FMI’ Analyst view: “The Next Frontier: How Antimicrobial Packaging is transforming the Food and Healthcare Industry”

The growing demand for packaged food, due to increasing disposable income of people around the world is driving the growth of antimicrobial packaging market. Packaged food has always been a major health concern, and for the same reason, government authorities across the globe have established many regulations related to food packaging which is positively affecting the market growth.

Food processing industries invest a heavy amount in innovating healthier packaging methods to cater to these statutory standards thereby, fuelling the demand for antimicrobial packaging. In addition, the use of antimicrobial packaging in the healthcare industry is further fuelling product sales. Rising awareness of consumers on hygiene and packaging of food products, grooming solutions, and medicines is aiding the market growth.

The healthcare industry has been experiencing substantial growth in recent years which will directly amplify product sales in the forecast period. Antimicrobial packaging is widely employed in the packaging of food products that are preservative-free, require negligible processing, and are prone to decay. Also, growing awareness regards to consumer health and the improved shelf life of products has led to the increased use of antimicrobial packaging in recent years. This trend is most likely to continue in the forecast period as well which will proliferate product sales.

Antimicrobials are primarily used as packaging agents to prevent the growth of microorganisms and guarantee product safety. These antimicrobial agents are used while packaging any item so that they can work by a slow release on food surfaces or can also be used in vapour form.

Burgeoning demand for baked and confectionery products among consumers in emerging regions is anticipated to support market growth in the next ten years. The wide use of antimicrobial elements stops the infiltration of unwanted substances like water vapour and pressurized liquids in the packed content which in turn helps to improve the food quality.

Apart from this, the growing importance to maintain storage temperature is further augmenting growth in the market. The growth of potential microbes is dependent on the element of storage temperature which plays a key role in keeping the inside content fresh. For this reason, a properly designed antimicrobial packaging system is employed to eliminate any risk of foodborne diseases in food products and to prevent medical illnesses from healthcare packaging by maintaining moderate storage temperature and distribution systems.

Nowadays, hospitals are becoming a breeding ground for growth of algae, bacteria, and fungus which in turn causes harmful effects on consumers and also on plastic medical devices. For this purpose, antimicrobial additives are added in antimicrobial packaging to restrict microbial growth and to improve the hygienic factor among patients.

Also, healthcare equipment manufacturers have been developing innovative products comprising effective microbe-resistant properties which maintain the aesthetic value of hospitals and also stop the growth of infectious agents in the hospitals. This factor is expected to drive market growth by escalating product sales. Research and development activities are being conducted to incorporate metal oxides like zinc oxide and magnesium oxide as antimicrobial agents for the food industry which in turn is anticipated to create ample avenues for the manufacturers serving food & beverage applications.

Over the assessment period, the market in North America is expected to grow with a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period. A large proportion of population in this region has a high spending share on packaged foods. Also, consumers prefer safe packaging due to growing awareness about safe and hygienic packaging options which is responsible for augmenting growth in this region.


Driving Demand for Antimicrobial Packaging?

Over the past decade there has been a major shift in lifestyle of people. Working population has increased and with that demand for packaged foods has grown in multi folds. Also, there has a sizeable increase in number of health conscious consumers which is driving the demand for packaged products with antimicrobial properties.

Additionally, in order to avoid spoilage of food due to various fungal contamination, it has become essential to prevent surface growth of bacteria’s in food packaging thus companies are incorporating innovative methods to tackle the issue. For instance release of antimicrobial on the food surface from packaging film has shown credible results in stopping the growth of moulds.

Moreover, growing trend of ready to eat foods has seen a significant surge in recent years. This can be mainly attributed to the busy lifestyle and easy accessibility of packaged food. Also availability of wide range of products under ready to eat segment such as fruit juices, flavoured milk, dairy based products, baked products and many more has bolstered the demand for packaging material with antimicrobial properties.


Asia Pacific Antimicrobial Packaging Market Outlook:

Asia Pacific is poised to be the most lucrative market for packaging with antimicrobial properties. This can be attributed to the rising demand for packaged food coupled with bourgeoning healthcare & pharmaceutical industry in the region.

Large consumer base for packaged products is on rise in Asia Pacific owing to fast paced lifestyle in the region. Also growing disposable income among young population has provided an uptick growth in demand and sales of packaged products.

Moreover, it has been projected that in next five years healthcare spending in Asia Pacific is poised to grow by ~40% expanding at the rate 2x than world average.

These positive trends along with increased production of packaging in the region is projected to propel the demand and sales of packaging materials with antimicrobial properties.

North America Antimicrobial Packaging Market Outlook:

Demand for packaging in USA continues to grow owing to wide spread trend of ready to eat food coupled with well-established packaging industry in the region. Also large base of health conscious consumers has increased the sales of packaged products with antimicrobial properties in the region.

For instance, between the period 2012-2016 consumption of packaging rose by ~10% in the region and is further expected to rise by ~20% by the end of 2022. Increased consumption of packaging along with demand for safe and microbial free packaged products is projected to drive the market in the long run.

Moreover, high government spending on healthcare especially in the US has provided a surge in demand for packaging for with antimicrobial properties. These above mentioned factors along with high disposable income among consumers is projected to drive the antimicrobial packaging industry in North America.


These insights are based on a report Antimicrobial Packaging Market by Future Market Insights.

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