The study, by The Freedonia Group, said rapid advances in technology and “more reasonable” prices of products will also fuel demand growth of 8.3 per cent annually – well above the rate in the packaging industry as a whole. Active and intelligent packaging has been defined as prolonging the life of foodstuffs or reacting when they have gone off by, for example, changing colour.
The need to minimise losses in food perishables will go hand in hand with safety fears to spur requirements for more sophisticated packing technology to extend shelf life or improve the traceability of food and beverages, said the research.
Starting from a relatively modest level of $80m in 2008, the total US market value of active packaging products will rise to $220m within four years – an annual growth rate of over 22 per cent.
This will be driven in part by robust gains for time temperature indicators (TTI) – devices that can track when a food has been in a potentially hazardous temperature situation and are used to indicate the freshness and safety of a product. Other devices smart devices offering “product differentiation, traceability or various interactive features at more cost effective prices" will also support growth, said the report.