Demand for Bioplastics in Food Packaging Is Rapidly Growing
Market research and consultancy company Ceresana's latest market study analyzes the overall European market for food packaging (excluding beverages). Analysts expect this market (including secondary and transport packaging) to reach a volume of more than 38 million tonnes by 2022.
Especially the sales volume of environmentally sustainable packaging is growing strongly. Ceresana is forecasting a growth rate of more than 15% p.a. for disposable bags and other packaging solutions made of bioplastics. This trend will have a positive effect on products made of recycled plastics, and, to a more modest degree, also on paper packaging. However, sustainability alone is not enough. Glass packaging has a good reputation in this respect, but its demand is falling after all. Many consumers perceive glass containers to be too heavy, the risk of glass breakage too high.
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.
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 2.0% p.a. in the segment Plastics. Demand for PET containers will even rise by almost 4.0% p.a. This packaging type profits from the rapidly rising demand for food on the go.
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