The global market for functional additives and barrier coatings for plastic packaging is to grow by 4.3% in the period 2009-2014 according to a new study by Pira International. In 2014 the sector will be worth US$752 mln compared to US$609 mln in 2009. The largest users of functional additives and barrier coatings for plastic packaging are electronics, electricals and the snack foods market. In the period 2009-2014, Pira predicts barrier coatings will grow 4.6% annually on average, while functional additives are expected to expand at a slightly more modest 3.9%. The resulting 4.3% CAGR of the combined additives and coatings market is a much higher than the predicted growth of the packaging market. The market segments with the best development prospects are epoxy, SiOx, carbon and PVOH coatings and antifog and antimicrobial additives. Pira identifies a range of factors expected to drive the predicted growth in the additives and coatings market including:
Global recession impacting the structure of end-user demand: Sales of basic products such as essential food and beverages have remained largely unchanged, but a number of products requiring more sophisticated packaging, such as cosmetics, snack foods, confectionery and ready meals, have suffered a drop in sales. This has had a negative impact on the demand for functional additives and barrier coatings.
Growing demand for barrier-coated PET bottles, which will be increasingly generated by markets such as the beer-brewing industry.
The activity of large retail chains in developing markets, their growing footprint in these regions is expected to stimulate the sales of packaged food.
Mounting pressure on brand owners and retailers to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging. Reducing packaging weight by switching to thinner materials is one likely response, which will in turn drive demand for functional additives. The use of barrier coatings is also expected to increase thanks to its relative easy of recycling as opposed to older technologies such as multilayer bottles.
Changing lifestyles of consumers: Busier lifestyles, longer working hours and the increasing number of single-person and single-parent households will drive demand for smaller packs, ready meals and frozen food. In turn this will spur demand for barrier coatings and functional additives.
According to Pira the largest current user of functional additives and barrier coatings for plastic packaging is the non-food market - mainly electricals and electronics. In second place is snack foods. Both industries are poised to remain in the lead in the coming five years.