Food packaging equipment

Increased demand for hygienic food packaging and a shift toward convenient packaging are just two of the factors that will drive the global food packaging equipment market to $26.96 billion, and the food packaging technology market to $57.8 billion, by 2023, according to FPSA’s most recent global trends and forecast report.

The report analyzed food packaging technology and equipment according to type, application, material, and region. Let’s look at a few of the key takeaways.

Drivers: Hygienic food packaging, convenient food packaging, and demand for fresh, high-quality foods

Just like food products, the food packaging technology and equipment markets are being driven by the need for enhanced food safety, greater convenience, and the consumer trend toward fresh, premium foods.

On the food safety side, technologies like oxygen scavenger, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), and active packaging help extend the shelf life of products by preventing pathogen growth. Meanwhile, on-the-go consumers want convenience above all, especially for snacks — this is increasing the popularity of packaging that’s lightweight, easy to open, portable, and resealable. The demand for fresh food is leading to increased adoption of technologies like MAP, aseptic, and intelligent packaging, which help maintain product quality without requiring additives.

Restraints: High cost of development, environmental regulations

While growth in the packaging equipment and technology sectors will be significant, it will be constrained by high costs and strict environmental regulations.

Packaging technology and equipment is expensive to develop, and the ROI is generally low. Compounding this is the fact that packaging manufacturers must perform extensive testing to understand how food products interact with the technologies. Installation and maintenance are also expensive, and they’ll only become more so as the labor shortages continue to impact the industry.  

On the regulatory side, many governments have imposed strict laws to reduce the environmental impacts of packaging waste, including restricting the use of recycled materials and promoting sustainable solutions.

Opportunities: Developing markets, product differentiation

Developing markets, especially China, represent excellent growth opportunities for packaging technology and equipment suppliers. Rising disposable incomes, the trend toward RTE and convenience foods, and increased concern about food quality are just three of the factors contributing to a growing demand for packaged foods, which in turn is driving demand for packaging equipment and technologies.

Packaging can also be a powerful differentiator. Especially as consumers pay more attention to what’s on the label, food brands can use packaging to communicate with and engage consumers.

Challenges: Counterfeiting, gases in controlled environment packaging

Finally, the food packaging equipment and technology markets will face some challenges.

First, as the food packaging market grows, so will the prevalence of counterfeit packaging, which can cause brands to lose revenue as well as reputation. In addition, one of the challenges of controlled environment packaging technology is providing the correct mix of gases. As the report notes, “any discrepancy can decrease the product quality.”

To learn more about what the food packaging equipment and technology market will look like over the next 5 years, request your copy of the report: Food Packaging Technology and Equipment Market: Global Trends and Forecast to 2023. It’s chock-full of information and free for FPSA members.