Active and intelligent packaging market set for good post-Covid growth

Active and intelligent packaging market set for good post-Covid growth

LEATHERHEAD, Surrey, UK and AKRON, Ohio, USA – October, 28 2020 –Worth $5.99 billion in 2019 smart packaging components will continue to see growth through the next five years new research from Smithers shows. While Covid-19 has disrupted the global economy, active formats are benefitting from use in the relatively unaffected packaged food market, and wider use in pharmaceuticals, and industrial goods. This will combine with a new focus on engagement and traceability in supply chains that supports increased use of intelligent packaging through to 2025.

Exclusive forecasts in the new Smithers market report – The Future of Active and Intelligent Packaging to 2025 – show that the market is liable to see either a marginal increase, or a drop of between $110 million and $220 million in 2020. A return to positive growth is forecast for 2021 as different end-use sectors recover at varying speeds, with combined value exceeding $7.5 billion in 2025.

To give the greatest level of insight, Smithers analysis focusses on the specific market for 18 smart packaging components, from gas scavengers to radio frequency (RF) antennas. 

In active packaging – defined as formats and components that enhance the condition of goods being shipped –some markets will benefit more from the pandemic than others. There will be a surge in demand for antimicrobial packaging, for example.

Worth $4.78 billion in 2019, active packaging is expected to see healthy market growth after 2021; driven by technologies for extending shelf life, like gas scavengers, antioxidants, and antimicrobials. The fastest-growing active packaging technology will be temperature-control packaging used in pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and leisure.

Intelligent packaging is defined as packaging that provides information about the contents or aspects of the history of the pack and its contents. This is still a nascent segment worth $1.20 billion in 2019; but it is developing rapidly, with new logic circuits, electronic environmental sensors, and RF antennas. These give brands, consumers and regulatory authorities access to more information and the option to engage in more direct, customer-specific marketing. Intelligent packaging set for double-digit growth in the future.  

As supply chains for packaged goods adjust to new priorities, Smithers analysis shows the following trends will be most important to wider use of active and intelligent components across 2021-2025:
  • Sustainability – To minimise food waste and increase packaging recycling
  • Mobile connectivity – The proliferation of smartphone technology, allows easier communication with more customers via QR codes, or RF circuitry
  • Consumer engagement – Brands want deeper, closer relationships with their customers; this calls for wider availability of consumer-focussed, user-friendly intelligent packaging that brand owners can integrate into marketing strategies
  • Industry 4.0 & The Internet of Things (IoT) – Intelligent packaging promises improved efficiencies via communication and item-level tracking of products in the factory, through logistics, and distribution
  • Nanotechnology – New barrier and anti-microbial properties for active packaging can be realised by designing materials at smallest level
  • Anti-counterfeiting – Rising international trade, especially via e-commerce, which has grown sizably during the Covid-19 outbreak; is increasing demand for smart packaging to verify the authenticity of goods and that packaging has not been interfered with.
The comprehensive market outlook given in The Future of Active and Intelligent Packaging to 2025 examines all of these trends within the wider impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This is presented in an exclusive data set for 2015-2025, with detailed forecasts segmenting the market by component type, end-use application/function, national and geographic market. 

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