Will Liquid Packaging Industry in India sustain the shift of sustainable packaging in the future?


India’s Liquid Packaging Market has been gaining good momentum in the last four years due to the rapid growth in the consumer market, especially in Food and Beverages, Pharma, Liquor, Personal Care, and Household Care.
Based on Ken Research’s study on the Liquid Packaging sector of India, a shift towards sustainable packaging is expected to rise in the coming years. Here is a glimpse of how the material used for packaging, polymers will become the new normal in the packaging segment over the next few years.

1. The Indian liquid packaging market is over 37K crore industry registering growth of 7% in last 3 years

Market Overview

Market Size in terms of Total Revenue (in INR Cr)

  • The Indian Liquid Packaging Industry is fragmented with a large number of unorganized player operating in the market
  • The liquid packaging market has grown at a CAGR of 7% over the last four years.
  • The end user market, which drives the demand for liquid packaging market include firms from F&B, Pharma, Liquor, Personal Care, Household Care and Industrial sector

Market Overview

The biggest segment of liquid packaging market in revenue terms is flexible packaging market, i.e. Tetra Pak, which is also one of the fastest growing packaging segment

The glass segment includes major manufacturer for pharma, liquor and F&B segment and the share of this segment in the liquid packaging market has been dwindling in the recent years

The metal category primarily includes manufacturer of cans and the segment is the fastest growing between FY’19 and FY’22

Plastic packaging includes manufacturer of PET and rigid plastics for F&B, household and personal care products and the segment has been growing steadily

The ‘others’ category include primarily laminated tubes, which grew at a CAGR of ~9.6% between FY19 – FY22, higher than the CAGR for the overall industry

2. Players enjoy the freedom of switching the packaging materials of their products due to the variation in the price per unit.

Pricing analysis between different packaging materials

  • From a pricing/cost aspect, glass and metal cans can be easily considered by the customers to be substitutable/interchangeable. For instance, the cost of procuring glass packaging materials for packaging 200 ML of Thums Up by Coca-Cola stands at around INR 8. While the cost of procuring metal cans for packaging 200 ML of soft drinks by Coca-Cola stands at around INR 10. Thus, there is no significant difference from a pricing standpoint for companies like Coca-Cola that sells liquid in different packaging materials (glass, PET, metal).
  • In fact, the price of PET bottles is much cheaper than that of glass bottles and is sold at around INR 3.5 per bottle. Thus, companies enjoy the liberty to switch between suppliers based on their requirement for packaging materials.

3. Due to cost convenience and sustainability reasons, not only Coca-Cola but Alcoholic beverages, which traditionally relied on glass packaging are also slowly moving to PET and tetra packs.

Use Cases of same liquid being packaged in glass and other packaging materials

The price of packaging 180ml liquor in different packaging materials is given in the table below.

Material Price (Rs./MT) Weight (Gm/Bottle) Price (Rs./Piece)
PET 155,000 12.5 1.9
Glass 29,000 145 4.2
Tetra Pak 200,000 10 2

After states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, Delhi has also started selling liquors in tetra packs.
-Times of India, Feb’ 2022

Tetra Pak emerging as preferred packaging for alcohol in Karnataka.
- Mint, Jan ‘2013

4. Pharma and beverage companies are also more invested in sustainable packaging solutions due to environmental concerns

Use Cases of same liquid being packaged in glass and other packaging materials


By 2025, Reckitt Benckiser is committed to have 100% plastic packaging for all products made using reusable or recycled material on a global scale
- Reckitt Benckiser Press Release, Oct’2020

Industry Speaks

Many medicines do well when packaged in both glass and plastic.
- Jens Heymann, SVP, Europe & Asia Tubular Glass, Gerresheimer

Amcor develops multivitamin packaging made from 100% recycled content
- Amcor Press Release, Feb‘2020


Heinz is teaming up with Pulpex to develop a paper-based, renewable and recyclable bottle made from 100 percent sustainably sourced wood pulp. We hope to bring this bottle to market and to be the first sauce brand to provide consumers this choice in their purchasing decisions, as many consumers today are looking for more sustainable packaging options.
- Rashida La Lande, EVP & Global General Counsel and Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer at Kraft Heinz


Coca-Cola launches multi-pack Tetra manufacturing line at Bidadi for processing, filling and packaging juice drinks.
- Business Line, Feb ‘2020

5. As a result, the Glass packaging segment is losing its market share to Metal and Tetra Pak, enabling sustainable packaging-the future of India’s Liquid Packaging sector.

The Future of Liquid Packaging

Convenience to be the biggest driver of packaging design


In retailing, as trends like drone delivery come into being, Tetra Pak will hold an advantage over glass and tin packaging as “our packaging is lighter”.
- Adolfo Orive, Global CEO, Tetra Pak

Sustainability concerns for glass manufacturing


In terms of Co2 emission at the production stage, Tetra Pak cartons are the winner, followed by plastic, then aluminum, and then glass is the worst.

Higher recycling rates of PET & Aluminium cans in India

Issues with glass recycling

  • Almost all households in India dump their waste in a single bin instead of segregating glass, metal, paper wastes and hence all these end up in landfills thereby making it difficult to get glass cullets*.
  • Ragpickers in India picks up a bottle of glass and a bottle of plastic, the bottle of glass is around 400gm; the bottle of plastic is around 40gm. So, the economics of rag-picking or economics of recyclability doesn’t favor glass.
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