Thermoformed plastic products can be produced by heating a plastic sheet to a pliable forming temperature, shaping it as desirable, and trimming it to create a usable end product. Plastics can be thermoformed through various processes which include vacuum snapback, plug assist forming, and thick and thin gauge thermoforming. Different raw materials used for manufacturing thermoformed plastic products include acrylics, bio-degradable polymers, polycarbonates, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polystyrene (PS), and poly vinyl chloride (PVC). Thermoformed plastic products are usually lighter in weight and relatively-stronger compared to traditional packaging materials such as glass and woods. Thus, they are most-widely used in different packaging applications in electronic, healthcare and food packaging industries .
As per Reportlinker, the global plastic thermoformed product market is significant, with an estimated consumption of 7.3 bln lbs in 2013 and 7.6 bln lbs in 2014 and an expected increase to 9.4 bln lbs by 2019, at a CAGR of 4.3%. Consolidation of the global thermoformed plastic products market in recent years is one of the major trends witnessed in this market. Major players in the market have increased their mergers and acquisitions to gain a competitive edge and widen their customer reach. According to the report, increased demand for food and healthcare packaging is one of the major drivers in the market. The demand for thermoformed plastic products from the food industry has increased because of elevated sales of canned and packaged food products, resulting from changes in the lifestyle of the population, globally. These products are also increasingly being used in the form of blisters for healthcare packaging.
As per Persistence Market Research, based on application, the global thermoformed plastic products market can be segmented into six categories: food packaging, appliances, electronic packaging, healthcare packaging, automotive, and others. Thermoformed plastic products find the largest application in the food packaging industry. Thermoformed plastic products are used in the food packaging industry as a barrier to bacteria, odor and moisture to food products. In terms of geography, North America dominates the global thermoformed plastic products market due to the growing packaging industry and rapid industrialization. The U.S. represents the largest market for thermoformed plastic products followed by Canada in North America. In Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. hold major share of the thermoformed plastic products market.
The thermoformed plastic products market in Asia Pacific is expected to witness high growth rates in the next five years due to rising disposable income and increasing demand for food and healthcare packaging in the region. Japan, China, and India are expected to be the fastest-growing thermoformed plastic products markets in Asia Pacific. Increasing disposable income, increasing demand for ready-to-eat food, and increasing demand for food and healthcare packaging are some of the major driving factors of the thermoformed plastic products market. Increasing demand for thermoformed plastic products in the food industry is mainly driven by increased sales of packaged food products, mainly driven by changing lifestyle of people, rising urbanization, and hectic life schedule. Increasing disposable income in developing countries such as India and China is expected to increase growth of the thermoformed plastic products market. Increasing disposable income allows customers to spend more on convenience, ready-to-eat, and packaged food, which indirectly boost demand for thermoformed plastic products in the food packaging industry. According to the National Bureau of Statistics China, annual per capita disposable income of urban households in China increased from US$2271.0 in 2008 to US$3408.5 in 2012. The overall annual disposable income in India median household income increased from US$1366.2 bln in 2010 to US$1587.6 bln in 2013. Increasing raw material prices act as a major restraint for the thermoformed plastic product market. Some of the major companies operating in the thermoformed plastic products market are Pactiv, LLC., Anchor Packaging, Inc., Associated Packaging, Ltd., Peninsula Packaging Company, LLC., Placon Group, Berry Plastics, CM Packaging, Clear Lam Packaging, Graham Packaging, D&W Fine Pack, Huhtamaki Group, and Silgan Plastics.