Packaging trends: paper, aluminium and even banana leaves
Recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan reveals that reductions in material usage and the development of more sustainable, durable and lighter-weight packaging solutions are key drivers to support market development.
The analysis — Global Food and Beverage Packaging Market, Forecast to 2030 — explores the factors and trends that have shaped the food and beverage packing landscape, the challenges that lie ahead and the opportunities that can be tapped. In addition to changes in packaging affecting growth, the analysis found that innovative packaging materials, advancing processing and additives through technological improvements and an increase in e-commerce distribution will further boost market expansion.
The analysis estimates that revenue will increase modestly, with a compound annual growth rate of 1.2% from 2018 to 2030; however, unit shipment by weight is set to decrease in the short term due to a sustained drive for lighter-weight packaging.
“With rising concerns around plastic pollution and stringent government regulations, manufacturers are seeking alternatives to plastic packaging. This is resulting in an uptick in use of paper- and aluminium-based packaging or other non-plastic materials such as biodegradable foods or resin,” said Christopher Shanahan, Global Director of Chemicals, Materials and Nutrition at Frost & Sullivan.
“Paper and aluminium are both recycled at high rates and are seen as viable alternatives to plastic, with biodegradable plastic films becoming more common as new degradable resin is adopted.”
To differentiate themselves in a well-established, highly consolidated and competitive market, packaging material suppliers are focusing on specific products such as flexible materials, rigid plastics and coatings for sachets and pouches. As minimising packaging costs is a priority, there is strong competition among manufacturers to provide the most cost-effective solutions to customers, including eco-friendly, lightweight products.
“Although manufacturers have already reduced the thickness of bottles and other packaging, they are now looking toward further down gauging and design improvements to make packaging more cost-effective,” Shanahan observed.
“For instance, designs such as droplet-shaped bottles have been shown to increase volumes without expanding the package weight.”
Frost & Sullivan vendors can make the most of key opportunities in the market by:
- exploring environment-friendly sources of plastics, such as plastic derived from corn or natural products such as banana leaves;
- creating novel packaging solutions with advanced materials;
- utilising the same type of packaging material across several applications to reduce production and processing costs;
- exploring emerging markets such as APAC, the Middle East and Africa;
- reducing material and transportation costs by decreasing the thickness of packaging materials.
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