Packaging Industry in Bulgaria and Greece

MachinesIndustrySouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2018 • 25.09.2018

The packaging industry at present is much more powerful and valuable than just a receptacle. A report done by the market research company Canadean estimated that the growth of the packaging market in European countries between the years 2014 and 2018 was around 2,1% per year, reaching above 1 billion packaging units. In 2018, flexible packaging in particular was forecasted at 373,56 billion units, majorly represented by bags and sachets, followed by films. During that period the main client sector of the packaging industry was food with around 80% of the market, with bakery and cereal segments representing around 37% of the demand in 2018. Within Europe, Russia remained the leading consumer of packaging, ahead of Turkey and Germany.

On the other hand, the European demand for rigid plastic packaging sustained growth of 2,19% to 2,61% per year. The food sector used around 164 billion units or approximately 56,2%, beverages 42,5% and dairy products 24,7% for the forecast period.

Germany and Russia are generally considered to be the biggest consumers of packaging in the continent, each with 13% of demand. Germany also reached 37 billion rigid plastic packaging units in 2018 according to Canadean. During the years before 2018, European countries recorded moderate growth of 1,44 to 1,88% for rigid metal packaging demand. The United Kingdom was the largest consumer, while Bulgaria set to record the highest CARG - at 12,08% by 2018.

In Southeastern Europe alone, most of the packaging material is imported. In Moldova and Serbia, there are larger glass factories, while foreign investments in (re)packaging are to be found in Albania as well as in Croatia due to growing demand. Besides that, there is a number of smaller packaging production (for example cartons and wooden boxes) and some re-packing facilities.

Investments in the packaging industry in the region are often realized in energy efficiency measures, in carton and wooden box production, in packaging and re-packaging facilities combined with logistic centers, and in PET production.

In Greece, the packaging materials industry is not classified as a separate business sector – instead it is distributed among other business fields, for example paper products, publishing - printing and graphic arts, plastic - elastic products, wood - cork and relevant products, metal products and construction and non-metallic mineral products.

The industrial operations on the national market that involve packaging materials production are included in the food products, agricultural products, beverages, pharmaceuticals - cosmetics, detergents and tobacco products industries.

In the current article we present some of the most prominent players on the packaging market in Southeastern Europe, specifically in Greece and Bulgaria.


Major Greek Companies 


Major Bulgarian companies