The barrier film market was valued at USD 30.2 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 44.04 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 6.5% during the period of 2020-2025. The increasing demand for barrier films can be attributed to the increased demand from various end-user industries, such as pharmaceutical packaging, food & beverage packaging. Flexible packaging formats, such as retort pouches, bags, and trays with wraps, are helping consumers with busy lifestyles and single-households and meeting their need for convenient packaging.
- With the rapid growth of large retail chains, it greatly benefitted the barrier films market. These retail chains are enlarging the market for packaged food, as well as electronics and pharmaceutical items; also, companies are increasingly using barrier films owing to an increased focus on cost reduction and shelf-life extension.
- Supermarkets/hypermarkets are becoming more favored by consumers across the globe due to their wide range of product offerings and various choices of premium brands, unavailable at individual outlets. Thus, these supermarkets/hypermarkets are witnessing increased adoption in major cities and are also expanding their presence in developing markets, which will further expand barrier films demand in these countries.
- Further, among the materials, PET is anticipated to witness an increase in use, owing to its ability to be metalized by the vapor deposition of metals, which further improves the barrier against oxygen, water vapor, and aroma loss. LCP (liquid crystal PET) is an emerging PET film for high gas barrier applications. In July 2019, the Ministry for the Environment New Zealand announced NZD 3 million investment for an infrastructure project that will provide the further capability for reprocessing of PET plastic into 100% recycled PET food-grade packaging.
- Due to these factors, PET grades are suitable for packaging applications, as per the FDA regulations. They are also employed as photovoltaic films as the basic substrate for cost reduction. The market for EVOH is expected to witness the fastest growth, owing to its excellent gas barrier properties. Despite being expensive, a thin layer of the product can be used to achieve maximum barrier properties.
- With the recent outbreak of COVID 19, the barrier film packaging manufacturer is facing supply chain disruption along with decreasing manufacturing at the site in many parts of the world. However, with the increasing demand for medical and healthcare supplies, barrier film packaging market will expect a growth in the market. For instance, Envy pack is also continuing its operation for supplying the medical and healthcare packaging solutions in clear pouches pockets and adhesive-backed sleeves, with and without print to meet the demand.
- Moreover, with the continuous supply of daily essentials, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and personal & home care, among others, the market for barrier film packaging is expected to grow in this pandemic situation. For instance, in the DAHD&F India report 2019, the country has produced 187.7 million tonnes of milk in the year 2019.
Key Market Trends
Food Industry to Hold a Major Share in the Market
- The changing food habits which are associated with the busy lifestyle of people creates a demand for packaged food. Also, the increasing demand for packaged food can be attributed to the improving lifestyles of people, owing to the increase in disposable income, which is driving the market studied.
- Food products are affected based on both intrinsic parameters, such as pH, preservatives, and water activity, as well as extrinsic parameters, like temperature, humidity, and gaseous environment. Barrier film solution helps in mitigating these challenges. Companies have been continuously innovating to meet the stringent requirements of the food industry.
- Futamura is one such company in the market, and in 2019, launched ‘NatureFlex™ 30NVO’. Their new film offers benefits like the ability to cook or heat in the oven, as well as other benefits, such as heat seal-ability on both sides, semi permeability to moisture, good barrier to oxygen and mineral oils, grease and oil resistance, dead-fold, and inherently anti-static.
- Further, the “snacking” trend across the globe is driving consumers to purchase “on-the-go” food items, while also demanding healthy and improved flavor options. This has driven grocery stores, restaurants, and supermarkets to welcome this trend by offering a variety of packaged foods and ready-to-eat meals, and has further created the demand for flexible and convenient packaging with high barrier properties.
- Further, the application of barrier heat-resistant BOPP films is one of the primary trends observed in the food packaging market, where the moisture and oxygen barrier is of utmost importance. This film allows both printing and barrier functionalities, which enable its construction with even two-ply laminates.
- Moreover, companies are manufacturing barrier film solutions that provide high emphasis on developing 100% recyclable products to promote a circular economy in the packaging industry. For instance, recently, Innovia Films launched its new series of transparent barrier film solutions for cereal bars, biscuits, snacks, dried fruits, nuts, tea, and coffee. These products are designed with the standalone mono film, to be used in laminated construction so that they can be recycled readily.
- In October 2019, Amcor introduced its more sustainable high-barrier film range, AmLite Ultra Recyclable. This range is made from polyolefin film and claims to boost the carbon footprints by up to 64%.
- Further, the food industry accounts for around 5% of the US GDP, which is still growing, owing to the higher demand for packaged food and is expected to generate USD 31.7 billion in food packaging in United States, according to Association of Packaging and Processsing Technology.
North America Occupies the Largest Market Share
- North America region showed a significant change in the consumer lifestyle trends, who are demanding convenience and portability of products, especially in the food sector, which directly drives the barriers films market.
- The food industry accounts for more than 5% of US GDP and is still currently growing, due to the greater demand for packaged foods. The advantages such as ease of use at home and on-the-go flexibility have become necessary factors that drive the purchase of packaged foods.
- Further, the increasing production and demand for milk and other packaged beverages are also increasing the demand for barrier films. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States accounted for 217,500 million pounds of milk production in 2018.
- The country is witnessing a shifting trend in milk packaging. Many of the companies have started preferring aseptic cartons and pouches for milk packaging as they provide extended shelf-life and are easy to transport. Moreover, the consumers in the region prefer products with extended shelf-life, which is significantly contributing to the growth of the market studied.
- Additionally, expanding the use of drug therapies, an aging regional population, and expanded access to healthcare have stimulated the demand for pharmaceuticals over a period of five years till 2019, thereby bolstering the demand for barrier films.
- The United States dominates the pharmaceutical market, both in consumption and development. In terms of pharmaceutical drugs, pricing generates a constant topic of debate in the country. According to STAT, prescription drug spending in the nation is considered to add up to USD 600 billion by 2023, up from an estimated USD 500 billion in 2019, which is further expected to drive the market for barrier films in the country.
The barrier film market is fragmented and competitive due to the presence of small and large vendors. The market is moderately concentrated, slowly moving towards the fragmented stage. Key strategies adopted by the major players are product innovation and partnership. Some of the key players in the market are Amcor Limited, Bemis Company, Berry Global, among others. Recent developments in the market are -
- January 2020 - Amcor announced its partnership with Moda vacuum packaging systems in North America and Latin America. With this partnership combining Amcor’s shrink bag and roll stock film for meat and cheese with Moda’s system, the producers in these regions are expected to gain operational efficiencies and drive total cost savings.
- April 2019 - Amcor has launched AmLite Ultra Recyclable, its first packaging product made from the company’s revolutionary, more sustainable high-barrier polyolefin film. The new high-barrier laminate can package a range of food, home, and personal care, and pharmaceutical products, and be recycled in existing polyolefin recycling streams.
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