Clarity in product messaging and in the packaging itself are welcome attributes by consumers, thus the global transparent barrier packaging films market in the food industry is witnessing a steady growth from the last few years that is expected to continue. The report from Technavio (Toronto) forecasts the global transparent barrier packaging films in food industry to grow at a 6.3% CAGR during the period 2017-2021.
Transparent barrier film is a packaging film made up of different types of polymers, based on the application. The global food industry is the major contributor to the growth of the global transparent barrier packaging films market, and contributes 57.4% share of the market. In the food industry, these packaging films are used to provide both moisture and vapor-resistance packaging for food products. The high barrier property of transparent film provides extended shelf-life for food. Processed food items, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are the prominent items that are packed using transparent barrier films. Food manufacturers use transparent barrier films packaging as a tool to increase the sales of the food product by projecting the freshness of the food items to the customers.
Increased consumption of processed food items and ready-to-eat food products is the major stimulator from the end-user side. Rapid urbanization along with increasing disposable income is changing the food preference of consumers. As consumers find ready-to-eat food items both time and energy saving, they are ready to spend extra. This will boost the demand for the transparent barrier packaging films market in the food industry.
The top three emerging trends driving the global transparent barrier packaging films market in the food industry according to Technavio are:
- Innovation in transparent barrier films;
- Recycling of transparent barrier films; and
- Growing biodegradable films market.
Innovation in transparent barrier films
“The growing environmental concern is bringing a lot of innovation in transparent barrier films market for the last few years,” says Shakti Jakhar, Technavio lead analyst for research on packaging. “Many manufacturers are adding additive agents in polymers to get more moisture and vapor resistance. By doing so, they can replace the requirement of aluminum foil to some extent, which can bring some percentage of sustainability in their business divisions.”
New product innovation is also emerging in the transparent film market by eliminating chlorine content. The presence of chlorine content in transparent film increases carbon emission and energy consumption while manufacturing and generates non-degradable waste after disposal. By rectifying this problem, some vendors are bringing innovative products that can solve all the issues mentioned above.
Recycling of films
“Initiation of new regional regulations for plastic reduction paves the way for complete recycling of transparent barrier films,” Shakti points out. “Many waste handling organizations have utilized these opportunities by introducing innovative recycling techniques for complete recycling of both aluminum and chlorine-added plastic films.”
Enval, a UK-based waste handling organization, has developed a pyrolysis process in which transparent film is allowed to burn in a chamber; the char from this residue consists of 79% liquid carbon and 21% carbon gas. Carbon dioxide is not generated in this process because the chamber contains no oxygen. The liquid carbon and gaseous carbon produced in this process can be transported to different locations for fulfilling the requirements of fuel and energy needs.
A growing biodegradable film market
Polyhydroxybutyrate Valerate (PHBV) is one of the earliest-found bio-degradable packaging films; it is a bacterially grown polyester with similar properties of PP. Followed by this, the market consists of other bio-degradable films such as protein-based plastics, polysaccharides, polyoxyethylene, polyvinylalchohol, and others.
Clondalkin, one of the prominent vendors supplying transparent barrier packaging films across the globe, has a separate product segment for bio-degradable films. It offers bio-degradable and compostable packaging films for various food and frozen-food packaging applications.