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Cost-cutting and changed lifestyles drive lightweight packaging in Australia

05 March 2014

According to a new packaging report from Canadean, the Australian packaging market is expected to grow at a volume compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.21% up to 2017. Australia’s increasing older population, shrinking household sizes and cost-cutting drive the need for smaller, lightweight packs.

The Australian packaging market is being influenced by the rapid growth in the country’s older population, resulting in demand for packs that are lightweight, easy-to-open and have clear labelling.

In 2012, 14.4% of the populace were over the age of 65, this figure is expected to increase to 17% by 2020.

Smaller household sizes and the increasing number of single-person households is creating further demand for smaller and single-serve packs as they provide greater convenience for on-the-go consumption, particularly for working professionals, students, and consumers who lead busy lives. With busier lifestyles, there is expected to be a greater demand for easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat food products.

Australian packaging manufacturers are using various strategies to meet the new demographic changes and cost-cutting needs such as new lightweight materials. For instance, Coca-Cola’s Mount Franklin packaged water has been made in a new PET bottle that is 35% lighter than its previous version, while the plastic packaging firm, Brickwood, has introduced the lightweight bottle called “Infini” for milk packaging, which is 22% lighter than any other rigid plastic packaging for milk. In addition, some product manufacturers in the Australian market have made efforts to reduce their environmental impact by launching product packaging which is environmentally friendly. For example, Cadbury redesigned the packaging for its Cadbury block chocolates, shifting from its earlier metallised paper wrapper that was not recyclable. The newly designed pack format is made from 100% recyclable paper, is re-closable, and also acts as a tray for sharing, adding convenience for consumers. 

This information is based on findings from Canadean’s packaging report: ‘Latest Trends and Key Issues in the Australian Retail Packaging Market’.


Market share of major packaging materials (% in value) 2012

 Australian package

Paper and board accounted for the largest market share of 35.3% of the total production in 2012, followed by plastic (33.9%), metal (18.7%) and glass (12.1%). Canadean predicts the increasing environmental concerns will continue to drive demand for paper and board packaging in the future.




Coca-Cola’s Mount Franklin spring water in a new PET bottle is 35% lighter than its previous version. The new bottle weighs only 12.8 grams and is the lightest weight Australian-produced 600ml spring water bottle. The bottle won Gold in the sustainability category of the 2011 Australian Packaging Design Awards.   


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