The global cold chain packaging market size was valued at USD 22.64 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.6% from 2023 to 2030. The growth can be attributed to the rising demand for packaging solutions from the global food processing industry. The key factors driving this demand are the changing lifestyle of people, growing population, and rapid urbanization in emerging economies such as China, India, and Mexico. While the rise in population has triggered the demand for food products, changing lifestyles are prompting consumers to opt for processed and easy-to-eat food items. Processed food items such as frozen fruits and vegetables, dairy products, seafood, and meat have high demand across the world. Such food items require efficient packaging in transit and storage. The annual ground beef demand in the U.S. is more than 6 billion pounds.
Furthermore, New Zealand led the world in ice cream consumption in 2019 with a per capita consumption of over 28 liters per year, followed by the U.S. with more than 20 liters per capita per year. Therefore, a rising demand for processed meat and food is driving the market. The retail sector in developed countries, such as the U.S. is witnessing a change in consumer behavior as shopping patterns continue to shift from conventional retail businesses to online shopping. Online grocery shopping is gaining popularity in line with increasing penetration of the Internet and the subsequent rise in the number of tech-savvy consumers. For instance, sales of packaged food products are contributing significantly toward Amazon’s online grocery sales. Rising demand for packaged food is expected to drive the market growth.
The different food and safety regulations across countries have a significant impact on the future of the temperature-controlled packaging industry. Governments across the region have drafted various rules and guidelines for the storage and transportation of refrigerated products. Various regulations across countries related to food packaging include Food and Drug Administration’s regulations for frozen food in the U.S., India’s Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations (2018), China’s Food Safety Law, and Canada’s Food and Drugs Act, among others. Companies need to adhere to various standards that meet all the regulations regarding temperature-controlled packaging solutions. Moreover, the rising logistics cost across the globe is anticipated to impact the smooth growth of the market.
The cold chain packaging plays a vital role in preserving the quality of food, as it assists in slow biological decay of the products and ensures the safety and quality of the end users' food products. Further, the growing population has led to the increased consumption of preserved foods and beverages that have increased the demand for cold chain packaging products and solutions. The search for convenience in healthy food shopping has led to the growth of organized retail. Food safety and control measures for preventing food-borne diseases continue to be the primary goal for the food and beverage companies. The food industry companies are following various methods for preventing food-borne bacterial pathogens by using state-of-the-art packaging materials and techniques, including electro-spun fibers and biologically based polymers.
The growing popularity of new biological drug formulations is also posing new challenges for the pharmaceuticals packaging solution providers. Biological drugs, such as interleU.K.ins, antibodies, and vaccines, are different from the conventional small-molecule formulations. Moreover, in a few cases, there is also a possibility of the drug itself interacting with the packaging materials. This has mainly triggered the need for new materials to store the latest biological drug formulations. One of the packaging formats that needs an immediate change is the glass vial. Some of the latest biological drugs tend to delaminate the glass, leads to glass flaking in solutions. Hence, packaging solution providers are looking for innovative processes that can mitigate the undesired delamination effect.
The initial investment in developing the cold chain packaging infrastructure is high. High material costs and the scalability of different packaging methods are the key factors that restrains the cold chain packaging market. Packaging happens to be a critical part of the pharmaceutical product delivery system, as it protects pharmaceutical products from external influences, biological contaminations, and other damages that can adversely affect the integrity of the product. The adoption of more advanced manufacturing processes, innovations in technology, and the strengthening regulatory scenario are some of the leading factors that are driving the development of the market.
The insulated container and boxes segment led the market and accounted for more than 56% of the revenue share in 2022. This high share is attributable to the rising demand for reusable insulated containers across various applications, such as food processing, fruits, and vegetables. The segment is further classified based on payload size by large, medium, small, extra small, and petite. Based on the product, the market has also been classified into crates, cold packs, labels, and temperature-controlled pallet shippers. The crates segment is further classified into applications such as dairy, pharmaceutical, fisheries, and horticulture.
The cold packs segment is estimated the highest growth rate from 2023 to 2030. The temperature-controlled pallet shipper segment is expected to grow at a high compound annual growth rate over the forecast period. A variety of low-density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polyurethane (PUR), and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) pallet shippers are available in the market. The temperature-controlled pallet shippers are specifically used for bulk shipments of frozen food, vaccines, and biological samples and specimens.
The insulating materials segment led the market and accounted for more than 64% of the revenue share in 2022. The insulating material segment is further classified into EPS, PUR, Vacuum Insulated Panel (VIP), cryogenic tank, and others. The other segment includes insulting pouches, active thermal systems, and hard-cased thermal boxes. EPS held the largest share in 2022 and is anticipated to maintain its stronghold on the insulating materials market from 2023 to 2030.
The refrigerant segment includes fluorocarbons, Inorganics (ammonia and CO2), and hydrocarbons. There is an increasing emphasis on the use of low Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and low Global Warming Potential (GWP) gases. The use of such refrigerant gases helps to tackle environmental and social facets, which proves to be a crucial driver for refrigerant market growth across the globe. Increasing demand for energy-efficient natural refrigerants is also boosting segment growth. Inorganic refrigerants such as ammonia and CO2, as well as hydrocarbon-based refrigerants, are the most popular natural refrigerants. End-users are increasingly opting for these for reducing costs and decreasing adverse environmental impact. The hydrocarbons segment held the largest market share in terms of revenue in 2022 and is anticipated to maintain its dominance over the forecast period.
The major challenge of food processing applications today is to ensure the freshness of perishable goods while also reducing the impact on the environment. The use of synthetic refrigerants such as Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), and Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) leads to various environmental problems that include depletion of the ozone layer and global warming. Hence, the use of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Ammonia (NH3) provides sustainable refrigeration and acts as a long-term alternative to synthetic refrigerants.
The fish, meat, and seafood application led the market and accounted for more than a 23% share of the global revenue in 2022. This high share is attributable to the rising volumes of meat products, including beef and chicken, increasingly being exported from the U.S. and Brazil. As meat products are prone to natural, continuous, and irreversible bio-physiochemical changes, they need to be stored at a suitable frozen temperature range during their transit and storage. The fruits and vegetable segment is expected to expand at a significant growth from 2023 to 2030. Fresh fruits and vegetables need to be refrigerated appropriately to maintain their freshness until they reach the end consumer. An efficient packaging solution can help food producers and food processing companies effectively manage their operations.
The processed food segment is projected to exhibit the highest growth rate from 2023 to 2030. The growth can be attributed to the increased intake of processed foods such as canned meat, canned beans, jams and pickles, chocolate bars, and other food items by people around the globe. The pharmaceutical industry also drives demand for cold chain packaging solutions, wherein the companies need effective solutions to store and preserve medicines, blood samples, vacancies, and other temperature-sensitive medical items. During the recent wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a high number of blood samples and temperature-sensitive drugs are getting transported. Advanced packaging solutions are helping the companies and laboratories efficiently managing and monitoring their supply chain operations and maintaining the quality of their temperature-sensitive medical products and test samples.
North America dominated the market and accounted for over 32% share of global revenue in 2022 and is anticipated to maintain its dominance over the forecast period. The high market share of the region is attributable to significant fragmentation in the North America region owing to the presence of a large number of major industry participants. Moreover, the people are increasing their preference for the intake of fresh and organic food such as fresh leafy vegetables, organic milk, and organic eggs, which requires critical packaging and handling measures at each level of storage and transit to avoid spoilage. This, in turn, is boosting the regional market growth.
Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing region owing to rapid economic growth in emerging countries. Emerging economies, such as India, Singapore, Thailand, and China, are expected to contribute to the regional market growth. Due to the growing geriatric population, high demand for medicines will also augment the pharmaceutical market in the Asia Pacific. The ever-increasing population, the rapid industrialization, the continued rollout of transportation and warehousing networks, and the rise in demand for processed and canned food items are some of the factors expected to drive regional growth.
The U.S. held the largest market share in the cold chain packaging market in North America and is anticipated to maintain its dominance in the market by 2030. The high penetration in the U.S. region can be attributed to the high demand for packaged food in the region. The U.S. region has been witnessing a shift in the way food is made available across the retail formats that include supermarkets, hypermarkets, among others.
The German cold chain packaging market held the largest market share in Europe. Germany is one of the U.K.'s largest food exporters, accounting for roughly 14% of the country's total food and beverage imports. Every year, it sends approximately EUR 700 million in meat, fruits, and vegetables to the U.K. The necessity for cold chain is being driven by the rise of the organized food retail industry, the demand for processed foods, and rising health-care costs.
The market is highly fragmented with the presence of numerous local companies, especially in the North American region. These companies are staying ahead of the competition by actively engaging in mergers and acquisitions. Such companies are focusing on enhancing their product portfolio as well as expanding their regional presence. For instance, In May 2019, Sealed Air announced the acquisition of Automated Packaging Systems, Inc. (U.S.), one of the leading manufacturers of automated bagging systems.
The acquisition would help Sealed Air in the expansion of protective packaging, and it would, in turn, benefit from cross-selling opportunities in the market. In January 2018, Softbox Systems Ltd acquired TP3 Global, a provider of thermal protection covers for the pharmaceutical industry. The former aims to strengthen its product portfolio and expand its presence worldwide with this acquisition. Some of the prominent players in the global cold chain packaging market include:
Cold Chain Technologies
Cryopak A TCP Company
Pelican Products, Inc.
Market size value in 2023
USD 27.04 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030
USD 94.71 billion
CAGR of 19.6% from 2023 to 2030
Base year for estimation
2018 - 2021
2023 - 2030
Volume in tons, revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2023 to 2030
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Product, material, application, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; South America; MEA
U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; U.K.; France; China; India; Japan; Brazil
Key companies profiled
Cascades Inc.; Cold Chain Technologies; Creopack; Cryopak A TCP Company; Intelsius; Pelican Products; Inc.; Softbox; Sofrigam; Sonoco ThermoSafe; va-Q-tec.
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This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2023 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global cold chain packaging market report based on product, material, application, and region:
Product Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Insulated Container & Boxes
Temperature Controlled Pallet Shippers
Material Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
Polyurethane rigid foam (PUR)
Vacuum Insulated Panel (VIP)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Application Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruit & Pulp Concentrates
Fish, Meat & Seafood
Bakery & Confectionaries
Regional Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
b. The global cold chain packaging market size was estimated at USD 22.64 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 27.04 billion in 2023.
b. The global cold chain packaging market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19.6% from 2023 to 2030 to reach USD 94.71 billion by 2030.
b. North America dominated the cold chain packaging market with a share of more than 32.0% in 2022. This is attributable to the growing demand for processed and frozen foods as a result of the growing population, as well as the changing lifestyles of people in the region.
b. Some key players operating in the cold chain packaging market include Cascades inc.; Cold Chain Technologies; Creopack; Cryopak A TCP Company; Intelsius; Pelican Products, Inc.; Softbox; Sofrigam; Sonoco ThermoSafe; and va-Q-tec.
b. Key factors that are driving the cold chain packaging market growth include growing demand for packaging solutions from the global food processing industry in emerging economies such as China, India, and Mexico.
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