The insulated packaging market was valued at USD 14.15 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach a value of USD 19.65 billion by 2027, and grow at a CAGR of 5.71% over the forecast period (2022 - 2027). Insulation packaging is vital for combating energy losses during transportation and storage. Some of the significant characteristics of insulated packaging are high resistance to heat transfer, low cost, low weight, low moisture susceptibility, ease of fabrication and transportation, durability, and mechanical strength.
- Moreover, insulated packaging plays a significant role in various other end-user industries, such as pharmaceutical and electronics. Pharmaceutical is one of the major end users of these insulated packaging as the product is sensitive to temperature. The packaging of temperature-controlled pharmaceutical products and medical devices is witnessing considerable growth in the overall healthcare industry.
- The increase in the number of e-commerce websites for food and beverages and medicines is proliferating the need for delivery of perishable goods without any wastage. This is further increasing the adoption of insulated packaging by online grocery stores around the world. According to INE Spain, consumers who bought food and perishable goods online increased from 12.8% in 2015 to 18.6% in 2018.
- The major advancements in protective packaging in the past few years have led to the usage of new materials such as cotton and wool insulation to offer a bio-based approach to reducing carbon emissions. For instance, SwiftPak's PLA bioplastic Packaging complies with local home or garden compost standards in the UK. The method has brought benefits such as keeping the internal product's temperature within 4 degrees Celsius for up to 30 hours.
- As of May 2020, Softbox launched a new cardboard insulated shipper to deliver chilled food. This cardboard has been manufactured to offer effective insulation layers that are similar to those of traditional expanded polystyrene with similar efficiencies. By using its proprietary Thermaflute insulating technology, cardboard insulation packaging uses a single-use low-cost parcel shipper featuring 100% recycled corrugated cardboard and no plastic. Such an initiative has led Softbox to remove 74.5 tonnes of plastic per year from their food delivery boxes and reduce 50% of plastic on the same.
- The outbreak of a pandemic has led to record numbers of consumers shopping online for groceries and restaurants moving to off-premises formats. Then, coming to insulated packaging for temperature-sensitive products, the pharmaceutical sector has been demanding. Considering the spike in e-commerce, the insulated packaging is expected to see strong sales with smaller e-commerce and food delivery formats across meal kits and other perishable food and beverage items. As multiple packages containing fresh and frozen items require good insulation, pandemic-led behavioral change has led to packages being left outdoors for some time.
Key Market Trends
Food and Beverage Industry to Show the Maximum Application
- The food and beverage packaging industry is witnessing significant growth, owing to the increasing demand for packaged food and ready-to-eat food consumption. Moreover, the growing trend of online food ordering and online grocery shopping is giving rise to the need for shipment and storage of perishables in a thermally controlled environment.
- Protection, preservation, maintaining, and extending the shelf-life of food products are the primary challenges faced in the food industry. As food products are prone to deteriorate over time, affecting their flavor, taste, texture, and color, choosing the right packaging products is necessary.
- The consumption of frozen food is increasing in developed countries, such as the United States, Germany, Canada, and France, which are driving the market for insulated packaging. According to Frozen and Refrigerated Buyer, in 2019, frozen food sales in the United States were USD 9,384.88 million. Ice cream contributed most to the sales of frozen food in the region with USD 1,418.38 million, whereas processed chicken/chicken substitute contributed USD 676.29 million.
- The packages containing frozen foods should be constructed, thermally insulated, and equipped with sufficient refrigerants to continuously maintain a product temperature of 0°C (32°F) or colder. Insulated shipping boxes are needed as they limit heat exchange between the environment and the inside of the package. One of the most used thermal insulators in the food industry is expanded polystyrene (EPS) coolers.
United States to Hold Significant Market Share
- The United States is expected to dominate the insulated packaging market due to the increasing number of retail food chains and their expansion and the growing e-commerce industry. eCommerce continues to grow dramatically in the country, putting pressure on traditional retail.
- Consumers spent USD 601.75 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2019, up 14.9% from USD 523.64 billion the prior year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce quarterly e-commerce figures. That was a relatively higher growth rate than 2018 when online sales reported by the Commerce Department rose 13.6% year over year. Also, sales of consumer packaged goods, long confined to traditional retail channels, are exploding online, with growth rates, in many cases, more than 50% YOY.
- Moreover, the presence of major giants such as Amazon and Walmart has significantly changed the buying trends of grocery shoppers in the U.S. Also, the ability to prevent damage to temperature-sensitive products like pharmaceuticals, foods, and cosmetics, insulated packaging commands a noticeable presence in several high-growth industries in the country like healthcare, food, beverage, etc. This factor will drive the insulating packaging market in the forecast period.
- Moreover, the government regulations in the country, for instance, the food-contact packaging sector of the U.S., is highly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With food being one of the most sensitive products to transfer and store, the regulations are expected to considerably promote the adoption of insulated packagings, such as insulated food bags.
The global insulated packaging market is moderately fragmented owing to many packaging solutions providers introducing insulated packaging in their product line and prevent the new entrants to enter the market. The companies are investing in their R&D to develop innovating packaging solutions so that their solutions cater to the needs of the growing demands of various end-users. A significant number of instances of mergers and acquisitions are also seen as a step towards increasing the market share. Some of the recent developments in the market are:
- June 2021 - Cryopak, a leader in temperature assurance packaging and temperature monitoring devices, has introduced its newest addition to its growing line of plastic-alternative shipping solutions. The Cryopak Ecopak line of insulated box liners is recyclable and compostable, made from a post-industrial, recycled natural fiber blend. The box liners are wrapped in a perforated, recyclable, biodegradable film for moisture absorption.
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