The Global Market for Advanced Packaging Solutions report states controlled packaging dominates the market sectors, with sales of nearly $12.4bn USD and predicted annual growth of 6% to $17.6bn from 2012 to 2017.
"There is an expectation of sustained growth for controlled packaging in all regions, since the packaging techniques are focused primarily on retaining the freshness of everyday consumable products such as fresh produce ... dairy products and other preprocessed foods," the study maintains.
Controlled packaging includes controlled atmosphere packaging, which is designed to minimise exposure of food to oxygen and oxidative damage, thus extending shelf life.
Total market value
The total market for controlled, active and intelligent food and beverage packaging was worth $31.4bn USD in 2011 and is set to grow annually by an average of 5.8% to $44.3bn USD by 2017, the study predicts.
The report also forecasts solid growth for the active and intelligent packaging sectors, driven by trends such as improved living standards and demand for safety, convenience, health, well-being and sustainability.
"The increasing consumer demand for fresh and unaltered food has driven the integration of active packaging in the food and beverages industry," according to the report.
Active packaging, which is worth $8.8bn USD and the report claims is set to grow by 5.2% annually to $11.9bn USD covers a wealth of areas, from moisture control to temperature monitoring.
One of the trends feeding the growth of that market is the demand for long shelf life, minimally processed products without preservatives, the analysis states.
It adds: "The convergence of global factors such as eating habits, health awareness, stress factors due to an overnight work culture, stricter regulations on food safety and others have added to the transformation of food packaging. These factors have driven the growth of active packaging techniques in all regions."
The intelligent packaging market, which includes Radio Frequency Identification tags enabling tracking and tracing of products throughout the supply chain, increased substantially across all regions from 2010-2012, the report states.
It predicts that growth will continue for the next four to five years, with market value rising from $3.8bn USD in 2011 to $5.3bn USD in 2017.
"A number of portentous activities, such as collaborative efforts and new product development in the Asia-Pacific region as well as the European and North American markets, were witnessed," it adds.
In addition, the report cautions that manufacturers should communicate thoroughly with consumers when introducing different packaging to ensure they would continue to accept products.
Advanced packaging components accounted for $6.5bn USD in sales in 2011 and the study predicts this will rise annually by 6.3% to $9.4bn USD by 2017.