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Market Dynamics Favor Thermoform Packaging

Healthy demand from food and pharmaceutical companies will spur growth, despite sustainability challenges.

Kate Bertrand Connolly 1, Freelance Writer

April 15, 2024

3 Min Read
Thermoform packaging market graphic
MarketsandMarkets/Rick Lingle, Canva

At a Glance

  • The market will grow to $65.6 billion by 2028 at a 4.7% CAGR.
  • Plastic tops aluminum and paper as preferred thermoform material.
  • Blister packs are expected to dominate the market.

The thermoform packaging market is poised for solid growth in the next four years. An exclusive report from MarketsandMarkets estimates this segment of the packaging industry will grow from $52.2 billion in 2023 to $65.6 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period.

Demand for protective, customizable packaging for food, pharmaceuticals, and e-commerce is expected to drive growth in the segment.

Opportunities fueling growth will include the use of biodegradable and recyclable materials, expansion into emerging markets, and design innovation. A lack of recycling infrastructure for thermoform packaging will be the most significant constraint on growth.

The report parses the thermoform packaging market by:

  • Material — plastic, aluminum, and paper/paperboard;

  • Heat-seal coating — water-, solvent-, and hot melt-based coatings;

  • Package format — blister pack, clamshell, skin packaging; and

  • End-use industry — food and beverage, electronics, home and personal care, pharmaceuticals, and other.

Of the materials, plastic dominates the thermoform packaging market. Plastic’s adaptability, reflected in intricate, detailed designs and a variety of package shapes and sizes, contributes to the material’s favored status among brand owners.

Additional factors driving brand owners to plastic include its excellent barrier properties; protection against moisture and oxygen safeguards the freshness of perishable products and can extend shelf life. Plastic is also lightweight, when reduces transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Thermoform packaging’s hottest segment.

Blister packs will show the strongest growth rate among thermoform package formats, thanks largely to the pharmaceutical industry’s reliance on this type of packaging.


Benefits of blister packs include excellent product protection; transparency, for visual inspection of products; versatility, for use with a range of products; compatibility with automated filling; ease of handling; and tamper-evident seals.

For heat sealing, solvent-based coatings are the most popular for thermoform packaging applications because of their superior performance. These coatings offer water and grease/oil resistance, which preserves product freshness. They also provide strong seals, assuring product protection during transportation and handling.

Additionally, solvent-based coatings are compatible with a range of processing temperatures, which increases manufacturing flexibility.

Looking at the thermoform packaging market by end-use industry, the report indicates the food and beverage sector is the dominant user. However, the pharmaceutical industry will experience the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Thermoform packaging leaders expand, acquire, innovate.

The report also provides an analysis of leading thermoform packaging companies, including Australia-based Amcor Limited, US-based Sonoco and WestRock, UK-based DS Smith, and Finland-based Huhtamaki Oyj (Finland).

Several of these competitors engineered key developments in the thermoform packaging market in recent years, most notably:

  • Amcor’s expansion of its North American thermoforming capabilities, with a focus on healthcare applications, announced in January 2024.

  • Amcor’s 2019 acquisition of Bemis, which strengthened Amcor’s position in the US.

  • The launch of Amcor HealthCare OrthoSecure thermoformed trays — Class III medical device packaging — in November 2022.

  • Sonoco’s acquisition of Thermoform Engineered Quality and Plastique Holdings (collectively known as TEQ), a global thermoform packaging manufacturer, in January 2020.

  • Sonoco Alloyd division’s launch of an all-paper retail blister package, the EnviroSense PaperBlister, in February 2020.

  • DS Smith’s plan to acquire Serbian packaging company Bosis, announced in August 2023.

About the Author(s)

Kate Bertrand Connolly 1

Freelance Writer

Kate Bertrand Connolly has been covering innovations, trends, and technologies in packaging, branding, and business since 1981.

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