Barrier coatings for plastic packaging is being driven by economic, social, demographic and lifestyle changes

The global market value of barrier coatings for plastic packaging is projected at $1.37 billion in 2016 and is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 5.2% during the five-year period to 2021 to $1.76 billion.

Smithers Pira’s new report - The Future of Functional Additives and Barrier Coatings for Plastic Packaging to 2021 - details the demand for functional additives and barrier coatings for plastic packaging is being driven by economic, social, demographic and lifestyle changes, brand owners’ increasing focus on source reduction and sustainable packaging, consumer demand for convenience food and a growing presence of large retail chains.

Demand for packaging materials that provide even greater protection to their contents is growing, especially for food, beverage and pharmaceutical products. As plastics have become more and more common, concerns have arisen about their ability to allow the exchange of gases and vapours that can compromise the quality and safety of packaged products. A variety of functional additives and barrier coating technologies have been commercialised that preserve, protect and promote; optimise product shelf life, reduce the need for preservatives, provide transparency and gloss, and serve as a printing substrate.

Dan Rogers head of publishing at Smithers Pira

Social trends influencing market growth include a growing consumer demand for food and drink products that are perceived to be healthier, a growing demand for convenience food as a result of an increasingly urban society and busier consumer lifestyles, and an increase in eating away from home for time-pressured consumers. Busier lifestyles lead to a growing demand for convenience products such as microwavable packaging, single-serve packs, carry-away packs, resealable packaging, easy to open  packs and longer shelf life.

Demographic influences on demand include higher population growth in developing countries, an ageing population in advanced economies, and longer life expectancy leading to a growing demand for healthcare and personal care products. An increase in the proportion of the population of working age (25–64 years) in developing nations also drives demand for packaged products. A rise in the number of single-person households also increases demand for smaller pack sizes and single portion food packaging.

Functional additives and barrier coatings are used across a wide range of food, beverages and non-food packaging markets. Food is by far the largest end-use sector for functional additives and barrier coatings in plastic packaging, accounting for a projected share of just over 60.0% of market value in 2016. Non-food is the second largest market accounting for just less than 20.0% of market value, followed by beverages with an 18.5% value share. Pet food represents just 1.5% of total market value.

The Future of Functional Additives and Barrier Coatings for Plastic Packaging to 2021 is based on a combination of in-depth primary and secondary research. Primary research was founded on interviews with industry experts from across the supply chain, including leading functional additive and barrier coating suppliers, converters, brand owners and retailers. Secondary research was based on extensive desk research and literature reviews of market and company reports, magazine and journal abstracts, packaging trends and market information, and Smithers Pira conference papers. This report provides a unique depth of information and analysis.


The Future of Functional Additives and Barrier Coatings for Plastic Packaging to 2021 is available for £4,200.
For press enquiries or a more detailed article, please contact Julie Bostock:
Tel: +44 (0) 1372 802 035
jbostock@smithers.com