Food packaging market is by far the largest application segment of the packaging industry, accounting for more than one-third of the global packaging market. From a global perspective, the food packaging market is at a very interesting situation, where the market has almost reached a plateau in terms of technology in the more developed nations in North America and Europe, while the emerging countries of Asia Pacific region are playing catch up to the packaging technologies and food supply chain management. Different types of food products require varied packaging types according to their individual usage and perishability, as per Transparency Market Research.
The sea change in food habits and preference for processed food has propelled the food packaging market in the past. The market for packaged food has already reached a holistic level in North America and Western Europe, while rapid lifestyle changes and economic growth, coupled with rising population in Asia Pacific countries such as China and India, has spiked the growth rate of food packaging in the region. The growth rate in South America and the Middle East is also on the higher side compared to the developed economies. The main reason for increasing preference for processed food is the shifting population dynamics towards urban centers from rural areas. This has resulted in the advent of dual income urban families, who prefer processed food due to time constraints. Packaged food has evolved from super markets to neighborhood stores in countries such as China, India, Brazil and Thailand among others. The market dynamics in North America and Europe however, is governed by branding activities undertaken by food processing companies.
Tremendous opportunity exist in the food packaging market in emerging economies as the food packaging technology is in its growth phase in this region. Antimicrobial packaging technique is of particular interest as it helps to improve the shelf life of perishable food products. The market is however, slightly restrained by the declining growth in North America and Europe. The food packaging market can be segmented into application segments such as convenience foods, confectionary items, dairy items, fruits and vegetables, meat and sauces and dressings. The popularity of the different food applications is different across the globe. For instance packaged meat is making foray into Asia Pacific region while it is mainstream in North America and Europe. Materials used to package food can also be segmented into plastic, paper & board, metal and glass. They may also be classified as rigid, semi-rigid and flexible by type of packaging material. The preferences for different packaging materials also vary with regions due to the food habits specific to the regions. Flexible packaging accounts for the largest share of food packaging.
As per TMR, North America is the largest food packaging market followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. However the growth rate exhibited by these regions has subsided considerably as the market is close to its peak. The growth parity is however, restored by the high growth regions of Asia Pacific and South America. China and India have exhibited exceptional growth potential and is expected to overtake the market leading position from North America in the near future. Some of the major players in the food packaging market are American Packaging Corporation, Anchor Packaging, Crown Holdings, Inc. and Bemis Company, Inc., among many others.
Food packaging industry is expected to increase from 2014-2020 owing to the increase in the consumption of convenience foods, as per Grand View Research. Convenience features such as easy opening, portability and easy disposability are the key factors responsible for driving the food packaging market. Visual appeal and convenience are additional aspects that are anticipated to fuel the growth of the food packaging market over the forecast period. Food packaging ensures the extension of shelf life of the products within highly sterile environments that prohibits the growth of the microorganisms that are responsible for the decay and spoilage of food products. Increasing consumer awareness regarding the ongoing environmental concerns and gradual alteration of buying habits is likely to propel food packaging market growth over the forecast period. Health and safety of food products have become the top priority of consumers on a global scale, which has led to significant growth of the food packaging industry. In addition to this, increasing government regulations implemented by regulatory authorities including European Food Safety Authority, U.S. FDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Global Food Safety Initiative, to ensure safety and prevent contamination of food products have also become key factors for the rise of the food packaging market. Economically, packaged foods have proven to be beneficial to consumers as compared to their non packaged counterparts which is the primary concern of the consumers next to health and safety of the food products.
Asia Pacific and Europe have been the most dominant in the food packaging industry over the past few years owing to heavy consumption of the consumers as well as stringent government regulations focused on the health, safety and quality of the food products. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing economic region due to the increasing demand of healthy food products that is fueled by the increasing population in the countries of this region. In addition to this, economic feasibility and viability of packaged foods in the countries of the region are additional factors that are expected to lead to increase in the food packaging market over the forecast period.
As per Grand View Research, several R&D activities along with targeted innovations are being carried out by key players of the food packaging industry that form a platform for the investors. Innovations such as self-opening, self-closing, self-sealing, self-cleaning and self-heating mechanisms are being developed in order to ensure easy operation of these products thereby increasing the convenience of the consumers. Such developments pose fresh opportunities for the investors in the food packaging industry.
Visiongain's new report assesses that the global food packaging market value in 2016 will be US$282.6 bln. An expansion in the market is expected over the period 2016-2026. The USA, Japan, Germany, and China are the main markets which are expected to drive the global market. Expansion of the food packaging market is expected within Asia. The Chinese and Japanese population have started to adopt western lifestyles. This population is requiring small sizes, easy-to-open solutions, and right labelling content. Further, the Italian market is featured by its consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits. Italian shoppers are increasing its consumption of canned food such as fish and seafood (tuna), meat, tomatoes and beans. In addition, the demand for paper, flexible and rigid plastic food packaging is expected to increase due to Brazil’s role as an exporter of poultry, soyabeans, sugar, rice and beef. Visiongain estimates a growth within the rest of the world market due to several countries showing business opportunities. Mexico, Colombia, Portugal, Turkey, South Africa and Indonesia are market players which their GDP and urban population expected to increase. In addition the household composition shows opportunities to develop small and medium size food packaging. Increasingly, consumers are health and environmentally conscious; these show opportunities for food packaging firms which are able to offer readable labeling, different type of packaging size, easy-to-open and food waste solutions.
A study by Ceresana the market for food packaging is determined by a large variety of trends. Materials are replaced by others, for example metal by plastics. In the segment Plastics, individual types of plastics are gaining in importance at the expense of others. Composite films made of several layers of different materials are utilized more and more often to meet complex requirements. At the same time, new and innovative packaging types and technologies are developed, such as stand-up pouches, modified atmosphere packaging, intelligent packaging, high barrier film, shelf-ready packaging, etc. Dynamics in individual applications vary depending on the sector and country and are influenced by regulations, legislation and consumer trends. The consumer behavior and expectations are changing due to new technologies, an improved access to information in general, social trends (demographic change, urbanization, orientation towards wellness and convenience, etc.) as well as new distribution channels. All this is having an impact on the way of packaging food today and in the future. Manufacturers are confronted with having to find a way of meeting all these requirements and developing packaging solutions that are lighter, more cost-efficient and of a higher performance as well as innovative, attractive and practical.
The market for bioplastics is rapidly growing. Packaging solutions, especially single-use food packaging, will have a great potential for the usage of bioplastics. In Europe, the demand for bioplastics in the packaging industry is expected to increase by more than 15% p.a. over the next years. As the term sustainability is clearly gaining in importance for evermore consumers, the demand volume of packaging solutions that are considered to be environmentally friendly will experience strong growth rates. This also includes packaging solutions made of recycled plastics. To some degree, paper packaging can profit from this trend as well. The preference for organic food is rising and thus stimulating the usage and sale of packaging that is perceived to be sustainable. However, sustainability alone is not enough. Glass packaging, for example, is considered to be sustainable, but its European demand will fall by more than 1% p.a. over the next years. Consumers often find that container glass is too heavy and impractical as there is a risk of breakage.
Consumers expect lightweight and practical packaging, a long shelf life, complete information about the packaged product and an appealing design. The industry is steadily launching new products and technologies and is on the right track to meet the requirements laid down by consumers. Stand-up pouches are used in more and more areas in order to reduce the packaging weight and resource deployment. The shelf life of food can be extended by modifying the gas composition inside the package. This method is called modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). Choosing a suitable film with the desired barrier properties is decisive. All in all, consumers are better informed and wish to have as many details about the product as possible, such as the origin, manufacturing conditions, freshness, atmospheric composition inside the packaging, ingredients, additives, etc. By using new and intelligent packaging solutions, consumers gain access to more detailed information about the packaged food. The data can be visualized directly on the packaging (e.g. printed scales) or by scanning codes and information using mobile phones and the corresponding apps.
The development of individual food segments is having an influence on the type and demand volume of food packaging. Here, the domestic production volume of the particular food product is playing an important role as many of them are packaged right or shortly after they have been manufactured or harvested. The output in turn is often strongly influenced by domestic demand in the respective country. Therefore, both figures are relevant for the market analysis. Packaging demand for chilled and frozen food as well as for ready-made meals is expected to experience the highest growth rates over the next years. The reason for this is the growing orientation of European consumers towards convenience food. The sales volume of packaging for canned and preserved food, however, is dropping. The dynamic of the packaging market can vary strongly in the individual food segments according to the material and packaging type. Over the next eight years, demand for metal packaging is thus projected to rise by about 0.5% p.a. in the sub-segment ready-made meals while the growth rate for paper and cardboard packaging (including corrugated board) is expected to be at about 3.1% p.a. Paper and cardboard food packaging is generally benefiting from the rising demand for shelf ready packaging. The rising popularity of trading food online will lead to an increased demand for cardboard and corrugated board shipping packaging.
Plastic bag packaging is gaining in importance in many segments. In Germany, demand for plastic bags and sacks in the area of food packaging is even experiencing the most dynamic growth rates of 2.6% p.a. when compared to other plastic packaging types. Demand for stand-up pouches is currently showing a very high potential. In the segment Packaging Films (for primary packaging), growth rates are the highest for PET films, especially for BOPET films. Across Europe, we expect an annual increase of, on average, about 3.3% over the forecasting horizon. At the European level, demand for rigid containers will record the highest percentage increase of about 2% p.a. in the segment Plastics. Demand for PET containers will even rise by almost 4% p.a. This packaging type profits from the rapidly rising demand for food on the go.