and design.

E-commerce, Smart packaging, Blockchain and the Metaverse will be the four legs of digitalisation that will mark the future of the packaging sector and its relationship with the end user.

Within sustainability, the new legislative framework must be considered, where the new Royal Decree on Packaging and Packaging Waste was recently approved, which affects the entire chain.

In parallel, eco-design will be key to achieving the sustainable development objectives imposed by the European Union. An eco-design that will have to be inclusive in order to adapt to the needs of everyone, and that can avoid, as far as possible, food waste.

IntelFoodPack: key information from the food and packaging industry

In addition to the presentation of the study of trends and quantification of the sector, Miguel Ángel Casquero, Co-founder & CBDO of Idiogram, was able to present the results and functions of the IntelFoodPack 2.0 platform. This is an intelligent digital space designed by the Packaging Cluster and Cluster Food+i, the Food Cluster of the Ebro Valley, with the aim of obtaining key data from the two industries, agri-food and packaging. With this automated tool, cluster members will be able to access filtered content according to their current and market needs, and will receive these reports by email, without any intermediary. With all this intelligence, companies and entities in the value chain will have another tool with which to build a strategy that responds to a holistic view of the packaging landscape. You can read the full study HERE, as well as register to the IntelFoodPack platform to discover everything about the agri-food and packaging sector.

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