Vacuum Packaging Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 – 2026)

The vacuum packaging market was valued at USD 25.12 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 32.35 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 4.13% over the forecast period 2021 – 2026. Vacuum packaging enables to store food for a longer period that can result in cost-saving options. For instance, with vacuum packaging, chicken can be preserved for 15 days, whereas, with standard packaging, it can be preserved only for 3 days. This type of packaging avoid bacteria proliferation and avoid useless food waste by promoting much more responsible food consumption.

– The increasing awareness of good quality and hygienic packaging of food is one of the significant factors contributing to the growth of this market. A surge in need for the longer shelf life of products has also driven the demand for vacuum packaging. Ready or on-the-go meals have also been witnessing a steady demand for their convenience, especially among consumers with busy lifestyles. The demand for frozen food is also increasing due to the busy schedule and changing lifestyles of the population in various countries such as the US, China, and India, among others. Thus, this technique aids in cost-effective packaging.
– In 2019, Rajendra and Ursula Joshi Food Industries Pvt Ltd (Rufil Industries) launched paneer packed using a vacuum packaging technique. This type of packaging helps in maintaining a better-quality product by retaining the freshness and softness of paneer for a much longer time as compared to other packaging in the market.
– One of the challenges faced by the healthcare sector is the need to keep medical devices sterile. Vacuum packaging plays a critical role in protecting these devices against exposure to oxygen, etc., as it can adversely alter the medication’s quality.
– Though vacuum packed techniques increase the shelf life of chilled products, certain bacteria (C.botulinum), may be still able to grow. The bacteria produce a harmful toxin that can cause food poisoning. Thus, Food Standards Agency, a non-ministerial department of the Government of the UK, provides vacuum packing guidance to produce these foods safely.
– The vacuum packaging market is also undergoing technological advancements. New and innovative developments such as the production of vacuum packages that hold recyclable packaging and light-weight packaging are accumulating value to the market. For instance, Clearly Clean Products LLC offers vacuum skin packaging trays, that are made up of recyclable plastic.

Key Market Trends

Food is Expected to Hold the Major Share

– Packaged food products are increasingly becoming an integral part of daily diet across the world. With the growing awareness concerning the use of inappropriate wrapping packaging materials that lead to chemical contamination and the increase in health consciousness among the customers, there is a growing need for hygiene packaging. This is expected to drive the need for vacuum packaging as it protects food products from atmospheric gas, in turn, extending the shelf life of such products.
– The demand for packaged chicken, beef, pork, etc., is increasing across the world, which in turn, will influence the demand for vacuum packaging. For instance, annual meat production is expected to grow from 218 million tonnes in 1997-1999 to 376 million tonnes by 2030, as per the World Health Organization. For the majority of people across the world, livestock products remain the desired food for nutritional value and taste. The beef and pork packing plants use vacuum packaging to preserve large cuts of meat as this packaging eliminates oxygen, which helps to preserve the meat within the packaging.
– This type of packaging has the potential to minimize food waste. For instance, by using plastic vacuum skin packaging for meat can increase the shelf life from two to three days, if wrapped in paper, to sixteen days and more, thus, reducing food waste by a staggering 75%.

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North America is Expected to Hold a Significant Share

– North America is witnessing a rapid rise in its existing population, due to work-related migrations into the region. According to the International Monetary Fund, the population in the US was 327.4 million in 2018 and is projected to reach 341 million in 2024. According to the US Department of Labor, in 2018, there were 28.2 million foreign-born persons in the US labor force as compared to 27.4 million foreign-born persons in the US labor force in 2017. Thus, this rising population has directly burdened the food industry and impacting the packaging industry. It is home to the busiest markets and forms a significant part of the workforce dependent on the frozen foods and packaged food for appetite. Thus, these packaged food requires effective packaging that provides protection and resistance against bacteria growth and increases the shelf life of the food. These factors are expected to drive the demand for vacuum packaging in the region.
– The consumption of meat has continued to increase in the region. According to the US Department of Agriculture and Economic Research Service (a component of the United States Department of Agriculture), in 2018, the consumption of red meat in the US amounted to 109.3 pounds per capita and is expected to rise to 113.8 pounds per capita. Vacuum packing preserves the food (like meat) by preventing contact with oxygen, thus, increasing the shelf life for the products.
– Furthermore, the presence of players, like Sealed Air Corporation, Berry Global Inc., etc. also stimulates the growth of the market, as these companies engage in the development of vacuum packaging solutions. Sealed Air’s Cryovac barrier vacuum packaging bags deliver the ultimate protection while maintaining product integrity and improving quality.

Competitive Landscape

The vacuum packaging market is marked with the high competition due to the presence of various players. Companies in the market are involved in introducing new products, expanding their operations, or entering into strategic mergers and acquisitions to increase their market presence.

– January 2018 – Sealed Air enhanced its Cryovac Darfresh packaging system (vacuum skin packaging) with new cardboard support, delivering operational efficiencies to processors, expanding merchandising opportunities and packing differentiation, and providing more convenience to consumers. The processors of meat, fish, and cheese can lower the production costs with the Cryovac Darfresh on Board pack as 40% less film is used as compared to traditional skin pack machines, reducing the volume of packaging required. Also, material, and scrap disposal expenses can be avoided as 100% of the film is used.

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