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Global antimicrobial packaging market poised to register CAGR of over 6% until 2025

Global antimicrobial packaging market poised to register CAGR of over 6% until 2025

The demand for ready-to-eat, minimally processed and easily prepared food is increasing day-by-day. Initially packaging of these foods was basically to provide protective and barrier functions, against physical and environmental damages. However, the growth or spoilage due to microorganisms in the packaged foodstuff has still continued to cause problems regarding food safety and quality. To deal with this problem, the concept of ‘Active Packaging’ was introduced, where different active substances are incorporated into the packaging material to improve its functionality. Antimicrobial food packaging is one form of active packaging, where use of materials with antimicrobial properties is involved. The main aim of this type of packaging is to achieve high quality, safety and long shelf life by reducing or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms, which may be present in the packed food or the packaging material itself. The most desired property of antimicrobial packaging material for food is the controlled release of antimicrobial agent. A rapid or slow release would result in spoilage of packaged food.
As per Future Market Insights, several factors must be taken into account in the design or modelling of the antimicrobial film or package. It is clear that the selection of both the substrate and the antimicrobial substance is important in developing an antimicrobial packaging system:

  • Condition of processing antimicrobial activity residue
  • Microbial substance and food characteristics
  • Additives interaction with film matrix
  • Temperature for storage
  • Packaging material properties

One of the major drivers of the antimicrobial packaging market, is the increasing demand for packaged food. Increasing number of working women, migration of people from urban to rural areas, and rise in disposable income in emerging economies, are the factors that fuel the demand of packaged food. At times, packaged food is preferred over fresh food, because of the safety of quality and hygiene. Moreover, it is convenient and made tasty. Antimicrobial packaging industry has an opportunity to enter the beverage packaging industry, where antimicrobial agents can be used to increase the shelf life of alcoholic, non-alcoholic and dairy-based drinks. Flavored milk, fruit juices, wines, etc. can be packaged using antimicrobial films. Antimicrobial packaging can also be used for cosmetic packaging, which would improve the quality and shelf life of the products.
The antimicrobial packaging ingredients for food packaging market is segmented on the basis of antimicrobial agent type, food type and packaging film type. Antimicrobial agents are divided into chemical antimicrobial agents and natural antimicrobial agents. Chemical antimicrobial agents are further segmented into benzoic acid and potassium sorbate, and natural antimicrobial agents are segmented into nisin, lysozymes and lactoperoxidase. The market on the basis of food type is divided in to baby food, snacks and fresh food. On the basis of the type of film used for packaging, the market is segmented into low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), paperboard, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), cellophane and polyethylene (PE). North America & Europe are estimated to be the market leaders in the industry. Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period. There are heavy expenditures in the R&D segment of the companies, to introduce improved antimicrobial packaging films ingredients for food packaging. Major players in the antimicrobial packaging ingredients for food packaging industry are, Mondi Group (Austria), BioCote (U.K.), LINPAC Packaging (England), OPLON (Israel), Amcor Ltd. (Australia) and Sealed Air (U.S.). A lot of food technology companies are venturing with food packaging players to launch antimicrobial films in the market.

As per Research and Markets, the global antimicrobial packaging market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 6.4% over the next decade to reach approximately US$13.5 bln by 2025. Antimicrobial packaging is an active technology packaging solution. Antimicrobial agents are active barrier agents that are added to packaging materials for making antimicrobial packaging materials. Antimicrobial packaging materials are used to prevent the penetration of small atmospheric and molecular gases, such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, volatile flavor nitrogen compounds, water vapor, and aromatic compounds into the package. The global advanced packaging market, which includes the antimicrobial packaging market, is witnessing increased focus on the development of bio-nanocomposite based products. Bio-nanocomposites are composed of bio-based polymers and a nano-scale filler material. They are more eco-friendly and biodegradable than petroleum-based nanocomposites. According to the report, in many regions, more than 59% of the food is wasted due to spoilage. Barrier packaging materials such as antimicrobial packaging materials are highly flexible, transparent, and prevent the passage of gases, liquids, and radiation. These materials are used in the form of thin films and sheets for food packaging. They increase the shelf life of packaged foods by preventing the passage of atmospheric air. Further, the report states that The R&D costs for advanced packaging solutions such as antimicrobial packaging solutions are high. Also, testing of innovative materials for application in packaging involves elaborate procedures and is time-consuming and expensive. In addition, the price of certain raw materials used for manufacturing advanced packaging products is high. The use of these raw materials leads to higher procurement costs for vendors. Obtaining regulatory approvals is also costly.

With almost 59% share, antimicrobial plastic packaging will dominate the global antimicrobial packaging market through 2020, as per Technavio. The global antimicrobial packaging market is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 5% during the forecast period. The food industry is the most dominant application segment of the antimicrobial packaging market and accounted for a share of more than 40% of the total market in 2015. The increase in demand for meat, poultry, seafood, confectionery and bakery products is expected to drive the global antimicrobial packaging market. Antimicrobial packaging releases active agents into the packaged food products which help in increasing the shelf lives of the products and reduce the need for preservatives and additives.

Global antimicrobial packaging market by material 2015 (%)














Source: Technavio

The top three revenue generating material segments in the global antimicrobial packaging market are discussed below:
Global antimicrobial plastic packaging market: Its lightweight quality, low costs, and availability in various designs are making consumers prefer plastic packaging products over glass bottles, jars, containers, and metal containers. Vendors are incorporating antimicrobial agents such as grapefruit seed extracts (GFSE) on the surface of polyethylene (PE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and PLA packaging by the co-extrusion or solution-coating process. The packaging materials coated with GFSE showed activity against several microorganisms and helped in reducing the growth rates of bacteria in food packaging. According to Sharan Raj, a lead packaging research analyst at Technavio, “Plastic pouches are the major packaging products used in the food and beverage and healthcare industries and accounted for around 40% of the global plastic packaging market by volume in 2015. Pouches coated with antimicrobial agents are expected to witness a similar trend during the forecast period due to their usage across different industries.”
Global antimicrobial biopolymer packaging market: Biopolymer-based packaging films are gaining preference over other packaging films because of the increased demand from consumers for renewable packaging materials. The use of these films depends on cost, availability, barrier properties such as resistance to outside environment (humidity, sunlight). There has been significant reduction of bacterial population with the antimicrobial films resulting in more demand for antimicrobial biopolymer-based packaging films. “The antimicrobial biopolymer films help in extending the shelf life of food by controlling the growth of spoilage bacteria and also assure the safety of such products by offering protection against pathogens,” says Sharan.
Global antimicrobial paperboard packaging market: The key application segments for antimicrobial paperboard packaging include the pharmaceutical and food industries, primarily fast food packaging and liquid packaging. The market will benefit from demographic changes such as the aging of the population leading to increased consumption of pharmaceuticals. The demand for health and personal care products is also expected to grow, increasing the usage of folding cartons in these segments. However, the strong demand for plastic packaging solutions (mainly flexible formats) for the same target applications will adversely affect the paperboard packaging market.

antimicrobial packaging

As per Transparency Market Research, the global antimicrobial packaging market is expected to rise to US$11.88 bln by the end of 2024, after expanding at a CAGR of 5.6% within a forecast period from 2016 to 2024. The market was valued at US$7.65 bn at the end of 2015.
"The increasing instances of foodborne and waterborne illnesses, price inflation in the food and beverages industry, and a generally increasing awareness on the scarcity of food around the world is putting a lot of consumers in a position where they want to avoid wastage of food as much as possible. This need is augmented by the general household tendencies within the working class of stockpiling certain types of foods, spices, condiments, mixes, and beverages. In all, this forms the leading factor driving the global antimicrobial packaging market, due to the clear lead that antimicrobial packaging holds in terms of extending the shelf life of its consumable contents. Manufacturers of foods as well as the common consumer demographic is now looking for ways to increase the overall lifespan of foods and this search leads them to the several types of antimicrobial packaging available today," states a TMR analyst.
Another factor promoting the growth of the global antimicrobial packaging market includes the growing tendencies of consumers sticking to convenience foods. The modern hectic lifestyles that the majority of the working class leads is leaving them with little time to cook and driving the growth of the convenience foods markets. This consequently encourages the use of antimicrobial packaging, further enhancing this market's global growth rate.
Regulatory organizations such as the FDA are closely monitoring the addition of antimicrobial agents into foods as well as food wrappings. They prescribe the levels of safety that need to be adhered by all manufacturers in the regional antimicrobial packaging markets. These limitations on the types of chemicals that can be used as well as the amounts in which they can be used becomes a complicated affair for market players due to the difference in permissible levels between different key regions.
"The global antimicrobial packaging market is expected to get a shot in the arm from their increased demand from food and beverage producers over the coming years, especially from those that manufacture foods with very short shelf lives. Their endeavors to expand the distribution chain of foods with short shelf lives as well as the growing demand for them by consumers is likely to put manufacturers from the global antimicrobial packaging market in a very favorable position," adds the analyst. As stated in a research report by Transparency Market Research, the players from the global antimicrobial packaging market are likely to be highly attracted towards Asia Pacific owing to the region's dominant share in the global market's volume. Players are expected to continue being pulled towards this region over the coming years due to growth in its demand for convenience foods coupled with growing health concerns.

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