The global modified atmosphere packaging market is expected to witness significant demand over the forecast period owing to the rising demand for innovative packaging solutions, most notably in the food industry. At a macro level, the modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) market is driven by the increasing global demand for quality and freshly packaged food, a shift in preference towards convenient & easy-to-handle packaging, and the prevalence of on-the-go lifestyles.
modified atmosphere packaging refers to the practice or technique of modifying or adjusting the composition as regards the internal atmosphere of packages, most notably in food or drug packages, to meet their respiration requirements. The purpose of the whole process is to extend the shelf life of the contents of the package by keeping them fresh and free from contamination.
The MAP process allows for supply chain efficiencies for manufacturers, retailers, and distributors of products by enhancing the quality of products. Furthermore, extended freshness cycles allow for the elimination of recurrent product removal, rotation, and restocking. This factor, in turn, reduces waste disposal and labor costs for the stakeholders in the modified atmosphere packaging industry.
The modified atmosphere packaging market is driven by various factors including the increasing demand from for efficient packaging products (extension of shelf life), a shift in consumer focus towards the consumption of on-the-go food products; and increasing popularity of MAP packaging in the pre-cut produce market in conjunction with growing consumer interest in organic and natural food products.
Furthermore, increasing receptivity or adoption of the modified atmosphere packaging technology in various application industries including convenience foods, and seafood & meat products is favoring industry growth. For instance, MAP technology is being increasingly adopted in the coffee packaging industry. The growing use of the product among specialty coffee roasters in the form of degassing valves (coffee bags and pouches) is expected to create a significant demand for MAP packaging over the projected period.
MAP products face a high threat of substitution from skin packages, self chilling cans, self-heating food packages, bees wraps, and direct thermal film labels. Although MAP is the preferred option when it comes to the function of atmosphere packaging, relatively less expensive products such as skin packages, and bees wraps continue to threaten the application or use of MAP packages in terms of costs. However, innovations in the MAP space are expected to sustain the demand and popularity of MAP packaging over the forecast period.
The modified atmosphere packaging market is segmented based on the material (polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene, polyethylene, and others), packaging type (rigid packaging, flexible packaging, and active & intelligent packaging), application (dairy products, bakery & confectionery, convenience food, fruits & vegetables, and others), and region. Based on the application, the bakery & confectionery segment dominated the industry in 2018 and is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period. The growth of the sector is attributable to the increasing consumption of bread-based products across the globe.
Regionally, North America emerged as the largest market in 2018. The dominant position of the North American modified atmosphere packaging market is backed by the increasing demand for hygienic packaging as regards food products in the region. Also, government support has contributed significantly to the growth of the North American MAP market. For instance, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) initiated by the government in the U.S. in 2011 makes it mandatory for owners of food facilities to implement preventive controls against potential hazards in the food industry. Such factors have increased the adoption and to an extent, necessitated the employment of MAP products in the region.
Product innovation is likely to be the operative term in the MAP industry in the foreseeable future against the backdrop of rising competitive rivalry. In this regard, recent innovations in the MAP space have extended beyond the physical design of packages. For example, in February 2019, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., a U.S.-based international corporation that specializes in the sale of chemicals and gases for industrial uses, launched a scented MAP product.
This novel concept was an innovative concept to improve the aroma and flavor of packaged foods. This packaging design involved the vaporization of natural aromas, most notably essential oils, and eliminated additional production processes as regards production MAP packages. This strategic move is an archetype of companies looking to accentuate customers’ sensory experience, thereby influencing their purchase decisions.
The competitive landscape of the represents a fragmented outlook with both small and large-sized players sharing the modified atmosphere packaging market space. However, key market participants dominate the industry with a robust global presence and market penetration rate. Some of these prominent players of the modified atmosphere packaging market include The Linde Group, Total Packaging Solutions, CVP SYSTEMS, Berry Global Inc., Hayssen Flexible Systems. Product innovation has predominantly been the preferred strategy of the players mentioned above.
Some of the other strategies deployed by the key players include mergers & acquisitions and entering into long term supply agreements. For instance, in October 2018, Middleby Corporation acquired M-TEK Corporation, a U.S.-based MAP systems developer. The acquisition was aimed at strengthening the position of the company as regards MAP packaging solutions in North America. Such trends are expected to emerge over the forecast period, thereby offering the industry a healthy prospect.
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