In 2010, brick and shaped liquid cartons together took two thirds of the Chinese milk market, with flexible plastic pouches holding 23 per cent.
Cartons are tipped to extend that dominant position in years to come.
“Liquid cartons will take share from flexible plastic, the other main pack type used for liquid dairy in China,” Dr Benjamin Punchard, head of packaging research at Euromonitor, told DairyReporter.com.
Why cartons are winning?
Punchard explained that cartons resonate well with Chinese consumers.
“Liquid cartons are considered to be a quality pack type that engenders a feeling of trust in the product. With the melamine scare still in memory, packaging that conveys quality, robustness and trust are well positioned to do well.”
“Liquid cartons also benefit from a growing trend of gift giving in liquid milk in the country.
Flexible plastic, on the other hand, is considered a lower quality product and involves more hassle for consumers as they have to decant the milk into a jug.
Nevertheless, Punchard said all pack types are set to benefit from increased consumption of milk over the coming years. Per capita consumption is currently low but with a big population and positive market momentum, milk packaging is on its may to becoming big business in China.
And it is not just plain milk that is a significant force – flavoured milks are a big category in the country. Euromonitor said flavoured milk drinks rank as the most dynamic category for liquid cartons in the Asia Pacific.
In China, the research company said consumers are showing a special interest in red date flavoured milk.