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Paper market research

honeycomb cardboard

An important gap in the honeycomb cardboard market segment

In 2018, the market potential for honeycomb paperboard in the UAE was estimated to be around 60,000 tons a year; and this is a market that remains largely unfulfilled.

This market segment presents a great opportunity because, internationally, demand for honeycomb paperboard is exploding due to the boom in e-commerce and online retail.

Market definition

Honeycomb paperboard packaging will appeal to any and all industries where end-buyers are targeted and shipments require protection to prevent damages. Honeycomb paperboard is an innovative and unique alternative to the wood and plastic packaging.

Honeycomb paperboards have 95% air and 5% material, resulting in lower cargo weight, less loading time, efficient transportation, and reduced cost when used. In fact, the use of honeycomb paperboard products can reduce the overall cost of packaging by a maximum 30%.

But honeycomb paperboard is not a well-known packaging solution among consumers, therefore vendors need to apply special sales force to sell their honeycomb paperboard products. Initially, this can result in extra cost but will give better return in the long run.

Cardboard market research

Our paper market research suggested that corrugated cardboard constitutes around 60% of global production and consumption of paper, or paper consumption per capita.

  • Out of that, honeycomb paperboard represents a minimum 20% that’s increasing exponentially (up to 40%) because of the sharp increase in e-commerce and logistics.
  • The value of packaging used in e-commerce is rising at 25% per year in the UAE because of e-commerce.
paper market research in dubai and the uae

UAE Paper consumption per capita in 2018

  • Our paper market research shows that the UAE paper consumption per capita is 139 Kgs (or the equivalent of 1.3 Million tons of paper),
  • Corrugated cardboard constitutes an average 55% of total paper consumption per capita, or the equivalent of 76 Kgs (=139 Kgs x 55%),
  • Out of that 76 Kgs, honeycomb paperboard is estimated to constitute around 6.3 Kgs/Capita (or 8 % of the corrugated paper market). For a UAE population of 9.5 Million, total honeycomb paper market size in the Emirates is expected to be around 60,000 tons (= 9.5 Million x 6.3 Kgs/Capita).

Market segments

  • By type
Type Percentage of Sales
Interior packaging 36%
Exterior packaging 32%
Pallets 12%
Other types 20%
  • By end-user industry
Food and beverageFurnitureElectronics
Personal careChemicalsAppliances
Home carePharmaceuticalsRubber and plastics
HealthcareAgriculture and floricultureElectrics
RetailConstruction (clay board, cement ducts and doors etc.)Pesticides
Logistics and freightOil and lubricantsTextiles
Courier and e-commerceAutomobileIndustrial parts
Confectionery, crisps and snacksDiary and juicesPoultry and fish
Frozen foodsPet foodsGlass products
Relocations and movers

  • By special characteristics
Water-repellent honeycomb paper Fire-resistant honeycomb paper
Graphic honeycomb paper Continuous honeycomb paper
Expanded honeycomb paper Blocks honeycomb paper

Historical sales breakdown analysis – Manufacturer A

Description Percentage  of total
Sales – boxes 48%
Sales – edge boards 24%
Trading Items: slip sheets, donnage bags 13%
Sales-HCB 8%
Sales – pallets 6%
Sales-pall runs 1%
Sales-flat board 1%
Sales-Honey core 0%
Sales-wrap round 0%
Total sales 100%

Pricing analysis – Manufacturer A

Description Historical Data
Selling price 6,400 AED/Ton

Honeycomb paperboard manufacturers

Key manufacturers

Market research in MENA and the GCC

Description Country
Dopack Egypt
Andalus Group KSA
Manufacturer  A UAE

Key manufacturers


Tetra Laval International Paper Company Rengo WestPack
Graphic Packaging International Corporation Sappi Limited DS Smith Amcor
Mondi Group Oji Paper Smurfit Kappa Metsa Group
Yoj Pack-Kraft Amcor Limited Grief, Inc.Westrock Company
Mauser GroupInternational Paper CompanyWuxi Sifang Drums Limited CompanyBemis Company, Inc.
Orora LimitedSigma Plastics GroupTekni-Films, Inc.Honicel, Cartoflex
Sealed Air CorporationB.A.G. Corp.Nefab GroupRDA bulk packaging
Cascades Inc.Corint GroupGrigeo klaipedos kartonasAxxion Industries
ForlitHoneycomb CellpackBestemDufaylite Developments
L’HexagoneTivuplast, QK Honeycomb ProductsEmin LeydierAxxor
Rebul Custom PackagingHonECOre Paper Honeycomb SolutionsHoneycomb Products anc.Multi-Wall Packaging