- The market for functional and barrier coatings on paper and board packaging is showing sustained solid growth, increasing by over 5% annually since 2020
- The market reached 3.3 million tonnes of coating materials in 2022, worth more than $9 billion
- The industry will continue to grow, and is forecast to reach $11 billion in 2028 (at constant 2022 prices).
Plastics substitution is a key focal point for the coatings industry, with developments such as coated lightweight paperboard and moulded fibre formats replacing PET in ready-to-eat meals and food service markets. Flexible packaging producers have teamed up with brands to produce recyclable paper pouches to replace LDPE bags for frozen seafood. Brand new technology is emerging with advances such as cellulose chromatogeny, a chemical reaction as opposed to a coating, to make paperboard substrates superhydrophobic while retaining repulpability and compostability.
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What will you discover?
- Paper mills are playing their part in industry developments, such as bringing high-tech coating machines on stream, not only to enhance coating facilities but also to encourage and enable innovation with customers
- Seaweed is a new material drawing considerable attention, with researchers working on the development of seaweed-based biopolymer coating materials for the foodservice industry. In a similar vein, there are developments in grease- and water-resistant packaging constructs using seaweed extracts as a barrier material.
A key influence on this industry is the concerted drive to eliminate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), sometimes called ‘forever chemicals’, from the coatings market. PFAS chemicals have been banned in food packaging materials in the US state of New York, while Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have proposed restrictions on PFAS via the European Chemicals Agency.
The Smithers methodology
This report is based on extensive primary and secondary research. Primary research consisted of targeted interviews with material suppliers, converters and experts drawn from key markets. This was supported by secondary research in the form of extensive literature analysis of published data, official government statistics, domestic and international trade organisation data, company websites, industry reports, trade press articles, presentations, and attendance at trade events.
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About the author
- Paper and board coatings suppliers
- Paper and board material manufacturers
- Packaging converters
- Brand owners and packaging buyers
- Packaging and coating machinery manufacturers
- Industry consultants, investors, and analysts
Stephen Harrod spent 11 years building a market research company in South Africa, focused on the paper and packaging industry there, following which he spent six years in the paper industry with Mondi and JAC Labels before relocating to the UK. He has been authoring reports for Smithers since 2006, with a focus on global paper and packaging markets.