Food Contact Paper Market: Opportunities Abound as Customized & Multifunctional Packaging Takes Centre Stage
With paper increasingly becoming the material of choice for food packaging, for both, consumers and manufacturers, there has been a flurry of activity in the global paper packaging market. Manufacturers in the food contact paper market are increasingly trying to keep pace with this growing demand for paper packaging solutions for food, while focusing on improving the functionality of the paper used. They are aiming at product innovation that offers characteristics such as moisture-resistance, grease resistance, and temperature control. With multifunctional packaging paper, as a product, being relatively new and offered by a few players in the global food contact paper market, manufacturers are beginning to focus on R&D into the same to gain a competitive advantage.
The trend of tailor-made products has had a big impact on the global food contact paper market, as manufacturers are increasingly looking at customized products in order to enhance product appeal for end users in the value chain. This has opened up a plethora of opportunities for players, as customized and specialized products are becoming a routine option being offered, aimed at expanding the customer base.
The global food contact paper market is expected to expand at a moderate pace throughout the forecast period, and reach a valuation of ~US$ 7.4 Bn by the end of the forecast period (2019-2027).
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Environmentally-friendly Materials and Circular Economy
Convenience and ready-to-go foods have witnessed significant growth in recent decades, primarily driven by changing lifestyles, boosting the growth of the food packaging market. Globally, there is a push for the reduction of plastics from packaging, especially where food is concerned, which can be attributed to the growing pressure from governments to decrease plastic waste. This is particularly significant in the case of single-use food packaging that is used by food companies, which has resulted in paper packaging gaining traction. Key players in the global food contact paper market are leveraging this increasing awareness and interest in environmentally-friendly food packaging materials to introduce lighter, efficient single-use food packaging products.
Circular Economy – another buzzword in the overall packaging market, which primarily focuses on minimizing the loss of value of products and the continual use of resources, has also led to manufacturers not just focusing on making products that can be reused and recycled, but those which can also be redesigned.
Thickness of Paper: Significant Factor Affecting Adoption
Food contact paper of varying thickness is widely used, from cooking and baking to the packaging of both, solid and liquid foods. However, the common denominator of all these applications is the preference for food contact paper that does not dissolve into the food, compromising its integrity. In 2018, by value, food contact paper with a thickness of up to 30 GSM accounted for over half of the total market share, the popularity of which can be attributed to this paper being thick enough to hold the contaminants that are released by the food. This segment will continue to occupy the largest share of the food contact paper market by revenue at the end of the forecast period
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Food Integrity and Regulations Governing Overall Food Contact Paper Landscape
The premium placed on preserving the integrity of food is very high, from both, consumers and food manufacturers. To this end, several regulatory organizations around the world have been established to monitor the quality of food contact packaging materials. Regulations imposed by these organizations, such as the FDA in North America, have had an indisputable effect on the expansion of the larger food packaging materials industry, and specifically, the food paper contact market.
Manufacturers in the food contact paper market have increasingly targeted their R&D activities toward aligning with these regulations regarding the use of harmful chemicals in the production of food contact paper. One of the biggest challenges faced by players in the market is treating food contact paper with chemicals to make them waterproof or grease-proof. However, the use of these chemicals is allowed only with a functional barrier also being incorporated into the product so as to prevent it from contaminating the food.