The global cigarette industry was worth $698.6 billion in 2021 (1). The market is expected to reach CAGR of 2.72% during the forecast period 2021-2025. The Global Tobacco Packaging Market was valued at $16.19 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach a value of $19.59 billion by 2026 (2), at a CAGR of 3.32%, during the forecast period 2021-2026. 

The market growth for tobacco is attributed to the growing population, growing demand in Asia-Pacific of young adults and middle-aged people consuming tobacco. Europe is witnessing a tough legislative environment threatening the tobacco market.

Tobacco packaging demands premium quality with barrier properties, easy printing, and handling. By far, the most significant packaging is the flip top pack. This kind of packaging protects the cigarettes from damage and is most popular in western markets. The next most significant packagin is the soft pack, which is a paper pack construction offering less protection to the cigarettes but is less expensive to produce. Laminate structures of films are used to produce pouches widely used by the roll your own tobacco.

(1)  (2)


The tobacco industry faces huge challenges, especially from constantly changing legislation and the ever present problem of counterfeiting. Advertising, sponsorship and free samples for tobacco are prohibited in many countries. Packaging having the ability to communicate with consumers and reinforce brand image became essential for advertising. Nice packs with embellishments are now the norm in many markets.

With the growing health issues associated with tobacco, regions, such as Australia, Japan, and Europe have introduced “plain packaging” which aims to remove the branding elements on the pack. This is expected to influence the overall value of packaging consumed by the tobacco industry in these markets. For the remaining countries with less strict regulations, factors like booming retail sector, increase in online sales, increase in number of new smokers are expected to contribute to the demand for tobacco packaging products, particularly paper-based products. Paperboard boxes are expected to experience solid growth due to a favorable environmental profile.

As cigarettes accounted for 27% of the overall amount of counterfeited articles value in the EU, all brands are looking to address this threat and governments are very interested as cigarette smuggling is impacting the tax revenues ($10 billion in USA only and $6.5 billion in the EU). New print technologies with holograms, invisible inks combined with more sophisticated package designs are ways to complicate and reduce counterfeiting in western markets.

BOBST solutions

Tobacco packaging require unique specifications. The LEMANIC DELTA and the LEMANIC RIVIERA ILS gravure printing line are the best choice for flexibility and high volume production for flip top cigarette packs with inline added value applications for substrate enhancement such as embossing tactile effects, varnishing and foil stamping. All this in one printing and converting pass. The MASTER RS 4004 and MASTER RS 6003 gravure presses are specifically designed for production of both soft pack and cigarette and tipping paper. For humidity and aroma protection, thin films are used and metallized paper inside cigarette packets are a key requirements. The BOBST VISION K5 is able to handle many different film types including heat sensitive and thin gauge substrates. The BOBST EXPERT K5 can produce more rolls per day and provides significant cost savings. Both machines are industry benchmarks within the tobacco industry.

On one hand tobacco brand owners and packaging designers are looking for productivity. On the other hand they want to create differentiation for their products. In addition, brand owners want to make a clear difference between originals and forgeries, with holographic materials, protecting their valuable assets, and deterring counterfeiters. BOBST offers that with leading solutions.

Hot foil stamping is indeed a great way to make a product stand out, elevating packaging to a more eye-catching level. With almost fifty years of experience in the design and manufacture of foil stamping machines, BOBST has remained at the forefront of advances in this technology. When it comes to high foiling quality, MASTERFOIL 106 PR delivers exactly this. This hot foil stamping machine will simultaneously deliver unequaled foil stamping results as well as running foil and deep embossing jobs in one pass and ensure sharpest details.

Lower volume production will find a perfect match with the very versatile VISIONFOIL 104 hot foil stamping press, capable of instant change from foiling to flat-bed die-cutting with stripping. VISIONFOIL 104 H has been designed to deliver ultra-precise hologram application and give a distinctive advantage in the fight against counterfeiters. It is the perfect tool for placing holographic protection onto the packaging of almost any product and just as effortlessly can apply holograms or metal stripes to banknotes, visas, vouchers and tickets.

Folding small packages is a ley BOBST competence. For short runs, fast changeovers and high quality, the BOBST most highly automated and ergonomic MASTERCUT 106 PER die-cutter, is the top of the range machine that delivers unmatched productivity thanks to fast, uninterrupted production and exceptionally short set-up times.

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